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Mythic Spheres of Power is currently in public playtest, and has already undergone some revisions and updates after a Discord-focused beta. In its current form, this product covers mythic traditions (basically casting traditions for having mythic power), a new mythic path, an assortment of universal and class abilities, and a couple of feats. If you'd like to provide any input on this product, now is probably a good time. XD


Developer Owlcat Games and publisher Deep Silver just released Pathfinder Kingmaker: Enhanced Edition, an improved version of their recently-released, officially-licensed Kingmaker video game. According to the developer, the EE includes:

Quote:

• numerous gameplay-enriching content additions and dozens of quality-of-life features

• new abilities and ways to build your character, including a brand-new class
• new items and weaponry
• improved balance, especially in the beginning and last two chapters of the game
• enhanced kingdom management system, both in terms of balance as well as usability and player comfort
• increased variety of random encounters on the global map
• thousands of fixes and improvements made since the game's initial release


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Discussion Thread, so we don't have to clog up the Discord.


Gameplay thread. Players, feel free to dot anytime!


From IGN, Microsoft has announced its intention to acquire Obsidian Entertainment (Pillars of Eternity) and InXile (Wasteland 2/3, Torment: Tides of Numenera).

Thoughts?


The Situation: A Barbarian, a Revised Ranger, a Sorcerer, a Warlock (me), and a Bard, all around 10th level, are being attacked nightly by long-range magic. "It would take us weeks or possibly months to physically reach the target" range. We'd have to go across most of the known continent to reach our attacker.

From what we've seen, the attacker can cast three spells on us per night (we don't know exactly how, but suspect some kind of advanced scry and fry). The attacker's powers include Dispel Magic, which he keeps using to get rid of my Tiny Hut - apparently he can't teleport magic past it, so he has to get rid of it first. The offensive spells have so far been limited to acid attacks, including some area-of-effect ones capable of hitting the whole group if we don't spread out. They haven't really done enough damage to kill us, but they're very annoying. The Sorcerer and the Warlock seem to be the main targets.

We do not know exactly how we're being targeted - there are no physical items always being held by the target of our spells.

We are currently in a town supporting a major military encampment. They probably have supplies and casters, and I have very good Persuasion, but it's uncertain how much they'll be willing to give us. Our party has *some* gold we could buy crafting stuff with.

To my knowledge, nobody in our group can cast Nondetection, and it will probably be awhile before we level up.

So...... any suggestions?


The Discussion thread!


The gameplay thread!


You read that title right.

We never figured out the exact chain of events that led to the Opening. Enough records existed for survivors to put things together, but we'd likely never be able to repeat it - and to be honest, we didn't really want to.

It began with the discovery of a secret research facility beneath Tel Megiddo where scientists were researching gravity. The records mention something about a "Larger Hadron Collider", although it's not clear what it was larger than, as well as experiments to uncover more information about the fundamental workings of the laws that govern the universe. By itself, it probably wouldn't have been so bad.

By the time humanity realized what had happened, it was too late.

International tensions had been on the rise, and someone - we never found out who - detonated a nuclear device whose atoms had used quantum entanglement to link with other bits of uranium across the world. Post-Opening scholars are pretty sure that shouldn't have worked, but haven't been able to figure out any other answer. As it turned out, however, a nuclear explosion occurring next to some kind of bizarre ultra-high-gravity experiments does weird things to the fabric of space and time. The detonation was caught in the gravity field, compressed into a black hole, and transmuted into a white hole.

Our understanding of the physics stopped well before this point, though our ability to observe and piece together the results did not. The entangled atoms around the world - mostly in laboratories, because it's not like uranium could just sit out in public - somehow linked to the energy spewed by the white hole during its brief existence and bathed the world in apocalyptic energy. Twenty-seven research sites and one uranium mine underwent nuclear fission. By the time it was done, there was a hole the size of Egypt in northwestern China and numerous urban centers were wiped from the map.

The survivors pressed the buttons and the missiles were launched. The great powers all but annihilated each other - the weaker countries in the third world were largely unscathed, though military bases were blown apart. And then it got worse. The unusual physics of the Opening had changed the way the world worked, at least as far as our planet was concerned. There were a few survivors of the Opening, people who'd been in the right place at the right time to survive the blasts. The closer they were to a detonation site, the more physics changed for them. Many of them found that when they began to observe the world, the world itself would change in ways that shouldn't have been possible.

Later, it was deduced that remnants of the energy had formed a kind of entanglement between parts of the human body and whatever was on the other side of the Opening, which seemed to be a functionally-limitless amount of energy. Some said it was magic. Others said it was divine. Whatever it was, it had changed the course of human history.

The first abilities manifested soon after the Opening as the powers stabilized. Hundreds of people - most of them just regular folks - suddenly had the power to reshape the world around them. Some went insane. Some proclaimed themselves prophets or deities or local warlords. A fair few killed themselves, and a handful began working for what was left of their shattered governments. It wasn't long before they began to fight each other, and with such vast powers at their disposal, the world began to come apart at the seams.

In a last-ditch effort to save humanity and what was left of the species, the most powerful of the gifted (someone now known simply as the First) instituted the Athenian Ultimatum, named for the city where it was first instituted. The Ultimatum was simple: Obey or Die. After the first few warlords were slaughtered, the rest started to get the hint, and many fell in line. Honestly, more than a few were happy to have what seemed like a reasonable authority figure taking charge again - they hadn't been prepared for what happened and were all too eager for the world to return to a semblance of normality.

What the public found out later was that the dead weren't just left to die - their bodies were collected and brought in.

The people of the world used the respite brought about by the Ultimatum and reorganized themselves. National borders were redrawn and the survivors condensed to a handful of nations desperate to survive. Worldwide telecommunications systems had been badly damaged, and there were neither the people nor the supplies to easily repair them. The Opening alone could have been endured - the brief but all-too-long nuclear war and the fighting between the gifted was too much.

The survivors moved to the remaining cities, each a kind of nation-state in its own right. The suburban and rural areas were all but abandoned, especially as the prospect of a new nuclear winter set in and food became quite scarce outside of the areas cities could easily protect. Worldwide transportation was badly hobbled, and travel all but stopped except for the most powerful.

In the midst of it all, the First issued a new directive to those with the power of the Opening. Those who had obeyed were to become part of a new international organization with one purpose: to prevent others from using their powers for selfish ends. They would travel anywhere, and they would do anything necessary to stop the misuse of power. No nation could refuse them - not when the First commanded nearly three dozen gifted survivors and thus more military power than the rest of the surviving world combined.

Fortunately for humanity, the First was clear about their objectives - and had no interest in controlling the rest of humanity, nor in allowing their subordinates to do so on their behalf. One tried, but the Athenian Ultimatum was still in effect - and they were promptly terminated. The message was clear to the survivors.

In the years after the Opening and the events that followed, it became clear that a few new people were born with gifts each year. A few warlords and would-be gods had escaped the great purge, quietly consolidating their forces in parts of the world that permitted no contact with the outside. In any case, cities were too busy establishing themselves and trying to feed their hungry populations. There were few sources of new materials because the factories were gone, and all hands were needed to farm and produce food. It would take decades for populations to replenish enough to even start to reclaim new lands, and all the while, cities faced issues like raids from roaming gangs (or worse, other cities), diseases, and the occasional appearance of a new gifted.

Behind the scenes, the First was studying the Opening - and it became clear that the connection to power did not simply disappear when a person died. The connection remained in a corpse, and could move into the soil... and from there to water or food and into a new body. Sometimes it would be an adult that gained the power - other times, a child. With careful control, the connection could be pushed into a deliberate target, though the connection was always at its most powerful when it was closest to the source.

And so they began to clone the dead gifted, transferring the power into new bodies and raising up a generation of followers. They say the First is immortal now, after some of what they've done, and it's true that they're still alive and acting. They don't act in person as often anymore, but any gifted who steps too far out of line is quickly shown the error of your ways.

It is now 144 years after the Opening. The world is still dangerous, and in many ways it has only grown more so since the Opening. Cities guard their resources jealously, building great walls to keep out as many dangers as possible while citizens live in their cramped streets.

And you? Chances are you are a clone of one of the gifted, raised in the First's primary facility in Greece - arguably the safest place in the world because nobody is stupid enough to assault it. Your upbringing has been challenging at times, but fair - the First is not a tyrant, and you have always been encouraged to express your individuality (so long as you do not disobey the First - children are permitted a bit of rebellion as their minds and personalities develop, but adults have no excuses). When not engaged in training or study, you have quite a lot of free time to pursue your interests and develop as a person, or to practice your powers as allowed.

If you're not a clone, you are a former rogue gifted who chose to obey rather than die when a team arrived at your doorstep - and you're a bit surprised by how well you've been treated. You've been allowed a fair bit of freedom, and aside from a few medical tests, nothing horribly invasive has been done to you... though all the members you've met have been very clear that there are no second chances. You've taken this advice to heart and are a genuine collaborator now, fully supporting the organization.

Like all of the Gifted, you know how to turn your powers on and off. This manifests in different ways for different people - some immediately develop mentally or physically, turning from a sickly lad into a paragon of health, or from an average student to a genius of astounding intellect. Others have their abilities activate in more subtle ways. At the command of the First, however, use of abilities and a connection to the powers of the Opening is only to be used in four situations:

1) To complete a task given to you, usually by the command of your superiors

2) In self-defense, to protect yourself when lesser measures are not enough

3) To train and develop your abilities in an appropriate location

4) When a situation otherwise justifies the use of near-divine abilities as a remedy, such as stopping a natural disaster or an attempt to use a nuclear weapon

You have done well in your training, and the First has decided that you have earned an opportunity to demonstrate your competence in the traditional way - working with a small team of others, free of your superiors' direct supervision for the first time, to independently take down a rogue gifted. Per the Athenian Ultimatum, there are only two acceptable outcomes to the mission: your target is convinced to join the organization or they are slain. Anything less is too great of a risk to the world. How you accomplish this is largely left to your discretion, though the organization strongly favors methods that do not interfere with the governments of the city-states of the world.

If you succeed, you will be a full member of the organization - allowed to vote on certain matters, request assignments that appeal to you, and enjoy significantly more freedom in your day-to-day life.

----------------

Game Information:

This game will use a slight variation on the Godbound rules. The most important part of this is your abilities. All characters start with the standard ability array of 16, 14, 13, 13, 10, and 8 - this is your default strength as a human. In the default state, you do not have access to any of your abilities - not even the passive ones. Instead, you have the ability to activate your powers at-will by calling upon your Connection. When you activate your powers, you instantly gain access to all of your abilities, and their effects can persist past your activation. Gifted do not walk around with their powers active all the time for one simple reason: The First doesn't like it, especially for gifted who can use mind-control or similar powers. In fact, only the four situations listed above are considered acceptable reasons to open your Connection. (It's less of a concern for people whose only abilities are direct and obvious, such as throwing fire. Someone who can mind-control a building just by walking in, however? They're watched far more carefully.) When your powers are not active, you'll need to rely on more mundane means of accomplishing your goals - especially because "it was easier with my powers" is rarely an accepted explanation. Some trusted individuals are given more leeway - those with only protective and healing abilities, for example, may even be allowed to keep their Connection permanently enabled.

All Words are available except for the following: Apotheosis, Knowledge, Sorcery. The expansion book, Lexicon of the Throne, is permitted. (The reason for this is that you're not going to become true deities in this game, Knowledge would make many quests and challenges far too easy, and Sorcery is not present in this post-apocalyptic Earth.)

This game is heavily themed on the idea of being part of an organization with rules and hard, fast punishments if things are broken without a good explanation. However, this does not mean you must play a rigidly lawful character for fear that setting one toe out of line will get you killed. In fact, more likely, you'll never even be at risk of punishment unless you deliberately seek it out. Your characters are encouraged to be creative and independent about solving problems, not mindless servitors, and the organization is prepared to overlook a significant amount of shenanigans as long as you don't betray them. Either way, your character should be a willing supporter of the organization's efforts. The reasoning is up to you - anything from "I was raised to support the group" to "I decided I didn't want to die, so I'm cooperating" is fine, but you should have a reason. The organization is basically benevolent - this isn't Paranoia.

Gifted may be from any ethnic group, but no pre-Opening nations remain, and cultures may have changed significantly. If you were cloned from a previous gifted, you were raised at the organization's main institute in Athens (Greece no longer exists) and given a general education detailing existing cities and your own pre-Opening ethnic history. If you are a former rogue gifted, you are intimately familiar with the culture of one major city somewhere in the world, and we can work together to establish the details. (Remember that many areas were generally isolationist.)

Character Submissions: Aside from the "keep a base version of your abilities for when your powers are inactive" thing, you should have a first-level character. You can find a free version of the Godbound rules online, by the way. The main thing I will be looking at, however, is your character's personality and backstory. I have a strong preference for well-detailed characters, and the better they fit in with the world presented here while still being interesting and unique, the more likely they are to be chosen. If you're not sure what to talk about, consider telling me about how your character feels about their abilities and how said abilities have affected their life so far.

Submissions will close when I feel like it, but not for several days at a minimum. The crunchy part of your profile is required, but that's mostly so I can get a better sense of how they'll play mechanically. The background and personality is the part I'll actually be judging.


The official discussion thread.


I've been playing PF for a few years now, but one thing I've never figured out is Wizard stat blocks - specifically, why they're referred to by their chosen school.

We get a lot of examples of this in the NPC Codex, starting on Page 178. There, we have characters like "Gnome Enchanter 2", "Human Diviner 4", "Elf Transmuter 5", and "Halfling Evoker 7". You get the same phrasing in their spell blocks - they don't have Wizard spells, they have Enchanter, Diviner, Transmuter (etc.) spells. I don't recall seeing any other class written this way. I'm curious about this - I've never seen a rule saying to write Wizards this way, or a list of the correct names. It just... happens. And if people didn't know the game well enough, they might dig through the books looking for a Diviner class when they really want a Wizard. Does anyone know why this happens?


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My apologies if this has already been addressed.

Anyway, for the Pathfinder Playtest (and ultimately PF2), I'd appreciate it if the CRB had clearer information about the manifestations of spells that appear when they're being cast - what they are, what affects them, and how they ultimately play into the game. Perhaps something along these lines?

Quote:
Manifestations: Every spell creates a visual manifestation in the square(s) of the caster when it's being cast, the exact appearance of which is up to your group. This manifestation exists regardless of the spell's components (or lack thereof). Any character who can see a manifestation can make a [Relevant Skill] check to identify the spell as it is being cast. The manifestation of a spell can be seen even if the caster is invisible, but is otherwise hidden by anything that normally blocks accurate sight to the caster's square (such as a wall, an Obscuring Mist spell, or an illusion). A spell must be identified by its manifestation before it can be counterspelled.


Your schooling was over. Not from desire, no - you'd been studying conjuration for years, and if you'd had any say in it, you would have continued to hone your talents at calling forth creatures that could do your bidding. You weren't stupid - you knew what devils were like - but the truth many outsiders hated to admit was that many devils were actually quite reasonable when it came to the diabolists of Cheliax. If you made a stupid deal, it was your own fault and you deserved whatever happened, but the devils didn't need to try very hard to get souls when arcanists were falling all over themselves to get power and rise in the esteem of House Thrune.

Still... there was one thing you had to do before you left the academy to go home for your mother. At first, you'd been resigned to coming home with a partial mastery of imp-calling - enough to terrify commoners, but even most amateur wizards would scoff at the idea that it represented real power. Then, as the days before you left counted down, you remembered something your father said when he gave you the scroll. It could help with calling a wide variety of outsiders.

The more you thought about it, the more certain you became that there was more to the scroll, so the hunt began. No amateur would be able to decipher the fiendishly complex markings around the outside of the scroll. The lines and curves, in patterns just so, revealing... what? The deadline was approaching. You stopped sleeping and barely ate, knowing this would be your best chance to return home more experienced, more powerful - powerful enough to protect your mother in the midst of the growing madness.

Finally, the evening before you were scheduled to leave, you stopped moving the chalk. The ritual circle was complete, and everything was in place. Once, twice, five times - you checked it over and over, but it was right. It was like no magic formation you'd seen before, not in the books or the instructors' demonstrations of what magic circles could do for powerful conjurers. The most frightening part was the sheer power of the circle - and the simplicity that made it easy to draw and power once you knew what you were doing. This was a circle designed to be used - and every indication on the scroll was that it would allow for bargains of true power.

Sure, there was danger... but hadn't you studied this for years? Hadn't you called forth creatures in the past, convinced them to do your will? This was the same, just on a grander scale, and you stared at the last line of your instructions. Then, carefully, you set a bowl in the middle of the circle. Within was a wooden symbol of Shelyn, and you dropped a lit match onto it a moment later. As it began to burn, you spoke the last lines of the ritual.

<"Pescyra. Pescyra. Pescyra. Accept this offering and appear before me.">

As you spoke, the holy symbol erupted into bright flames, consuming it in just a few seconds. For almost a minute, the circle glowed in silence. Then you heard a voice in Infernal coming from the other side.

<"What do you mean the portal's open? Nobody on that world should be even close to deciphering that scroll for another two hundre- huh. This may be the opportunity we've been looking for."> The magic circle pulsed, and in a few moments, a feminine figure appeared within the circle and smirked down at the ashes of the holy symbol you'd destroyed. Then, slowly, she looked up to you.

<"Well, well. Younger than I thought. You show promise, human... I think I like you. It's not every day a novice manages to surprise me. I am Pescyra, Queen of Dis. Who are you and why do you seek a contract with me?">


Well, my searching hasn't revealed much, so... I'm looking for some kind of program that will allow me to record game information. Now, it'd be easy if I just wanted to take notes or something - literally any word processor, yo - but what I'd really like is to be able to have story stuff on one side and mechanics (ability uses, attack rolls, etc.) on the other side, mostly in a column split. Each side should be separate - if I make edits on the right, I don't want it to mess up anything on the next page's left side (assuming there are multiple pages, rather than just one long one). Occasionally, I'd like to have pictures (that might be a page all by themselves, not cut off by columns. Microsoft Word can sort of mimic this, but having to create sidebars individually for every freaking page is a bit much. XD; I'd rather have something a bit more natural and user-friendly.

Does anyone know of software meeting this criteria?


Discussion thread.


Gameplay thread!


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<Greetings, technologically inferior meatbags. It has come to our attention that your amusing magitech roleplaying game has been lacking a more readily accessible source of content from third-party publishers. Accordingly, we have taken it upon ourselves to interface with the quaint network you refer to as the 'internet' and provide a 'wiki' through which you can access Open Game Content, including new races, classes, themes, archetypes, starships, and more.>

<While your primitive concept of laws permits us to host this information for you without charging you to access it, we do recommend that you engage in commerce and purchase any material you use through the links provided, here on Paizo.com, or potentially, through your Friendly Local Game Shop (when available). In addition to helping third-party publishers stay in the market and continue creating content for you to enjoy, owning a copy of the material ensures you can still access it in the event that you cannot use the internet during your gaming sessions. Owned copies may also provide content not available on the site.>

Click Here to visit the SF3PP Wiki!

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Questions:

Are you directly competing with the Starfinder SRD?

<We don't think so. Based on the history of the Starfinder SRD's owner, that site appears to be focused on first-party content - that is, mainly material from Paizo, though it may occasionally add other things. The SF3PP wiki is focused entirely on third-party publishers. It is not a complete rules site all by itself, but rather, an easily accessible source of additional rules and options that may not be available elsewhere online.>

How much content will you be hosting?

<As much as our manipulation appendages can acquire. As of this writing, we have content from three different releases, and fully intend to add more when possible.>

---------

<Note to Publishers: As an advanced species, we have limited agreements with races that have yet to reach ascension. However, we are open to the idea of partnerships that will provide you with greater control over when your content appears on the wiki and additional information about what content on the wiki is popular, which you may find useful when deciding what products to create in the future. You are encouraged to message this account, or send a message through the contact form on the wiki, if you are interested in such a partnership.>


So, I need one more player for a different game as well! The original recruitment rules can be found here, though the game has advanced to 4th level and is now in Book 2. As usual, I'm most interested in creative and interesting backstories, while characters themselves should avoid min-maxing and try to balance out their abilities instead of supercharging them.


The North is in need of a new hero...

Due to real-life issues, one of the players in my Northlands game has had to bow out... so we need a replacement! It's a good time to come in, too, since the party just finished the prologue adventure...

You can read the initial build rules here, and you should also read literally everything here in the Campaign Info tab. I cannot over-emphasize how important that is, because the fluff of your character will make or break them. The Northlands is not a generic fantasy region, and characters should be written to fit in with their independent-minded culture.

Note that the party has advanced to 4th Level, so match that. You may have up to 1,000 GP in non-magical items. (Magic items are very rare here, and not available to purchase, but the Automatic Bonus Progression rules mean you don't have to worry about it as much because you're naturally heroic. Some items may not be available due to the region's economy.)

Existing Party Members:
Eindrid (Human Cavalier/Bard)
Eydis (Human Incanter/Warpriest)

What I'm Looking For:
The party needs someone who will fit in well. Ideally, at least one side of your gestalt will include a skillful class to help deal with traps, sailing, et cetera. Note that this does not mean you should be a thief - theft is rare in the Northlands, and punished harshly. You're intended to be heroes, too, so come up with a more noble explanation for whatever talents you have. Also, note that magic of all kinds is rare in the North, and characters who possess it should be written accordingly. (You don't have to be magical, either.)

I do not like min-maxed characters, and anyone who seems too optimized (as measured by this chart, where green is ideal and too many blues is bad) will not be chosen. Otherwise, you will be judged on a balance of how well your character fits in with the party and how appropriate, well-written, and generally interesting your backstory is. (<- This will matter more than your exact class combination. The better your background is, the more likely I am to pick you.)


Recently, I've been seeing a number of creatures and weapons that deal Plasma (Half Fire/Half Elec) damage, and it got me thinking... are there any other uncommon types of energy, particularly hybrids, that have been published and given their own names? I'm kind of interested in building a complete list of things like that - it might come in handy for spicing up some enemies and whatnot. XD


Discuss things here!


Gameplay thread!


*Coughs* Little bit awkward, but... I'm trying to set something up, and I need to figure out how to configure an HTML template to replace all instances of one URL link on a site to a different link when a page is generated. (Since they're not 'fixed' pages, I can't just edit a static version of it and be done.)

Is there anyone here who might be able to help me figure this out?


For discussing things!

...One thing to note, Zayne, is that your dwarf friend Rodzin Silverbeard is not the only non-caster who can make magic items in Bard's Gate. It's a wealthy metropolis with an abnormally high number of people with high character class levels. It's not like there's a master craftsman on every street, but there's certainly a fair few present.

On Social Status: This may not have been written as clearly as it could have, so... your "real" social status is whatever you're willing to pay for, basically. The city cares about money. XD Your "modified" social status is the result after you apply your racial and class adjustments, and it's what people will actually treat you as. So, pick a social status you want to live at, and a district that's appropriate, and I'll give you your housing options.


For gameplay.


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Get ready to read... XD

Bard's Gate - considered by many to be the center of civilized lands, this teeming trade metropolis has power far beyond its size thanks to the wit of its leaders and the size of its purse. But while many treasures can be found across the lands, even more can be found off the world of Lloegyr... and it is through countless doorways and realms beyond imagining that you will soon travel.

Map of Bard's Gate

This is a plane-hopping campaign based out of Bard's Gate, arguably the most central city of the entire Lost Lands setting - it's certainly the most well-detailed city there, and probably in the entire Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. (No, seriously. It's more than 500 pages long, and there is a heck of a lot of detail.) The main focus of the game will be a series of assignments that will take you to some of the most exotic locations and demiplanes in the universe.

Given the many new places your characters will go, an eye towards (eventually) getting some kind of planar movement powers/items/whatever would be wise, as well as things that can let you survive in dangerous environments (underwater, in various energy types, etc.).

Primer on Bard's Gate:

Bard’s Gate in the Lost Lands

In the world of Lloegyr (called simply the Lost Lands by most), Bard’s Gate holds a place as an independent city-state and political and financial power far beyond its size and expected level of influence. It accomplishes this through a combination of extensive and lucrative trade networks, the ability to project its military power far beyond the capabilities of its actual military forces, and a level of political and diplomatic acumen far beyond that commonly seen in the region.

The trade networks that Bard’s Gate has carefully established and nurtured are the true key to its surprisingly expansive influence. From the beginning of its existence, the King’s Bridge trademoot and later the actual free city of Bard’s Gate realized that its principal function and means of continued existence relied upon a commanding influence on trade in its region. The fact that it controlled the northernmost crossing of the Stoneheart River, enabling east-west trade and north-south trade to easily coordinate, helped this endeavor immensely. The fact that its control of this crossing lay north of the traditional bounds of the Kingdoms of Foere and thus provided a neutral point of trade that, while allied with the Foerdewaith Crown, was able to maintain its own independent trade relations provided a convenient stopover for nations that were overtly hostile to Foere, such as some of the nation-states of Akados including Oceanus in the north and the Heldring in the south, or were occasional rivals of the Hyperborean Monarchy of Foere, such as Reme to the west and the borderland and sundered kingdom realms of the east. The fact that it lay upon the shortest land route between the eastern and western seas as well as the land route to the eastern continent only added to the strategic significance of its position.

In addition to the exceptional trade location of Bard’s Gate is added its exceptional handling and emphasis that is has purposely placed on the passage of trade. For most of the city’s existence the Stoneheart River’s system of cataracts just inside the forest of the south made river trade difficult at best, but early on the city installed well-maintained portages within the bounds of forest. Rangers were employed to patrol the surrounding woodlands and ensure that the portages remained safe for use and clear from hostile occupation by the unfriendly denizens of the forest. The use of these rangers and the exploits of their founder eventually expanded and became the genesis of the group known as the Longhunters who continue to provide wilderness security in the Bard’s Gate region to this day. And with the development of the unparalleled engineering demonstrated in Karling’s Contraption in recent years to provide a safe and reliable river lift to avoid the need of portage altogether, trade along the Stoneheart has never been more lucrative.

Similarly, Bard’s Gate quickly strove to — if not exactly tame — at least subdue the Lyre Valley to ensure that the roadways converging within it were safe for trade. Much of the city’s early coin went to funding the patrols of these roads so much so that the actual defenses of the city were greatly delayed. It was centuries after the city’s founding that proper walls were constructed. This interest similarly spread westward to the entirety of the Stoneheart Valley and led to the natural alliance and continued relations between the city and the Duchy of the Waymarch.

More recently as the city’s influence continued to expand and its high burghers and mayors contemplated greater aspirations, it began a subtle but determined policy of gaining leverage in sea trade. First investing its resources in Freegate as a principle port of trade and then slowly bringing to rein the heretofore often-lawless waters of the Amrin Estuary, Bard’s Gate began its expansion at sea. Always careful to neither offend nor favor the Foerdewaith Crown or the burgeoning naval empire of Oceanus, Bard’s Gate was able to carefully negotiate the margins between the two and gain its own maritime sphere of influence.

The resounding success of the city’s sea trade strategy in this is evidenced by the welcome of Bard’s Gate ships in every major port upon the Gulf of Akados and the Sinnar Ocean — both in Akados and Libynos — though with some level of begrudging tolerance in rival Endhome. Moreover, the city actually controls major ports of trade in Freegate, Eastgate, and at Cantyn Light with a major naval base at Telar Brindel precariously balanced between the mutually hostile ships out of Eastwatch and Tros Zoas. Yet despite the constantly wary navies of Foere and Oceanus out of the latter two ports, seemingly always looking for a fight over the least provocation, the ships bearing the flag of Bard’s Gate are able to traverse the Pontine Straits and beyond with little risk of boarding or search-and seizure. Both nations recognize the value of a powerful neutral trade partner.

The naval base and citadel at Telar Brindel is also an excellent example of the city’s ability to project power far beyond its ability to field forces sufficient to truly enforce this projection of authority. As a landlocked city with its only sea access through a river that winds more than a thousand miles through the territory of a rival kingdom and by trade roads that cover 500 miles or more just to reach the coast, Bard’s Gate is not a natural fit as a maritime trade power. However, the city leaders have wisely understood that generous coin and a free hand go much farther in diplomacy and remote leadership than a sharpened spear and firm grip. The high burghers consistently promoted profitability over patriotism and, as a result, were able to lure in and hire the best naval officers of the eastern seas. The free flow of coin also ensured that quality ships could be built or purchased for this cream of the crop to command. The lack of an ethnic or national identity permits sailors from any nation-state to sign on to crew these ships for decent wages, good leadership, and without fear of impressment by their own or any other navy they may encounter. Serving as a sailor in the navy of Bard’s Gate is not the most prestigious of naval traditions, but it is by far one of the most lucrative among the rank-and-file with better pay and better conditions than most.

With quality ships under skilled masters plying the waters of the Amrin Estuary and Pontine Coast to squelch its centuries-long tradition of piracy and to help keep the sea trade flowing, it was only natural for the city to look to guard its land interests at its ports of call. Ships companies tend to want to stay with their ships, and a company of marines is only equipped and provisioned for maintaining a land position for so long, so the city knew it needed a more permanent solution — or at least somewhat more permanent. The city has no tradition of a permanent standing army, and as a free trade city never had need of one. Its own defenses are maintained by the small, elite force of the Lyreguard and the ranks of volunteer Free Defenders, neither of which are numerous enough nor particularly suited for a stationing at a distant post.

For long years the city had maintained a special relationship of mutual defense with its western neighbor, the Duchy of Waymarch, that had expanded into a tradition of hiring the numerous-but poorly-funded forces from the duchy as long-term mercenary companies. The advantage of these hires lay in the continued good relations with the city’s closest neighbor and the benefits of discipline and stability that came from hiring mercenary forces from an existing military rather than just roving free companies. The constantly renewing treaty and contracts have proved lucrative for both the cash-strapped duchy and the cavalry troopers themselves who receive not only their standard pay, largely funded by the coffers of Bard’s Gate per the terms of the contract, but also a substantial foreign-service bonus that is entirely funded by Bard’s Gate. This engenders a loyalty and comity among these mercenary troops that Bard’s Gate enjoys and has come to rely on more than once. Originally, the use of the Waymark troops allowed Bard’s Gate to free up more of its native forces to man the distant posts of its hegemony. However, the more recent legal innovation allowing Waymark forces to be deployed directly to these holdings has increased the security and presence of Bard’s Gate’s forces abroad and has resulted in the unusual occurrence of sighting cavalrymen of Waymarch in such far-flung places as Telar Brindel, the Moon Fog Hills of the District of Sunderland, and the mouth of the Binjeran River at Cantyn Light, as well as many points in between.

The result of all this diplomatic, financial, and legal wrangling is that the city of Bard’s Gate continues to maintain and fund only a relatively small permanent military force, but through its allies and prodigious purse is able to place competent, professional forces far afield to maintain and steadying presence and even reinforce them with greater numbers as needed to deal with local threats. The fact that it is in the great interests of many allied nations that Bard’s Gate maintain its neutrality as well as its trade connections ensures that no formal military threat has ever imperiled one of these outposts. The value of the free city’s existence was further underscored with a recent attack on Bard’s Gate by the foreign Huun invaders that mobilized much of the folk of Akados to come to their aid. The fact the Huun were seen as an imminent threat to all peoples of the continent certainly called for a cooperative military response, but loss of coin by the many nations with the city’s investment surely spurred them on to swifter and more direct action — a development that was not lost on the city leaders nor on the surrounding powers that be as the city and entire continent look forward into the uncertain times that they face.

The final key to the unprecedented success and power of a city the size of Bard’s Gate and the fundamental role that it has played in its relatively short history in Akados is the legendary diplomacy and political maneuvering of its leadership and ambassadors. A free city that is a fraction of the size of most of the continent’s major cities is not only able to count itself among them (if not above them) but finds its diplomats on equal footing with even the most powerful courts of two continents. Much like with the trade networks and financed allies as mentioned above, this final principle of the city relies on the same circumstances — wealth and a diverse cast from which to call upon. As a center of trade, Bard’s Gate commands financial resources equal to or exceeding even the great banker cities of the continent such as Remballo and Tourse. But unique, perhaps in all the world, to Bard’s Gate is its emphasis as a center of education. The courts of distant Ammuyad are said to sponsor great universities, and many cities across Akados boast great institutions of learning, but few have placed the resources and civic support behind them like that of Bard’s College. The first true high burgher of Bard’s Gate was the founder of the college after all, and its support and emphasis became a tradition followed by all high burghers thereafter.

But even more than this nearly unprecedented level of sponsorship (there are certainly universities in Reme and Courghais that have received more political or financial backing) is that Bard’s College doesn’t merely teach musical skill and the arts, it teaches oratory and diplomacy. Many of the graduates of Bard’s College go on to become some of the greatest and most famous maestros and artists in the world, and more importantly many of them go on to become some of the greatest leaders and statesmen. And if there’s more than a little magical training in their curriculum, it only serves to enhance their already considerable training in engaging and influencing people.

It is a fact that Bard’s Gate is home to more individuals per capita with high character class levels than virtually anywhere else in the known world, and this certainly lends to both the quality of the training and the skill level (in both the mundane and magical arts) that Bard’s Gate fields as diplomats, envoys, spies, and agents. Combined with no small amount of guidance and support by a body as august and powerful as the Dominion Arcane, which has its own interest in seeing the city prosper, the ambassadors and negotiators are formidable indeed, as well as, backed by a significant treasury for use in smoothing paths and brokering deals. The representatives of Bard’s Gate are neither so immoral nor so foolish as to try something as crude and underhanded as magically charming those with whom they negotiate with, but there are many applications of magic that are benign and supportive and even more applications of valuable skills and experience gained in the learning and practice of such arts.

A common saying among those who deal with diplomats from Bard’s Gate is, “Keep your eye on your purse, not because they’ll steal it but because you’ll end up giving it freely”. Many a foreign negotiator, leery of magical influence, comes to the table with the envoys of Bard’s Gate prepared with dweomers to detect and dispel any charms and influences that might be in effect, but none are ever found and such measures are ultimately pointless. The skills and abilities brought to the negotiation table by a legate of Bard’s Gate are much too subtle and effective for such methods to disrupt.

Laws and Customs

As a free city, Bard’s Gate establishes its own laws and customs. Though as a trade city, these are principally designed to protect the interest of visiting traders as well as the city’s residents in order to keep trade open and vibrant.

Weapons and Armor

Generally, the various District Watches allow the wearing of light armor (and hide armor as a medium armor) unless otherwise noted. Medium (other than hide) or heavy armors are frowned upon if not outright prohibited. At best, guardsmen take note of those wearing such armors and will approach and question them closely, threatening them with arrest if they do not leave the district immediately and not come back until they have removed the offending armor. If the wearer can show official credentials as being about the business of the city or are successful at making a DC 20 Diplomacy check (modified by the District Modifier listed in each district’s description), then they are allowed to go about their business though still under careful observation (–4 to all attempts at Stealth, Sleight of Hand, Disguise, or similar checks). In addition to the prohibition on armor only light weapons, longswords, rapiers, or whips may be carried openly, and these must be sheathed.

There is no requirement of “peace-binding” such weapons, as this is generally seen as an effete affectation, though many aristocrats and some young fops have adopted the custom. Martial weapons, two-handed weapons, and exotic weapons must be stowed. No polearms are allowed. Persons in violation of these rules quickly draw the attention of the guard.

After a warning, persistent violators have their weapons confiscated. If serious problems arise, veteran warriors are called in to deal with violators, as are priests of Vannithu, who volunteer with the guard. These laws are more strictly enforced as one moves closer to the Keep District — in some outer districts, the constables do not have enough manpower to enforce weapons laws too strictly, and often let minor violations slide as long as no one causes trouble.

Magic

Open use of magic is frowned upon — particularly spell casting. The casting of low-level personal spells is tolerated, though not in shops or stores. Destructive spells or spells affecting others are always outlawed, though unless done in the open one most likely avoids detection. This draws the attention of the constables and a sheriff, and possibly a low-level wizard with the sheriff.

Defenses

The town has recently replaced an earthen rampart and wooden palisade around the city with a stone wall capped with a crenellated parapet. The entire fortification rises 50 feet. The town is separated internally by canals with narrow bridges that provide an additional defense in the event the outer walls are breached, and allow for defense by a relatively small number of defenders.

The Canals

The canals were built to help facilitate the river trade (or avoid taxes on said trade), and cut a swath through the eastern and western sides of the city. Numerous bridges cross the canals at various points. These small bridges are removable, designed by dwarven engineers of the Silverhelm Clan, with strategic sections along their length that can be removed from either side in only minutes. They offer greater security in the event that the city is overrun, and defenders find themselves retreating to the security of the inner city.

Economics

Bard’s Gate is a remarkably prosperous city, especially given its small size. The mountains to the north used to provide metals and gems, but the mines have become too dangerous to maintain with the recent incursions of raiders in the valley and the darker threats of the higher slopes. For this reason, Bard’s Gate relies heavily on overland and river trade to the West and South. Any interruptions of traffic are investigated by the City’s agents, and especially serious problems draw the attention of Imril and his Lyreguard.

Religion

A liberal and tolerant city, Bard’s Gate is home to many different faiths.

The city’s primary religion is the worship of Oghma, God of Bards and Protector of Bard’s Gate. Closely following Oghma is the worship of Dre’uain the Lame, God of Crafts, thus the preponderance of well-made goods in the city, and Sefagreth, the official patron of the trade upon which the city is built. A shrine to Tykee, Goddess of Luck and Good Fortune, is very popular with the populace, and sees much traffic in the Bridge District. Freya, Goddess of Love and Fertility, has a very loyal following, especially among the youth. Yenomesh, the God of Glyphs and Writing, is extremely popular with the college crowd, and the abundant arcane community. Vanitthu, God of the Steadfast Guard, is venerated by many of the various city watches; his temple in the Old Temple District is a bastion for city defenders. Belon the Wise, the God of Travel and Magic, is rising in popularity, his name carried on the lips of many making their way around the Lost Lands. The Khemitite goddess Bast also enjoys an unusual popularity for a western city, the presence of her cats seen as a mark of good luck by the inhabitants.

Other notable religions include the worship of the older gods, such as Thyr, God of Justice and his sister Muir, Goddess of Virtue — though the people of Bard’s Gate tend to deemphasize these gods’ lawful natures, and respect, rather than truly revere them. These two deities suffered a major setback with the sacking of their more prominent temples to the north, near the Stoneheart Valley Dungeon. Jamboor, the Hyperborean God of Magic and Secrets, is still given lip-service by many within the Dominion Arcane. The grain goddess Ceres was once oft-venerated among the folk of the city but now is all but forgotten. In like manner worship of these old gods has declined, along with their once-proud temples, and many of the newer gods hold sway over Bard’s Gate.

Many, many other gods and goddesses are venerated in Bard’s Gate as well, and some outsiders refer to it as the City of a Thousand Gods, with good reason. Such deities as Moccavallo, God of Treachery, Mitra, God of Justice and the Sun, Pekko, God of Ales and Grains, and Gromm, God of Storms, are but a few of the gods that have shrines and devoted priesthoods. The city’s nonhuman inhabitants also follow their own faiths as well, including Dwerfater and Darach-Albith, as well as a long-venerated shrine to the Bird Goddess Rhiaan, who is seen as a protector of the vale, and a temple to the enigmatic deity known only as The Spider.

The open worship of evil deities is prohibited, though in a city this size there are always secret cabals of evil that go unchecked and in the shadows, darker worship services are held. It is widely rumored that the Cult of Orcus, Demon-Prince of the Undead, has established itself in Bard’s Gate, and stories of the Cult of Set and its abominable practices circulate constantly. The Toad-God Tsathogga, whose followers assisted in desecrating the Valley of the Shrines, are also said to be present here, working behind the scenes to bring ruin to the city. Recently, activity in the sewers suggests the Rat-Queen S’Surimiss is actively taking a role in the City. So far, the authorities have proved unable to root out these cults or even to conclusively prove that they exist. Rumors suggest that the Cult of Hel may be active again in the Wilderness, and strange disappearances in the Foreign Quarters, as well as whispers in the Black Market, suggest The Master may be the one behind the local slave-trade.

Build Rules:

-Starting Level: 5, under Gestalt rules. However, only one class may be from Paizo. The other may be from Dreamscarred Press or material from the Spheres of Power Wiki. Anything from Gonzo or other sources is on a case-by-case basis. Also, I strongly dislike min-maxed or overly focused Gestalts. It's best to focus on at least two party roles, and I will be checking your characters against this list. A character who's blue in their specialty (without exceeding) and green or orange elsewhere is probably fine.

--The main point of this is to encourage you to try something new, rather than simply rehashing familiar classes for another game.

--You may not multiclass, except into the Aristocrat NPC class. Stick with the two main classes you want.

-Point Buy: 25 points. No higher than 18 in any score after racial adjustments. (Your fourth-level bonus and any ability-boosting items or class abilities are not included in this.)

-Alignment: Non-evil

-Races: Core or Featured, but with a preference for non-monstrous.

-Starting Wealth: 10,500 GP. Do not spend your wealth before your character is selected, because you do have some purchases to make.

-HP: Max at first level, average rounded up afterwards.

-Skills: Background Skills are in effect. Note that to practice any craft, profession, or perform skill in Bard's Gate, you must be a member of the appropriate Guild and your character's history should reflect that.

-Faith: If your character follows a faith, deities popular in Bard's Gate are best, coming from this list. Other options include Astoroth (N God of Facts and Information-Gathering), Iris (NG Goddess of the Dawn), and Yidhra (LN&CN Goddess of Paradoxes).

-While character sheets are important, it's ultimately true that anybody who really knows how to play this game can make them. I care far more about your character's personality and background (as long as your profile meets the criteria described above), and that is the main thing I will be selecting characters on.

Character Backgrounds: Bard's Gate is a metropolis that sees people visit from many distant lands. As such, your character may realistically be either a foreigner or a native of the city. If you'd like to be from elsewhere but aren't familiar with the Lost Lands, ask and I can probably help you figure it out.

In addition, since you're starting past first level, you've already made a name for yourself somehow through work for one of the major guilds or organizations of the city. Choose one of the following options, and tell me some details about your past accomplishments with them (suitable for characters of 1st-5th level) as part of your character's background. Note that you do not actually have to be a member of some of them in order to have worked for them. It is also possible to be associated with more than one group - a Fighter/Wizard character, for example, might be part of both the Society of Arms and the Wizard's Guild.

-Bard's College: The single greatest school for music, crafts, and the arts in general throughout the known world, Bard's College is considered by many to be the true heart of the city (it certainly tends to have educated its leaders) and is a point of pride for almost every resident.

-Fellowship of Note: A secret society that focuses its efforts on eradicating evil-aligned groups that have made their way into Bard's Gate. Membership is generally kept secret even from each other, but they do seem to have an awful lot of connections...

-Order of Protectors: A society of battle-clerics that worship Vanitthu, God of the Steadfast Guard and general protector of those who need it.

-Religious Groups: There are quite a few religions in Bard's Gate - some, admittedly, rather more popular than others - but most have at least a few devout adherents willing to help somehow.

-Sisters of the Maidens' Cross: The Maidens' Cross is known by most as a tavern, but in reality it's home to a secret society of female paladins that serve Muir, Goddess of Virtue and Paladins.

-Society of Arms: The Society of Arms is the closest thing Bard's Gate has to an "Adventurer's Guild", serving as a place for mercenaries to take jobs. It also processes people looking for positions as guards, watchmen, or members of the Lyreguard or Free Defenders - people looking for any of those positions must first quality for membership in the Society. It is based out of the Market District on the far west side of the city.

-The Saints of Turlin's Well: The Saints of Turlin's Well are a group of homegrown heroes trying to take back the town from control of the Guilds, the aristocrats, and anyone else they think is "oppressing" common people. Membership only comes to those who know how to keep a fairly low profile.

-Trade Guild: Bard's Gate has many different guilds for various trades, and they have a great deal of political clout. Examples include the Herbalist and Alchemist's Guild, the Stoneworkers guild, the Tavernkeeper's Guild, and so on. If your character enjoys practicing a trade, they are probably registered with the most appropriate guild (as membership is essentially mandatory if you want to practice your trade, or even, in some cases, to buy or sell more than a certain amount of specified goods).

-Wizard's Guild: Exactly what it sounds like. The primary association of the arcane arts in Bard's Gate, the Wizard's Guild is really closer to being a secret society (with leaders who stay mostly hidden and everything), but is first in line for magical jobs and offers some excellent benefits for members. The Guild is extremely apolitical, but has reach across the planes, and indeed is likely to be a common fixture (or even employer) throughout this game.

Outside of the organization you're affiliated with, you should explain why your character is willing to take on jobs that involve exploring strange new places - often with little information to go on - at the behest of patrons and powers. That is, why are you in the dangerous role of adventuring instead of using your skills for something more peaceful? Are you gathering treasure to fund a lavish lifestyle? Are you trying to support a faith or cause? Do you want to uncover strange lore and see how far you can push yourself? Motivation is key, and I'm particularly fond of motivations that have a true human component to them.

You may find this to be a helpful guide and reference for various aspects of your personality.

Residency: While you will be traveling quite a lot, there will also be times when you'll be living at your home in (or around) Bard's Gate. As such, you need a residence of some kind. Homes are available in each of the city's districts, and you will generally want to live somewhere appropriate for your social status (below). Some guilds and organizations may provide free or low-cost housing - ask if you're curious. The general price range of each district is as follows:

Bard's College: Upper Middle Class

On the small island north of Central Island — called North Island appropriately enough — is the campus of the city’s famous university, Bard’s College, as well as the homes of several notable NPCs, and a handful of music shops and playhouses. Many consider this district to be the cultural heart and soul of the city, and it is well-patrolled and well-protected as a consequence.

Bridge District: Upper Middle Class

This district, encompassing the area of the huge bridges that span the river, as well as the great Central Island between them, is considered the heart of the city. The two bridges are constantly filled with traffic, and both are covered by elaborate wooden superstructures lining both sides of the main thoroughfare and that contain numerous shops, inns, and residences. Many of the city’s most influential and popular temples are found here, most notably the Temple of Oghma, God of Song, widely considered to be Bard’s Gate’s patron deity.

Canal District: Lower Class/Impoverished

This district is squeezed between the south wall and the canal that divides it from the dock district. Run down and seedy, Canal District is actually more of a haven for criminals than the Thieves’ District. It is home to beggars, low-level alley bashers, thugs, and other riff raff. With its many small canals and old bridges, the district does have a certain charm, and is also home to many impoverished writers, artists, and musicians, who help make this one of the most culturally diverse districts in the city.

Docks and East Docks: Lower Class

Normal Docks: Alive with the constant flow of commerce, this District is firmly under the control of major merchants and dockworker guilds. The city’s shipping magnates are quite powerful and influential, and have managed for years to avoid any great amount of oversight from city officials. Despite this, they always desire more independence and take any encroachment on their authority quite seriously. For their part, the Dock- and Shipworker’s Guilds desire a larger cut of profits from this highly prosperous district, and conflict between these different groups simmers constantly. While not nearly as prosperous or powerful as the Wheelwrights, the various dockworker’s guilds are no less money- and power-hungry.

East Docks: This district is newer than the original Dock district, and contained the city’s naval facilities, though the greater political will of Turlin’s Well allowed that district to grow and absorb those facilities recently. Unlike the Dock district, which consists mostly of warehouses and shipping facilities, the East Docks also contains a number of shops and mercantile concerns, catering to fishermen atnd sailors.

Guild District: Upper Middle Class

This district is the heart of the mercantile quarter in the western portion of the city. It is home to numerous guildhouses and craftsmen, housed in a number of large old stone buildings. Most notably, this district is home to City’s most influential (and criminally-minded) guild, the Wheelwrights, and their leader Duloth.

Market District: Lower Middle Class

The Market District is referred to as one of the Adventurers’ Districts, because of its high population of visiting fortune-seekers and explorers. The Market District gets its name from the fact that it was the location of the original open air market outside the canals of the old city. Added to the city when the wall was first built, the Market District has kept its character as a location for merchants rather than craftsmen, filled with taverns and inns. The West Gate provides an exit to the city onto the Tradeway to Reme.

The southern end of the quarter, near to the Canal District, is far rougher and seedier; this district was recently badly damaged by fire.

North Wall District: Middle Class/Lower Middle Class

This long, narrow district adjoins the Market neighborhood. It is a crowded, largely residential district, with high crime, few businesses, many taverns, and relatively cheap prices, making it an excellent location for beginning PCs.

This district suffered more damage during the Huun siege than any other within the city walls save for the Outer Quarter. The siege engines constructed by the Huun pounded the walls and the Mountain Gate, and their missiles, as well as the magical bolts called down by the invaders, that were aimed for the piedmont of the Hill’s Upper Ring fell short as often as not. Those that didn’t carry to their targets on the Hill invariably landed within the bounds of this district and wrought their destruction here. Unlike the Hill, which has largely erased the marks of those desperate days, the scars of war still remain in North Wall District. The outer surface of the wall and the gate are still scarred and scorched by the attacks of the Huun, and most city blocks here still have an abandoned house or building that was reduced to crushed rubble or a fire-blackened ruin and has yet to be repaired and reoccupied. Despite this disparity between the homes of the city’s elite versus its common folk, this district has nevertheless returned to near normalcy in the ensuing 2 years since the siege was lifted.

Old Temple District: Middle Class

Named for its many large temples (most now defunct), this small district was once the heart of the city. But many of the older gods (such as Thyr and Muir) fell from favor and their temples declined in favor of the gods of song and craft whose temples were located elsewhere in the City. Today, many of the old temples stand empty and some have been taken over by new cults or other occupants.

Outer Quarter: Lower Middle Class

This district is east of Turlin’s Well, located between the East Canal and the outer wall. Like the Well, it is an Adventurers District that contains many inns, taverns, and shops that cater to freelance rogues, fighters, wizards and the like. The Outer Quarter is a bit less prosperous than the Well, and is the haunt of slightly less reputable characters.

More than any other district in the city, the Outer Quarter felt the brunt of the besieging Huun’s attacks. For a year they focused their primary assaults on North Gate and Forest Gate and the stretch of wall that runs between. All of the small businesses and homes that had sprung up outside the wall were burned to ash, and the flaming projectiles lobbed over the walls caused great fires to spread throughout the Quarter. Only the constant intervention of the temples and the Wizards Guild and the close proximity of the East Canal kept these conflagrations from getting out of hand. Consequently, much of this district’s buildings are new construction, having been hurriedly thrown up since the lifting of the siege.

Stable Row: Middle Class

The area outside the Market Gate is known as Stable Row for obvious reasons. Traditionally a location where caravans and travelers can leave their mounts and wagons and also negotiate for new ones, this area also features a number of inns and taverns that cater to travelers who don’t have time to stay in Bard’s Gate proper. This is the gateway to the wild lands beyond, and a number of small farmsteads and stockyards are located nearby. The area is somewhat lawless, and is a scene of horse racing and gambling, with a dirt racetrack that brings gamblers from all around the Lyre Valley and town itself, “to bet on the ponies”.

Like Tent City, when the Huun siege came in recent years, the occupants of this district packed up and headed out before they arrived. Some of the local ranches were sacked and burned during that time, but the invaders didn’t travel very far afield for fear of the sudden Griffon Rider attacks that continued to come from the Citadel of Griffons throughout the siege. As a result, there was some loss of livestock and destruction of property, but the folk who frequent Stable Row were quick to recover.

Tent City: Working Poor

This transient settlement began life as a semi-permanent encampment for travelers, barbarians, and nomads who live in the vicinity of the City. Outside of Bard’s Gate proper, Tent City is rougher and more lawless, but is also a bustling trade center, where wandering merchants trade with tribes of nomadic horsemen, and contraband of all types changes hands away from the prying eyes of the city authorities.

Formerly located on the west side of the river, that location was abandoned and everything left behind burned to ash when the armies of the Huun came and invested the city with their siege. Very few of its occupants fell during the invasion, because most simply packed up and left the area at the first sign of the approaching army. Now more due to whim than any specific design, the newest incarnation of Tent City has sprung up on the Stoneheart’s eastern bank.

There are few permanent structures in Tent City, the most prominent being Fort Rendezvous, a provisoner’s longhouse and sometime-home of the Longhunter rangers. Tent City also includes a few rough stock pens, where herders and traveling drovers corral their more valuable livestock for an evening or two.

The tent settlement’s exact layout changes constantly, as new residents arrive and old ones leave. The Waymark cavalry sometimes patrols the area, but in general Tent City is beyond the reach of Bard’s Gate’s law enforcement.

The Hill: Upper Class/Aristocracy

This wealthy district is located on the west side of the city and includes several estates and larger homes. There are few merchants or shops here, though the District is home to some of Bard’s Gate’s most notable inns.

Thieves' Quarter: Upper Middle Class

Named for the now-vanished Bard’s Gate thieves’ guild, this district continues to be a dark and dangerous place, but has also become somewhat fashionable among jaded nobles and thrill-seekers. Shadowy inns and taverns sit cheek-by-jowl with drug dens, smugglers havens, and houses of ill repute. Almost anything can be bought or sold here, if the price is right. It certainly is far from the safest district in the city, but the Canal District has long since supplanted the Thieves’ Quarter as the seediest and most unpleasant spot in Bard’s Gate.

Turlin's Well: Upper Middle Class

This inner portion of the eastern section of the city is surrounded by the East Canal. This section grew up around a very large well dug by Turlin in the early days of the city (thus the name) to provide a water source for the caravans and merchants camped on the east bank of the river without having to rely on the sometimes questionably clean waters of the river itself. This district is full of small shops and bars. It is a bit more cramped than the Market District. It, along with the Outer District, is also considered by some to be an “Adventurers’ Quarter” due to its proximity to the South Gate and the large number of shops, inns and taverns. There are many craftsmen here who either have not been here long enough to be in the Market or Guild Districts, and who do not have the money to establish themselves on the Bridge.

Underhill District: Upper Middle Class (Primarily dwarves, gnomes, and halflings)

The Underhill District is a metropolis in miniature, populated by the mall folk of Bard’s Gate. Buried beneath the actual Hill District, Underhill was initially built in secret nearly 500 years ago by Silverhelm dwarves of the Stoneheart Mountains during the construction of the city’s many great public works.

To represent some of the money you earned from previous jobs, you will be able to purchase homes in your district at half their price in the book.


Because I clearly don't know when to stop running games, who'd be interested in a game with a heavy focus on plane-hopping? And I don't mean "Oh, let's visit the Plane of Fire today, and Hell tomorrow", I mean lesser-known places like quasi- and paraelemental planes, zodiacal planes, weird places connected to mortal realms... seriously, you wouldn't believe how many locations I've managed to collect over time. And hey, why not visit them?

Your home base would be Bard's Gate, the central adventuring city of Frog God Games' Lost Lands setting. If you aren't familiar with Bard's Gate, all you need to know is that it's the best and most complete city for Pathfinder I've ever seen, and there's probably no better home for your characters.

Probable Rules:

-Gestalt characters, but no more than one class published by Paizo. All others must be something found on the Spheres of Power Wiki (ask before picking something from Gonzo, tho'). Note that I dislike overly specialized or min-maxed characters, and strongly prefer generalists who are decent at many things. If you want to be stronger than appropriate for your level, this is not the game for you. I have a list of expected numbers by level and will be checking it.

-Starting Level 5 or so, because I've played enough at low-levels.

-Expect relatively short missions designed mostly to let you regularly experience new places.

-Party's choice of sandbox or getting a written plot.


Now that it's available... as usual, it's also reviewed. XD


Discussion Thread.


For gameplay!


You Will Need: The Godbound Rulebook (don't worry, this is the free edition and it has everything you'll need - also, it's much easier to learn than Pathfinder is)

Description of this game: Godbound is a game of divine heroes in a broken world, men and women who have seized the tools that have slipped from an absent God's hands. Bound by seeming chance to the Words of Creation, these new-forged titans face a world ravaged by the mad ambitions of men and the cruel legacy of human folly. Their foes are many: the jealous parasite gods that suck at the wounds of the world, the furious Angelic Host that once held Heaven against the armies of men, and the endless legions of sorcerers, god-monsters, mortal tyrants, and eldritch relicts that scourge the shattered realms. The Godbound stand against these horrors, determined to forge a better world from the fragments of the old. Still, not all these newborn divinities have a hero's soul, and some nurture red dreams of glory and unfettered rule. Will you be a merciful god to your people, or will you make them dread your holy name?

This particular game will take place on Ancem, which is fully detailed in the free rulebook.

----------

Things to Know

> Godbound is built as a sandbox RPG. Therefore, your decisions as players will have a major impact on the story, and what you choose to do is generally the most important thing. You absolutely must be willing to take the initiative and decide what to do next. If you're feeling a bit lost, just be bold and go do something. Many people struggle with this in PbP games - sandboxes are hard - which is why I'm telling you this now. Please do not apply unless you're willing to actively be engaged in pushing things forward, rather than waiting for me as the GM to tell you what to do next. I want you to affirm this in your application using your own words - those that don't will simply not be selected.

> Godbound is also a high-powered game. To paraphrase the rulebook, if you're the Goddess of Stab and a peasant has offended you, you're probably not even going to have to roll in order to get rid of them. Stab is going to happen. Many 'lesser' acts are things you can simply assume success for - it's only when you do something that really pushes your abilities that rolls tend to get involved.

> This is probably a moderate-length game. I am looking for players who can be consistent, and who are certain they can be around for at least three years. If you're not sure you'll be able to play steadily over that timeframe, please do not apply. Similarly to the above, please tell me in your own words that you're able to commit to this game.

> I like games that move along at a regular pace - ideally one post a day.

> Your character can be from any of the nations listed in the setting. There is no alignment system, but you're expected to be someone who can get along with the rest of your pantheon. Don't worry about where you'll start or how you all got together, because I've got a plan for that. Assume you don't know anyone else in the party.

> Your powers are new to you, and you've possessed them for no more than two years at most, possibly less. They can even be brand-new if you want to roleplay discovering your abilities.

> Remember that the Words of Creation are yours to flavor and adapt to your character, not rigid concepts you must absolutely follow. For example, a raging pyromaniac, a forge-worker who enjoys creating things, and a dedicated traveler who makes their own camps might all use the Word of Fire.

> "Effort" is an important concept in this game, and basically refers to the amount of divine energy you can commit to stuff. Many weaker powers basically just require you to have Effort available (or they may be free to use), and last as long as you put Effort into maintaining them (so you can 'turn them off' and get your energy back later). Moderate strength powers require you to commit effort for a scene (a single fight or social encounter, etc.), while the strongest powers require you to commit it for the whole day.

> Page 95, "A Player's Guide to the Realm", is a good place to start looking for concepts, as it briefly covers every nation and should help you "place" your character concept. You can then go read about the nation in greater detail.

> Everyone knows Trade Cant, the common tongue, but you may know other Languages based on where you're from. Those can be important if you want to make a good impression on NPCs.

----------

How to Apply:

I enjoy interesting, complex characters. If all you tell me is "I'm a Viking from the Viking nation who goes on raids", I'm probably not going to pick you. Remember, you were not born as a Godbound, and you probably weren't treated any differently than a normal person of your background would be. That said, your powers probably relate to who your character is as a person, so go ahead and have fun with that. Just remember, even Godbound are imperfect beings - despite your phenomenal powers, you were people to begin with, and should probably act as such. Whether you love, fear, or simply want to use your abilities, try to approach your background with real depth and personality. To help with this, I want your character to have at least two (optionally more) Complications, as found in the Mutants and Masterminds (3rd Ed.) system. For those who aren't familiar with this, it means you should have one Motivation (a REASON to go upsetting the existing order of the world, basically, from "I just want to make it a better place" to "I WANT ALL THE SHINY STUFF") and one other Complication (a personal code of honor, a 'mortal' identity, a phobia, something that your powers are ineffective on, etc.). Be sure to clearly list these so I don't miss them. XD

Backgrounds should cover two areas - a section detailing your life before your powers, and a section detailing when you got your abilities and how they've changed your goals and perspective. Consider mentioning things like how you tend to use your abilities on a day-to-day basis and how your upbringing affects your preferences. For example, if your character was born in a frozen land and has the Word of Fire, they might determinedly avoid the cold and offer space at their camps to any who seek it because they remember how desperate for warmth they were in the past. To me, characters who have opinions on their powers - rather than just trying to use them in the most "effective" way for the game - are far more interesting (and thus more likely to get selected).

Remember that Godbound are very new in this world, and most nations haven't yet adjusted to them.

Backgrounds should be as long as necessary to thoroughly cover the subject, and are the main thing I will be selecting characters on. In addition, though, tell me three of the national problems (from one or more nations) that you'd be interested in trying to resolve at some point. I won't promise to work all of these into the game - although if you specifically go in that direction, you're probably going to wind up doing it anyway - but these choices will help me get a better sense for what you might like to do and what plots you'll encounter.

Completed profiles are welcome, but not mandatory, and will not affect your chances of getting in. Do give me a general outline of what Words you want to pick, what divine gifts you plan to pick up, and what your Facts are, though. We'll be using the attribute array of 16, 14, 13, 13, 10, and 8 for abilities. Note that many Words increase your abilities, so if that's the case, write it as something like "16 (Base 8)" for clarity. Also, note that the modifiers in this game are not like Pathfinder's, so double-check those.

Feel free to ask questions at any time, and I'll answer as promptly as I can.

Recruitment will last through the end of the year, with characters selected on January 1st.


Reviewed here on Paizo.com. o wo/ Feel free to ask any questions you might have about the product, and I'll do my best to answer them.


Discussion Thread.


Gameplay thread.


Bloody Jack Carver
Went down to the harbour
Taking some children to play.

An eel popped up its head
And ate them instead,
While Jack tip-toed away.

Basic Info: Bloody Jack is an urban murder mystery module recently released by Frog God Games.

Content Warning: I don't usually do these, but I think it's important to note that Bloody Jack, as the name suggests, is not for younger players. It's still appropriate for this forum, but it's definitely on the mature side. Expect blood and potentially disturbing content.

Backgrounds: The City-State of Castorhage, known as the Blight to visitors and many of its residents, is an ancient city of Akados dating back to the early days of the Hyperborean Empire. Long viewed as a centre of learning and scientific advancement, it eventually fell to its own hubris and corruption, becoming the hive of terror and foulness that it is today.

Despite the rampant villainy of the city and the terrors that haunt its nights, it remains, ostensibly at least, a bastion of civilization, and its citizens go about their mundane (if somewhat precarious) existences preferring to ignore the constant dangers of their day-to-day lives and the dark goings-on that stalk its benighted streets. A stout bolt on the door and a penchant for minding one’s own business are necessities for survival.

You are residents of this city - probably for all of your life. And now you've been called upon to help resolve a problem...

Unfortunately, I can't give you the full details of the city because the Blight isn't actually out yet, but hopefully this is enough to go on. XD

Expectations: I'm looking for characters that match the themes and style of the Blight - that is, characters suitable for an urban horror adventure. I'm not, for example, going to choose someone who is a noble bastion of infinite goodness planning to singlehandedly cleanse the city of its ills - but I'd consider a coward who's trying to make the city a better place in their own small way. To put it in Golarion terms, you might think of Castorhage as something of a cross of Ustalav and Nidal - things do go bump in the night, and few people want to find out what they are.

This is a module, not an adventure path, and I expect it will take less than one year to complete through play-by-post - possibly much less, depending on the route you take through the story. Please do not apply if you cannot commit to seeing this game through to the end. In your application, I want you to confirm in your own words that you are committed to seeing this through.

Build Rules:
-Sourcebooks: All Paizo. Path of War, Psionics, Spheres of Power, and Strange Magic are also allowed. Note the flavor of the game, though - whatever you pick should reasonably match the tone of this game.
-Point Buy: 20, no stat higher than 16 after racial
-Level: 5th
-Wealth: 10,500 GP (Crafting Feats: +25% WBL, counting items at full price, per-feat - yes, you may have crafted beforehand)
-Hit Points: Max at first, average (rounded up) thereafter
-Skills: Background Skills (Pathfinder Unchained) are in use
-Faith: If relevant, select your deity from the Hyperborean options listed here. You may also select Astoroth (N God of Facts and Information-Gathering), Hadran (LG God of Valor and Knowledge), Iris (NG Goddess of the Dawn), or Yidhra (LN&CN Goddess of Paradoxes).
-Other: I don't like min-maxing, and will not select any profile I think is doing that. No need to make an alias, either. Instead, what I REALLY want to see is your character's background - I want to know who they are, what shaped the person they are today, and how you're likely to play them throughout a mature module. Feel free to include other details, like the things they did to get to 5th level, how they use their abilities in their daily life, and whatever else you think would be interesting. Your background is the main thing I will be judging you on - I still expect you to make a character sheet for me to review, but it's the background that will make or break your submission.
-Finally, all profiles should follow the template available right here.

I plan on accepting three players into this game. Recruitment will last until the end of the 23rd, and I'll pick people on the 24th.


And here's a discussion thread for ya.


*Dramatic music plays*


Sandpoint needs YOU!

Specifically, one of you, following the build rules here (but Level 3, with appropriate WBL). The current party members are an Oracle/Bolt Ace Gunslinger and a Ninja/Warpriest. Try to fit in well, and avoid min-maxing. ^^ You do NOT need to submit a completed character sheet - an excellent background will suffice, and is the main thing I will be judging.

Recruitment will last for five days, ending 9/8/16.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'll keep this brief - there are some things I want to test, and I need another GM's help to do it.

In return for helping me:

I will run a solo game for you, based on your preferences. Do you want to solo an Adventure Path? I can run it for you. Do you want to run a string of modules instead? I can do that for you. Want me to make an original adventure? I can do that, too. I've also got some nice 3PP adventures, including lots of stuff by Frog God Games if you're feeling up for a challenge.

In fact, I'm already doing a number of games like this, and some of my games have gone on for quite some time now, so you can be as confident as we'll ever be that I'm the kind of GM who will stick around.

In other words, is there something you've wanted to do, but have never been able to? Let's make it happen. And I'm willing to be very flexible with the kind of character you can have.

What do I want?

I want to test out a couple of 3PP classes, and I want to use an advanced mythic tristalt character build to do it. Before you run for the hills, let me explain a bit more. First, as this is a solo game, I won't have the action economy of a full party. Even if I'm waaaaay stronger than a normal character, it'll actually balance out. You should also know about the classes I plan to take:

Armorist (A Full BaB, low Spherecasting class)
Pactmaker (A Mid BaB from the Grimoire of Lost Souls, the full version of which is about to come out, and which revolves around studying and then making pacts with various kinds of spirits)
Incanter (A Low BaB, high Spherecasting class)

I'm actually not trying to hyper-specialize and do something so well I break the system - I'm a GM myself, and I know how much trouble that can be to run. One of my goals is to avoid min-maxing so GM'ing this for me will actually be pretty easy. Accordingly, I'm following my own rule of not having classes with the same BaB or Spellcasting, and trying to avoid having too many things that would stack. So... strong, which is necessary for solo games, but not overwhelming.

As you've probably noticed, all of these are third-party classes, and that's part of what I want to test. Spheres of Power, for those who don't know, is a popular replacement for Vancian casting - and it's significantly more linear in terms of power growth. At higher levels, a full Spherecaster is flexible and fun, but definitely weaker than a Wizard or Sorcerer could be. If you don't have access to the rules in question, I can help with that.

I am willing to be very flexible in terms of what game is run, although I'd like to start at Level 2 or 3, at least - I've done enough Level 1 for awhile. XD The point is, though, I'm aiming long-term. I want to go to high levels, and I'll take you there as well.

What else am I looking for?

Before I agree to this sort of trade - you run a game for me and I run a game for you in return - I want to know that you're the sort of person who will stick with it. Accordingly, I will be looking at your posting history here on Paizo's forum, and you're certainly free to check mine in return.

Unfortunately, I've had both GMs and players abandon my games before, simply no longer posting - and I really, really don't want that to happen again. I apologize to the quality GMs who are new to Paizo here, but please, save us both some work and only reply if you have an established history on this (or another) forum and are confident of your ability to be present and post consistently for the next several years.

I tend to post at least daily in my games, so you can be assured of regular updates and advancement.

So... any takers?


So, this Kickstarter started up today!

For those who aren't familiar with it, Hexographer is part of a line of what's basically map-making software. Here's a work-in-progress map I've been making with Hexographer 1. The Kickstarter is for a new, improved version of the software that has added features and capabilities.

Most notably, this is not a fancy art map maker. It is, however, a game map maker, in the sense of being extremely good at creating usable maps that show major locations' positions relative to one another. You can make some very complex maps if you're willing to put the time into it.

Point is, if you like making your own stuff for games and want some visual maps, this is probably worth taking a look at. XD

Disclaimer: I have no relationship to this project, other than being a backer myself and someone who liked the previous software. I want to see it succeed, but have no financial stake here. o wo/


The very important discussion thread.


Dot here!


The discussion thread, which shall be quite important indeed.


This is rather necessary. XD


GM Rednal's Cyclopean Deeps

There is a world deep beneath the surface of the world, a land that thinks of the depths of the Drow as but the shallowest region. You aren't here by choice, but if you're ever going to return home to the sunlit lands, you know there is no choice but to go forward... down into the depths of the Under Realms, a horrific land that has never seen the light of the sun. There are horrors down here unknown to the world above, but if you're lucky, you'll somehow make it through...

Who are you? You are a hero of great renown. However, during an expedition through Rappan Athuk - the justly feared Dungeon of Graves, whose secrets you may never be able to uncover - you were forced to escape into a side-passageway and were forced entirely out of the dungeon. With the tunnel collapsing behind you, you knew there was no choice but to go forward...

Special Note: Cyclopean Deeps is somewhat sandbox-y, although I hope to try and follow the adventures mostly in-order. You MUST be willing to take some initiative in exploration. If you are the sort of player who wants to sit back and let others decide where to go, this game is not for you. Be bold and take the initiative. It's also entirely underground, so you may, uh, want to have Darkvision (or some non-light equivalent) to help you, y'know, see. XD

Accepted Sourcebooks: All Paizo, all Spheres of Power (<- Preferred for Casters), and Path of War (+Expanded) are allowed. Other 3PP available on request.

-Starting Level: 10th (Gestalt rules). Expect to go higher, although how MUCH higher depends on you...

--Do not try to min-max your character and stack things not really meant to be stacked. I strongly disapprove of that and will not select any character I believe is doing this. If you're not sure, just ask about your plans, and I'll let you know my thoughts on them as quickly as possible so you can either continue working on your idea or move on to a different concept.

-Starting Wealth: 62,000 GP (following normal rules for buying stuff for a higher-level character - also, remember ABP).

-Alignment: Any non-evil.

-Races: Core or Featured.

-Hit Points: Max per Hit Die.

-Skills: See 'Campaign Rules', below.

-Traits: 2, 3 with a Drawback

-Abilities: 25 point buy

-No multiclassing. You level in what you start with. Prestige classes are a maybe, and will be judged case-by-case (mainly by flavor).

-No plane shifting magic can be used to escape from the Under Realms.

-Gods (if faithful): Pick from this list. Also Yidhra (who is ALWAYS an option in my games).

Note on Character Creation: I'm gonna be honest, I don't really like stealth-based characters. XD; Certain elements of them that are troublesome to run are magnified in low-player games like these, so I will not be picking characters designed around that theme.

Campaign Rules:

-Automatic Bonus Progression (PF Unchained): In-use, with the normal table.
--Some rare items do have innate enhancement bonuses. Attunement in ABP overlaps (i.e. does not stack with) the natural enhancement bonuses on items, but you can attune to weapons and armor anyway to take a higher bonus.

-Automatic Feat Progression: If a feat has an Improved and/or Greater version (above its entry one), you automatically acquire the higher-level versions once you meet their prerequisites (or every other level after gaining the first, whichever is longer). Style Feats likewise advance. Other feat trees may be considered - ask the GM. Depending on the feats in question, additional limitations may be imposed at the GM's discretion.

-Background Skills (PF Unchained): In-use.

-Bonus Feats: Gain a feat at every level, rather than every other level. However, feats from levels cannot be spent on the same category (Combat, Metamagic, General, etc.) twice in a row. For example, you could not learn Weapon Focus at 3rd and then Weapon Specialization at 4th. (This does not apply to any bonus feats from your classes.)

-Combat Maneuvers: Attempting one of these does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

-Combat Options: The following options are automatically available for all characters that meet their prerequisites.
->Combat Expertise (-Melee Accuracy, +Dodge | INT 13)
->Deadly Aim (-Ranged Accuracy, +Ranged Damage | DEX 13, BAB +1)
->Power Attack (-Melee Accuracy, +Melee Damage | STR 13, BAB +1)
->Improved Unarmed Strike
->Weapon Finesse

-Combat Stamina (PF Unchained): Automatic for classes without the casting class feature (or something similar - 3PP classes can get weird). Accessible through taking the feat for other characters.

-Downtime: You may be able to get downtime (for crafting, etc.) when resting in settlements, but these will mainly be available at the speed of plot, for you never know what lurks down the next tunnel...

-Magic: Characters who use Spheres of Power are preferred over Vancian casters.

-Skill Unlocks (PF Unchained): Automatic for Rogue, Ninja, Investigator, and Vigilante. Accessible through feats for other characters.

HOW TO APPLY
>Making a character sheet is optional, but I do want you to tell me what your intended race, classes, and alignment are. Also, tell me your vision for the character and how you intend to both play them and level them up.
>In addition to that, give me your character's background and tell me about who they are. If you need ideas, start with a 10 Minute Background and use that as a base to build the full background up from. This is the main thing I will be basing my selections on. Interesting and creative characters are more likely to be chosen. Basically, make me think they're real people, not just a collection of stats. I will also be checking factors like literacy, so try to avoid spelling mistakes.

I will be selecting three characters for this game. Recruitment will run until it's over, but I will give several days of notice before it concludes.


GM Rednal's Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms

South of the free city of Endhome, east of the King’s Road and Trader’s Way, north of the Forlorn Mountains, and west of the sea, these lands comprise what are known today as the Sundered Kingdoms, a half-wild land of scattered towns and villages, a handful of independent city-states, and few formal borders. It is a land where giants still roam the mountains, trolls prowl the hills, and unknown beasts walk in the night, a land where villagers huddle after dark around crackling fires behind puny palisades while lords remain in their castles and try to ignore the strange cries and screams that come from outside. It is a land of old kingdoms shattered by war, new alliances formed for survival, and black-hearted cults that beseech their dark lords for favor and power. It is the Sundered Kingdoms, and they are badly in need of heroes willing to face the monsters that lurk in the night...

Who are you? You are a former resident of Tasuc Cer, to whom the word "town" is overly dignified and implies more than it could ever hope to live up to. While you've driven off a few wild animals, slain a few undead, and generally become quite popular as a local hero, you know that your life would be very boring if you were to stay there forever. Accordingly, you've decided to travel with your friends up the King's Road and towards Endhome, a city widely regarded as the trading capital of the continent. Whether you're just looking for a job, aim to join the military, hope to serve your god, or simply want to adventure, there's a good chance you'll find what you're looking for there... but first, you'll have to reach it.

Accepted Sourcebooks: All Paizo, all Spheres of Power (<- Preferred for Casters), and Path of War (+Expanded) are allowed. Other 3PP available on request.

-Starting Level: 3 (Gestalt rules). This game is expected to take you to ~12th level.

--Do not try to min-max your character and stack things not really meant to be stacked. I strongly disapprove of that and will not select any character I believe is doing this. If you're not sure, just ask about your plans, and I'll let you know my thoughts on them as quickly as possible so you can either continue working on your idea or move on to a different concept.

-Starting Wealth: 3000 GP (following normal rules - also, remember ABP)

-Alignment: Any non-evil.

-Races: Core or Featured. Note that only Humans, Dwarves, and Half-Elves are common to the region, and all other races will need to explain their presence in the area. Depending on your race, you may also receive bonuses or penalties in your interactions with others.

-Hit Points: Max per Hit Die.

-Skills: See 'Campaign Rules', below.

-Traits: 2, 3 with a Drawback

-Abilities: 25 point buy

-No multiclassing. You level in what you start with. Prestige classes are a maybe, and will be judged case-by-case (mainly by flavor).

-Gods (if faithful): Pick from this list. Also Yidhra (who is ALWAYS an option in my games).

-Starting Languages: Westerling (Common), Erskin (language of local Barbarians, most use Common instead), Gasquen (old tongue of Foere, mostly used by nobles who want to identify with the empire), Old Suli (near-lost language not really used anymore, but enough fragments remain to make it readable)

-Ethnicities:

--Erskaelosi: These barbarians are principally found only in the southern portions of the Wildlands. Their main settlement is the city of Tyr. Immigrants of the northern Irkainian deserts after the destruction of Tsen turned much of the land into a poisoned wasteland, a portion of this brawny warrior-race made its way south in a long, decimating migration. Reeling with the catastrophic loss of the City of Wonders 2,000 years ago, the lands of southern Akados were unprepared for the arrival of the refugee peoples from beyond Tsen’s northern borders. City after city of province after province of the Hyperborean Empire turned aside these gaunt, starving warriors. On more than one occasion, militias and city defenders took an overzealous and violent approach to ousting the wanderers. A reputation for thievery and raiding clung to the Erskaelosi, though it was primarily the result of rumor and exaggeration. On more than one occasion, local war bands attacked straggling camps of these peoples and slaughtered them for what meager treasures they carried, only to claim that they had attacked them in “retaliation” for some fictional earlier raid. In the sparsely populated Suilley Plains, the Erskaelosi finally found a home, and even then they tended to migrate toward the foothills of the southern portion that more resembled their former homes in the Barrier Hills and surrounding plains. Centuries later, the King of Burgundia encouraged other scattered settlements on the plains to relocate to the southern portions of his kingdom. The city of Tyr grew from one of their principal settlements, and the Erskaelosi enjoyed full citizenship in the short-lived kingdom, with many of their warriors serving in the king’s personal guard. After the fall of the kingdom, many Erskaelosi still roam the Wildlands and remains of Old Burgundia, picking through the ruins of Trevi for items to use or to trade. Tyr remains their principal city, though many found their way eastward into Southvale, lured by promises of gold from the valers seeking their skill as giant fighters from their long tenure in the shadow of the Giantlands.

--Foerdewaith: The Foerdewaith are by far the most commonly found ethnicity across the Sundered Kingdoms. These humans represent the many indigenous tribes that dwelt in the lands and were assimilated by the Hyperboreans. It was these tribes who were left behind when the Hyperboreans withdrew from Akados and who later became part of the hegemony of Foere started by the first Foerdewaith overking, Macobert. As a result, the Foerdewaith are descended from hundreds of tribes in ancient times but identified as a single people during the height of the Foerdewaith monarchy. They are extremely unlikely to identify themselves as Foerdewaith, having broken off from that failing kingdom during the Sundering years. Now they tend to identify themselves with where they live, whether that be nationality, duchy, city, village, or general region.

--Heldring: The fair-skinned raiders of the Helcynngae Peninsula arrived after the abandonment by the Hyperboreans. Their longships full of vicious raiders landed on the coasts of the Sundered Kingdoms and swept across Ramthion Island and Southvale. They conquered all of Ramthion Island, but never managed to capture the city of Penmorome (later Penmorgh). Later, when the Foerdewaith finally cowed the Heldring, they withdrew from Ramthion, leaving little more than pillaged towns and half-breed bastard children. As a result, their legacy upon that island was short-lived and largely unnoticed as their descendants were quickly absorbed by the local population. In Southvale, however, they never departed. Instead, the Heldring raiders built homes in that gentle land, living fairly peaceably. They began families and worked the land, and much intermarrying occurred between the newcomers and the locals. Now, other than in Penmorgh itself, much of Southvale’s population is of direct Heldring ancestry with tall, broad-shouldered men, many with fair hair prone to thick beards. They live just like their neighbors in the vale, but to those accustomed to being among the warlike folk of the Helcynngae, meeting these “civilized” descendants can be a bit disconcerting.

--Dwarves: Unlike most of the rest of Akados where the typical dwarf encountered is a hill dwarf, in the Sundered Kingdoms the most common dwarves are mountain dwarves. These pale-skinned dwarves with black or gray hair and full, thick beards descend from the Great Mountain Clan of Targ that settled the Forlorn Mountains in their kingdom of Hazad. When their capital at Hazad-Burgh was destroyed, many followed Durand Strong-Arm to settle the lowland city of Durandel. After that great mining city’s fall, the dwarves of Targ scattered among minor mountain citadels in the Forlorn and Matagost ranges or mingled among the lowlander settlements of the humans. Interestingly, for some unknown reason none are known to have crossed the Dardanal Strait to settle the Caterwaul Mountains. Unlike their mountain kin in the Stoneheart Mountains, the dwarves of Clan Targ do not despise the humans around them, not having descended from dwarves involved in the Great Betrayal at Hummaemidon. They get along well with their non-dwarven neighbors, generally working in smithing, stonemasonry, mining, and other construction and heavy craft skills. Outweighing their common skills, however, is their reputation as giant fighters with a long history of contending with the savage inhabitants of the Giantlands.

--Half-Elves: A disproportionately large number of half-elves are in the Sundered Kingdoms. Many families of the bellimorum of Valenthlis’s day relocated to the sparsely settled eastern forest of Matagost to escape persecution among their own folk, and over the millennia have become a natural part of the communities of the Sundered Kingdoms. That Overking Macobert was himself a half-elf only increased these folk in the esteem of their neighbors. The average half-elf of the Sundered Kingdoms is more human in his outlook and identifies with the Foerdewaith folk of the region than his more distant sylvan kin. The presence of half-elves in the area has been ubiquitous for so long, the average human of the Sundered Kingdoms would not give one even a second glance.

Note on Character Creation: I'm gonna be honest, I don't really like stealth-based characters. XD; Certain elements of them that are troublesome to run are magnified in low-player games like these, so I will not be picking characters designed around that theme.

Campaign Rules:

-Automatic Bonus Progression (PF Unchained): In-use, with the normal table.
--Some rare items do have innate enhancement bonuses. Attunement in ABP overlaps (i.e. does not stack with) the natural enhancement bonuses on items, but you can attune to weapons and armor anyway to take a higher bonus.

-Automatic Feat Progression: If a feat has an Improved and/or Greater version (above its entry one), you automatically acquire the higher-level versions once you meet their prerequisites (or every other level after gaining the first, whichever is longer). Style Feats likewise advance. Other feat trees may be considered - ask the GM. Depending on the feats in question, additional limitations may be imposed at the GM's discretion.

-Background Skills (PF Unchained): In-use.

-Bonus Feats: Gain a feat at every level, rather than every other level. However, feats from levels cannot be spent on the same category (Combat, Metamagic, General, etc.) twice in a row. For example, you could not learn Weapon Focus at 3rd and then Weapon Specialization at 4th. (This does not apply to any bonus feats from your classes.)

-Combat Maneuvers: Attempting one of these does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

-Combat Options: The following options are automatically available for all characters that meet their prerequisites.
->Combat Expertise (-Melee Accuracy, +Dodge | INT 13)
->Deadly Aim (-Ranged Accuracy, +Ranged Damage | DEX 13, BAB +1)
->Power Attack (-Melee Accuracy, +Melee Damage | STR 13, BAB +1)
->Improved Unarmed Strike
->Weapon Finesse

-Combat Stamina (PF Unchained): Automatic for classes without the casting class feature (or something similar - 3PP classes can get weird). Accessible through taking the feat for other characters.

-Downtime: There will not be downtime during the campaign, per se. However, there IS likely to be a fair bit of traveling, and if you don't speed up with teleportation magic or something, you'll have plenty of time to craft on the road. Note that if any character has a Crafting feat, every party member can use it (and that party member's Spellcraft bonus) to craft.

-Magic: Characters who use Spheres of Power are preferred over Vancian casters.

-Skill Unlocks (PF Unchained): Automatic for Rogue, Ninja, Investigator, and Vigilante. Accessible through feats for other characters.

HOW TO APPLY
>Making a character sheet is optional, but I do want you to tell me what your intended race, classes, and alignment are. Also, tell me your vision for the character and how you intend to both play them and level them up.
>In addition to that, give me your character's background and tell me about who they are. If you need ideas, start with a 10 Minute Background and use that as a base to build the full background up from. This is the main thing I will be basing my selections on. Interesting and creative characters are more likely to be chosen. Basically, make me think they're real people, not just a collection of stats. I will also be checking factors like literacy, so try to avoid spelling mistakes.

I will be selecting three characters for this game. Recruitment will run until it's over, but I will give several days of notice before it concludes.


What's it about? Undead Darlings is a combination Dungeon Crawler/Visual Novel, featuring mechanics like weapon durability and the need to obtain loot because of the lack of shops. The primary goal of the game is to stop a zombie outbreak by delivering the only known cure to a place where it can be mass-produced. The creators estimate there's about 50 hours of content.

What are the inspirations? The game takes strong influences from both Western and Japanese games. It's more "fun" than "serious", although there's probably going to be serious moments.

What do you mean Undead "Darlings"? It's also a bit of a dating sim, and the girls in question are about half-zombie right now. XD Although it's implied they can be cured at the end of the game...

Are you one of the creators? No, I'm just a fan who'd like to get this project a little more attention, since it's currently trying to get funded on Kickstarter. It's got a fairly strong start so far.

The Kickstarter page is here, and I encourage you to check it out.


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I need two new characters for a Jade Regent game! We're most of the way through book 1, but the party is down to one character. *Coughs* So, uh, yeah.

Original build rules here, and follow that except for being Level 3 (with standard Wealth By Level). Also, having a campaign trait is now optional ('cuz they're kind of meant to be something happening at the start...).

This recruitment will last for 1 week. Remember, I like backstories more than anything else, so a well-written write-up of your character is the best way to get picked. ^^ Your stories should explain how you came to Brinewall Castle, overlooking an abandoned village using the same name, and came across a caravan that looked like it was in trouble after a certain member fell unconscious...

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