Shackles Pirate

The Dread Pirate Hurley's page

Organized Play Member. 420 posts (3,162 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters. 18 aliases.


RSS

1 to 50 of 420 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>

I've got a ship's mage type character that I love for S&S, but we never seem to make it past book 1.

I'm also considering submitting a bird-brained tengu named Jolly Roger.


Hi Ben! I'm glad to see you're still active on the forums. I'm currently on a medium-term volunteering stint in central Africa. I'm interested in possibly starting an RPG group with local students as part of my work here and I had some questions for you about how you implemented your project. I've sent you a PM, but I understand that those get missed more frequently as people adapt to the new site layout, so I wanted to post here just to notify you.

EDIT: And I've noticed that you posted an email address. I'll shoot one off to you there as well.


I'm...actually going to buy stuff this time. I'll have to go and look back to see roughly what I should have, but an exact total is so far beyond happening it's gone from being not funny to coming around to hilarious. The irony is that this is easily the longest-running campaign I've been in XD

Level 12
Stat increase: +1 to Dex
HP: +9
BAB: +1
Saves: +1 Fort, Ref, Wil
Skills: +1 to: Acrobatics, Climb, Intimidate, Kn. (local), Perception

As for items, I'll probably look to sell what I've got and improve whatever I can. I've got +1 Mithral Chain Shirt, a mundane buckler (wow), and a +1 Human Bane Rapier that can all probably be improved. Cloak of Resistance +2, Ring of Protection +1 are lower on the list. Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2 is getting outdated as well.

I guess, from an in-character perspective, it might be a good time to start putting together a respectable Blackjack kit of his own.


Thanks for the bump, Felix. That forum update messed a lot of stuff up.


How did I miss this thread for the entirety of the recruitment?! I was in the other one T_T

Oh well, good luck all!


This is an update I'm posting to all my games.

Some may be aware that I am currently serving with the US Peace Corps in Cameroon. We are currently experiencing some civil unrest, and I happen to be living just minutes from the border with the conflict zone. The government has shut off internet to that region, as they'd done in the past. Currently, I have access; that may change unexpectedly.

I would like to emphasize that I'm in no personal danger, but if I disappear for a little while, that's what's going on. I'm pretty mobile on weekends, so I absolutely should not be disappearing at any point for more than two weeks.

Aside from that, Karine is definitely a science officer.


@Chaosorbit
So far, characterizations seem light-hearted, and I'd personally prefer to lean in that direction; more Star Trek less Shadowrun. The choice is totally up to you, but if you need help narrowing down your ideas, that's my input.


Anak-cakar, Chosen of Achaekek

Theme song

Background:

So it was in those days that evil roamed freely about the land, and the forces of good were powerless to protect the innocent. Madness took hold of the people, and those gripped in its thrall consorted with foul creatures from the Abyss and made sacrifices unto the Demon Lords, the very oppressors that had corrupted them. Their hearts were as black as their masters, their deeds as wicked, and many fell to their cruel depravity.

One boy, not yet a man, was taken, and his body was tormented as his soul was forced to bathe in their evil, but unlike so many others, he did not die. His body was left wracked with the scars of vile rituals, his mind broken by hatred. As he lay, still yet to die, the boy cried out for vengeance. With his dying breaths, he pledged himself forevermore to any who would grant him his hateful release.

This boy, not yet a man, did not live to hear his prayers answered, did not live to receive the deliverance he demanded. And so the boy, never to be a man, found himself in the Boneyard, awaiting final judgment before the throne of the Lady of Graves. Even as he stepped forward, just the shell of a ghost devoid of all memories of self save for vengeance-thirst on dying lips, a great gash was rent in space. From the hole, torn open from the other side, stepped through a hellish sight - a monstrous mantis, red as the blood that dripped from its claws. Achaekek, He Who Walks in Blood, took the boy for his own as Pharasma, Lady of Graves, raised not so much as one hand to stop it.

And so it was in that day that the boy, never to be a man, became something else. Now a creature, reborn of vengeance and hatred. Now a hunter of men, destined to slake the blood-thirst of nations. Now the embodiment of a prophecy, thought never to be fulfilled. When the Mantis strikes, the Locust will fall.

Achaekek, the Mantis God, was born of the gods' own jealousy to guard their divinity from those who would seek to usurp it for themselves. It is to the Mantis God that the rest now turn to lay low one of their own - Deskari, the Lord of the Locust Host. But Achaekek is a tool of the gods, his claws never to be turned against them. He Who Walks in Blood cannot kill a god, be they angel or demon. For better or for worse, the gods, even Achaekek, cannot interfere in the Worldwound.

The Red Mantis are no mere assassins, and Anak-cakar, Chosen of Achaekek, is no mere Red Mantis. He appeared one day in the Crimson Citadel with no memory of himself, but eager to serve He Who Walks in Blood. On the day of his arrival, the Blood Mistress received a strange vision - a mantis and a locust clashing. Just at the moment when the locust prepared to strike the final blow against the losing mantis, it was beheaded with one fell swipe of the mantis's claw.

The significance of this vision was a mystery to the Blood Mistress, but even through the haze of meaning she recognized Achaekek's will, and the new arrival was trained in their ways. The arrival - whatever he or it was, it was not human - proved voracious and single-minded in its dedication to the holy rite of assassination. Where others would lose themselves to the pleasures of the Honey Gardens after a successful mission, this stranger - this Anniyan - would return to the Pagoda of the Mantis and spend hours in prayer and ritual.

Meaning was finally accorded to the Blood Mistress's vision one day when she received a most interesting missive. Queen Galfrey of Mendev, in either a stroke of genius or a fit of desperation, sought a contract - on Deskari, the Locust Lord of Hosts. And so Anniyan was summoned, and before the Blood Mistress and the Vernai, he was told of his purpose. No more was he Anniyan - he was named Anak-cakar, Chosen of Achaekek. He would be sent to Kenabres and make his way beyond the Wardstones, to the heart of the Worldwound. His presence would show the world that even Achaekek stood against the tide of chaos that threatened to overtake Golarion. He would succeed where all others had failed and accomplish for Achaekek what the gods themselves could not do. He would cut a swathe through the demon hordes and turn the tide of the failing Fourth Crusade, and at the end of it all, he would assassinate Deskari.

Physical description:
Anak-cakar is the Chosen of Achaekek, and it shows. Even when he removes the infamous helmet, he bears some strange resemblance to a mantis. Shaggy snow-white hair can't disguise the short antennae the sprout from his head, and even with his blood-red irises, nobody would mistake him for a mere albino. His skin is dry, almost hardened like chitin, and his fingers are too long to be natural. When he takes off his armor, his frame is somehow much smaller than the armor would indicate. From far away he might be able to pass for a more normal sort of humanoid, but up close, it would be less unsettling if he would just keep the armor on.

Motivations:
Anak-cakar, once dead, now lives for one purpose - to destroy Deskari. He has no memories of anything but the Crimson Citadel, which is not unusual for a Red Mantis Assassin; each assassin willingly forsakes their former life, memories and all, when they come to the Crimson Citadel.

Or rather, he had no memories.

Ever since he received his mission, he has been having dreams of a different life. Most of the dreams are just flashes - scraps of someone else's mundane existence. But one recurring nightmare plagues him. In this dream, like all of the dreams, he is not Anak-cakar, Chosen of Achaekek, but a human boy. And he is in great agony. A demon cult has abducted him and subjected him to rituals of unspeakable evil. Every time he wakes, he can taste the boy's dying cries for vengeance, still fresh on his own lips. Now in Kenabres, he finds, to his own confusion, that he recognizes the city. He has never been to Kenabres, never even left the Crimson Citadel except for a few glorious assassinations. Most disturbingly, some part of him recognizes one of the other crusaders. Who is Anevia Tirabade, and why does he remember her as a younger girl?

Ever since the dreams began, doubt has started to creep into his mind. Never before has Anak-cakar, once Anniyan, had cause to waver in his faith or wonder at his purpose. But now, even as he begins his holy quest, he finds himself wondering if maybe there had been a life before the Crimson Citadel, and if remembering that life isn't somehow key to completing his sacred ritual. If there is one thing he knows, it is that these dreams have given him an unquenchable desire to spill the blood of demons and those who would worship them.

Kill demons, discover his past, assassinate Deskari.

Personality:
Anak-cakar, Chosen of Achaekek, is serious and single-minded in his determination to complete his mission. Unburdened of the need to operate in secrecy, he has the confidence and sureness of purpose of a holy knight knowing that he carries out the will of his god and all gods. He takes pleasure in the range of reactions that his presence on the battlefield provokes in others - for most, the Red Mantis Assassins are a myth, and one they'd rather wasn't true. And to see one, to fight alongside one with similar purpose, creates in even the most zealous worshipers of Iomedae a crisis of conscious that is splendid to witness.

Ever since coming to Kenabres, he has begun to notice changes within himself. He is discovering new facets to his persona, new reactions to the world that he never experienced in the Crimson Citadel. Just the other day, he said something that might have been a joke, and when he sees the pain and suffering of others, some part of him feels something that he imagines must be sympathy. Such feelings do not belong to him, least of all these sudden doubts. Assassination is not easy; if it were, it would not be a worthy veneration of He Who Walks in Blood. But the Vernai do not send their agents on suicide missions. He, Anak-cakar, Chosen of Achaekek, was blessed by his god with the greatest honor imaginable. His calling had been confirmed in direct communion with Achaekek himself! Why is it that now, of all times, would he begin to feel... fear?

Direct, determined, but increasingly given over to random displays of other emotions. There is a lot going on in his head that has him confused as parts of his former self begin to manifest for unknown reasons.

Plot hooks:
Who was he before his rebirth? Who were the cultists that subjected him to their ritual, and what was its purpose? What is Anevia Tirabade's connection to his past life? When all is said and done, will there be anything left of him, or can an assassin learn that there's life after revenge?

On a different note, what price did Queen Galfrey promise in exchange for this mythic assassination? How does the open and unconcealed presence of a Red Mantis Assassin challenge or change the character and ideals of the Crusade?

Note on alignment:
You said LE only with a really good reason to fight demons. Anak has every reason to fight demons, even so far as taking it all the way to the City of Locusts. He has no reason to fight the other PCs or members of other faiths (as long as they aren't demon cultists), and the only creature he's even obligated to kill is Deskari himself. With the official (if not public) backing of Queen Galfrey and a mission specifically to represent Achaekek's faith alongside the others in the Worldwound, there's no reason for problematic conflict. Furthermore, as he regains his memories and the lost parts of himself, his alignment will hopefully shift toward LN.

Build concept:
Anak is mostly a striker. With Smite Chaos and Sneak Attack on top of Two-Weapon Fighting with crit-fishing, his big trick will eventually be huge single-target damage. In the meantime, he's also something of a tank. With decent HP and AC, all good saves, full BAB, and Lay on Hands, he's a front-line fighter that happens to hugely benefit from cooperative action like flanking. I'd also like to take the Red Mantis Assassin PrC on one side of the gestalt, because it's iconic and not something you'd normally get to play. I'd plan on going straight Champion path.


Rolling for tiefling.

1d100 ⇒ 61 You can manipulate any armor, gauntlets, or shield you wield, causing them to grow spikes. These spikes last only as long as you wear your armor.
1d100 ⇒ 99 Once per week you may mentally contact a fiendish ancestor to gain information, as per the spell commune. This is a spell-like ability.
1d100 ⇒ 42 The spell animate dead can return you to life as per the spell raise dead 1d4 times.

Oh, these will work very nicely with what I have planned.


I shouldn't I know I shouldn't. But I'm going to.

Dot.

There's going to be so many alternate Paladin concepts going around. So you know what? Paladin/Slayer of Achaekek. Bring it on.


So far it's a vesk icon envoy and (maybe) a lashunta icon xenodruid mystic.


I thought I had posted a response to that, but I guess not. Maybe the forum ate it?

Are you playing a vesk now instead of a ysoki? Because I'm am so down to play alongside Baskoro!


I cast magic missile at the darkness black void of space!


So, looking through the Starfinder rulebook, I'm trying to get a handle on things. The classes feel very mechanically similar, at least compared to what I'm used to in Pathfinder.

  • Envoy - At first glance, this would seem to be "space bard", though in reality, it shares very little with the Pathfinder bard. I like the Envoy Improvisations, like a more tactical alternative to a flat inspire courage bonus. But Skill Expertise just feels like rogue skill unlocks.
  • Mechanic - This actually seems new. It also seems like it's the only pet class. The Mechanic Tricks seem mechanically similar to Envoy Improvisations, which remind me a lot of Rogue Talents.
  • Mystic - The new full caster. Now your flavor is a sub-specialization. As such, each type (space cleric, space wizard, space druid) feels like they get less than the equivalent class in Pathfinder; they feel like cleric domains. Overall, the class feels sort of like the oracle.
  • Operative - Space rogue much? This feels very similar to the Envoy as far as the class progression and chassis are concerned. I do like the Operative Specializations, though once again, they feel like flavor-as-a-class-feature. Splatbooks will hopefully provide expansion.
  • Solarian - Okay, this is what I'm looking for! Most of the abilities are somewhat recognizable from Pathfinder, but the whole class feels fresh and new to me. In the same way that the Witch and the Inquisitor are the classes that feel most like Pathfinder to me, the Solarian feels like Starfinder.
  • Soldier - Space fighter. Gear boosts are neat, but I think we've seen this design choice a few times already by now. The Fighting Styles actually feel fleshed out, so the soldier gets more to play with at the beginning than the fighter.
  • Technomancer - Starfinder's other casting class; instead of modular flavor, it gets another feature that looks like rogue talents.

These aren't criticisms as much as they're just my first impression of the classes without having played them. Altogether, it feels like every class will have more tactical options in combat than Pathfinder, at the cost of similar mechanical design. What do you all think?


Wow, been around the internet long? I haven't seen OMGWTFBBQSAUCE for ages!


No need to feel ashamed. Just gotta own it!

I know it'll be awhile yet before the game gets going, but I would have figured some of the others would have jumped in by now.


You're welcome to it. When she discovers a new species, she lets her fans vote on the name.

At first, I absolutely hated the Icon. But after lying awake in bed coming up with different takes on it, I might never play anything else. Some of my other favorites are

  • a vesk soldier who makes propaganda films that depict him as something like a cross between Buzz Lightyear and Ciaphas Cain HERO OF THE IMPERIUM
  • a human operative who does journalism columns and documentary films like if Spider Jerusalem worked for VICE Media
  • a ysoki mechanic that does an Xtreme cooking show, preparing all manner of bizarre alien lifeforms to eat with overengineered equipment he built himself
  • an unspecified character who provides voice-acting and raw footage that is reimagined and animated into a show that's basically Samurai Jack or Afro Samurai IN SPAAACE!

Now if I could only learn to love the shirren.


Cool. Right now I'm looking at Lashunta mystic (xenodruid) with the Icon background. Her father was a Starfinder and the star of his own show, Wild Planets, but he was lost along with the rest of the expeditionary crew in the Scoured Stars incident. She was supposed to have been on that mission too, but her Commencement was delayed. Now she carries on her father's work on the show while hunting down every lead about the incident that she can find.

So, rebooted Lara Croft meets Bindi Sue Irwin. In SPACE!!!

Also, do we have a group tone we want to shoot for? I know how Pathfinder works thematically, but Starfinder's a new beast. Guardians of the Galaxy? Star Trek? Firefly? Shadowrun? Mass Effect?


Alright, what are you thinking?

If we're making our own characters, I had wanted to go Ace Pilot. If Iseph is still being played, I'll roll with something else, though.

Is Anakin Skywalker a human solarian with the ace pilot background?


Thanks GM!

As mentioned in the Recruitment thread previously, pregens are required and the sheets are available here.

So far, we've got:

  • Iseph (andorid operative) - Shadow Bloodmoon
  • Altronus (kasatha solarian) - Xazil

That still leaves

  • Raia (lashunta technomancer)
  • Obozaya (vesk soldier)
  • Keskodai (shirren mystic)
  • Navasi (human envoy)
  • Quig (ysoki mechanic)

I'd be interested in playing Raia, Navasi, or Quig.


@GM Woran
Any chance we could get a discussion thread going?

Also, the pregens are available for download here.


Wow, I'm gone for one day and so much happens! Glad to hear about the second table, there's stiff competition.


Johannes Appleseed, CG UnRogue 3/Cleric of Cayden Cailean 3

Johannes is a former slave in Cheliax turned Bellflower Network agent. With a rapier in one hand and a tankard of cider in the other, he uses his legitimate vocation as a wandering priest and cider-maker as cover to help establish a new branch of the Bellflower Network. He heard about the Swallowtail Festival, and like the good Desnan he was raised to be, decided to join in the festivities (and maybe find a spot for a new cider orchard while he was at it). One day, the orchards he's been planting across Varisia will be able to serve as waypoints for the Bellflower Network and maybe even give some newly-freed slaves a home.

Background:
Johannes Appleseed was born a slave, like his father before him, and his father before him. The Appleseed clan was good stock for slips, and they lived and died over generations on a vineyard in Cheliax, tending the grapevines, harvesting, and pressing the wine. It was grueling work, but tending the vines was something that halflings and their short stature were well suited for. Their human masters never appreciated how much effort went in to making quality wines year after year, but Johannes took solace knowing that the stuck-up nobles were drinking just a little bit of his foot-dandruff.

Everything changed for Johannes the night the Appleseed clan escaped. Little had he known that his distant cousin Handel who had turned up mysteriously a few months back, was actually a Bellflower Tiller. The Bellflowers ferried the Appleseed clan into Andoran where they found a natural home in Bellis making Bellis mead. His family had always been devout, if secret, worshipers of Desna, but there's only so much faith a slave can have in a goddess of freedom. It was in Andoran that Johannes discovered his faith in Cayden Cailean. Making wine, as tedious and back-breaking as it was, had always seemed like something of a higher calling to Johannes, and he rankled at how their bottles of nectar were bought and sold like simple commodities. His new faith in the Lucky Drunk gave him the courage he needed to join the Bellflower Network himself and help free other slaves, and his old faith in Desna gave him the yearning for wide open spaces and the freedom of the road.

Under his cover as a wandering cleric of Cayden Cailean, Johannes plants orchards of apple trees for making sanctified cider and investigates new opportunities to expand the long and winding vine of the Bellflower Network. Their routes to Andoran and Rahadoum are well established, but without branching out, the Bellflowers can't hope to make good on their mission of freeing all slaves everywhere. And so it was that Johannes found himself drawn to the wilds of Varisia. Creating homes for escaped slaves in the untamed frontier of Varisia might be a tall order, but Johannes is short enough for the job. After all, there were slaves in Kaer Maga, Riddleport, and maybe even Korvosa the same as in Cheliax, and somebody needed to look out for them the way Cousin Handel had looked out for him. If you're looking for a cup of good cheer with a side of freedom, Johannes is just the halfling you're looking for.


Here's the crunch for Johannes Appleseed, UnRogue 3/Cleric of Cayden Cailean 3. Everything's done but equipment. Still working on the background submission.


Okay, finalizing stats for halfling UnRogue/Cleric of Cayden Cailean. Buff caster/potion brewer, support fighter, skill-monkey. Fluff to come.


We can likely assume that the pregens will be based on the iconics. Based on that, they may include:

  • Raia (lashunta technomancer)
  • Iseph (android operative)
  • Obozaya (vesk soldier)
  • Keskodai (shirren mystic)
  • Altronus (kasatha solarian)
  • Navasi (human envoy)
  • Quig (ysoki mechanic)


3d6 + 6 ⇒ (2, 3, 6) + 6 = 17 15
3d6 + 6 ⇒ (4, 3, 6) + 6 = 19 16
3d6 + 6 ⇒ (2, 5, 6) + 6 = 19 17
3d6 + 6 ⇒ (5, 4, 1) + 6 = 16 15
3d6 + 6 ⇒ (6, 5, 1) + 6 = 18 17
3d6 + 6 ⇒ (6, 5, 2) + 6 = 19 17

Uh...yeah, I'll take that.

Was originally thinking about going Halfling Alchemist/Cleric of Cayden Cailean, and with those stats, it's even more awesome! Or maybe Brawler/Cleric.

Alternatively, I've always wanted to play RotRL as Shalelu or Ameiko. What are your thoughts on that?

I'm a big fan of Theater of the Mind. Maps can really bog things down.


If you're still looking, my schedule should be free enough in that time-frame. Plus, it gives us time for the rules to actually come out.


Hey everybody! I'll be playing Bioshock, and I hope to have an alias up later today. I've been reading along in the gameplay thread, and I'm impressed by the kind of story the Masks system facilitates when it's got a talented group of players! I look forward to getting to know each of you and your characters.

Fun fact, I'm currently serving with the US Peace Corps for two years in Cameroon! I have a stable internet connection, and I don't foresee it much impacting my ability to post, but I'm 5 hours ahead of Eastern time.


Ameraaaaaa, you'll probably want to format Rat Boy's stats. In the original recruitment thread, the GM posted a template; GM Cwethan and I both used it.


@DM Default
Okay, I'm pretty sure I understand now. The clarification about unleashing your powers was very helpful. Infinite Powers acts as wildcard access to an ability that would be useful in the situation at hand, at the cost of hastening me towards my doom. Likewise, Dark Visions acts as a free question at the same cost, etc. etc. for the others. They're abilities, but I can only use them when I get access to them by filling my doom chart. At the start, I have one available to me. And unlike most other abilities, using them isn't free because I must advance the doom track each time.

With that understanding, Infinite Powers seems like the best one to start with. It plays very nicely with the discharging.


@DM Default
Upon a closer reading of the Doomed playbook, I'm supposed to start with a doomsign already marked. I'm considering the Infinite Powers doomsign that allows me to pick an ability from any other playbook one time. My understanding is that Infinite Powers is a move I can use similar to Unleash Your Powers, but it specifically uses the other ability that I chose, which doesn't change. Is that correct?

@GM Cwethan
Thanks! I just realized I should check the Campaign Tab. It looks like my nemesis could mesh pretty well with the story about how the team came together.

@Ameraaaaaa
My vote is innocent rat child, if that helps at all.


@GM Cwethan

I certainly wouldn't complain if that were the case. I think we've still got at least one contender on their way, though. And I agree with DM Default, the genderbend is an interesting direction to take! Even Jane Foster didn't have to deal with that, and it's definitely relatable for a postmodern superhero teen.


Thanks for the feedback!

Thoughts for development/revision:
I'll develop the Nemesis a bit more. I wanted the situation to be similar to what it might be like if Lex Luthor was Superman's dad. Mom may not be a supervillain in her own right, but being hunted by her company so that they can study Eli and his unexpected powers is just as bad as if she were a superpowered freak bent on his destruction.

I'm not sure if the Nemesis is usually a distant figure that doesn't often make an appearance on-screen, but I like the idea of Mom keeping tabs on Eli and possibly even contacting him occasionally via her lab computer at suitably dramatic moment, such as taunting him after a hard fight, or even congratulating him and his friends from time to time. While Eli definitely wants to stop her and make sure she never gets the chance to do... well, whatever it is she wants to do with him, he's also dealing with his abandonment issues and can't bring himself to completely cut ties with her. For her part, she might think that what's she's doing really is best for her son. The powers she tried to give him don't work, and the ones he has instead are killing him. There's valuable data to be collected, but there's hope for a cure for the problem as well, so that the next subject is healthier, functions properly, and behaves themself. Heck, there's potential for a great story in there about overcoming the Doom by getting captured and escaping sometime later as a Bull.

Doom-wise, the discharges are the main thing that's doing him in. As such, I imagine that they would be a somewhat common side-effect of rolling misses and such. Am I correct in thinking that they ought to be something he deals with once an issue at minimum, especially during an important fight? In the first draft, Eli's a bit insecure, but not really all that melodramatic. But he's clearly got emotional issues to deal with, and the psychology is an important part of the character. I like the idea of Eli using his powers in his downtime to cope with life, potentially even being addicted. After all, he can effortlessly change the cocktail of neurotransmitters flowing through his body to make himself feel better, even if sometimes it doesn't quite work right, and there's always an eventual come-down when his body tries to get back to a normal equilibrium. And that's not even touching what he can do by creating his own little world of psychic constructs on false memories to escape into. That should give Eli plenty to work with in terms of being melodramatic and inciting his own drama.


Alright, here's the first draft for Eli Heppner, a.k.a. Bioshock, using the Doomed playbook. I'm still getting a handle on the whole Nemesis thing, so while I've defined one, I'm definitely open to any suggestions for improvement. That seems like one of those things that shapes the whole story, and I feel more comfortable seeking input about stuff like that. I grabbed the template you posted on the original recruitment thread and filled it out, and that's followed by a briefish bit of exposition framed as Eli talking about himself to the school psychologist.

Bioshock statblock:

___________________
Hero
___________________
Hero Name: Bioshock
Real Name (if different): Elijah Heppner
Abilities: Superhuman strength and speed, Memory manipulation, psychic constructs
Look: Man, White, haunted eyes, unassuming clothing, no costume

___________________
Labels
___________________

Danger : +1
Freak : +1
Savior : +1
Superior : 0
Mundane : 0

___________________
Influence
___________________

Have Influence on:

___________________
Team Moves
___________________
Triumphant Celebration - When you share a triumphant celebration with someone, give them Influence over you and spend 1 Team from the pool to clear one box on your doom track.

Share a weakness - When you share a vulnerability or weakness with someone, give them Influence over you and ask if they honestly think there’s hope for you. If they say yes, mark potential or clear one box of your doom track. If they say no, mark a condition or mark your doom track.

___________________
Advancement
___________________
Write down any current advancements.

___________________
Backstory
___________________

When did you first learn of your doom?
About a year ago, after my first 'discharge'. It hurt in a way I'd never felt before, so I ran a biometric scan. That's when I found the first bits of cellular damage that weren't healing.

Where did you get your sanctuary?
Literally, I found my mom's secret lab in the basement.

Who is your nemesis?
My mother. She left Dad and me when I was ten. Nowadays, she's a big-shot working for [Insert Megacorp here] running their R&D department. Don't get me started on the freaky stuff she's doing for them.

Why do you oppose your nemesis?
I mean, isn't that what teenagers are supposed to do? Oppose their evil scientist parents? My therapist says I'm lashing out in response to feelings of abandonment, but I feel like that misses the point where she's an evil scientist with a whole megacorp's R&D branch worth of resources at her disposal.

Who, outside of the team, is crucial to defeating your nemesis?
Right now, it's just me and Dad. Most other people look at me like I'm crazy when I try to convince them that [Insert Megacorp here] seriously needs to be stopped. Besides, she hurt us both when she left. Dad doesn't talk about it, but I know he's hurting inside.

Why does the team matter to you?
These are the first people I've met since I discovered my powers that have really accepted me. And they don't even look at me like I'm crazy when I talk about how evil [Insert Megacorp here] is. At least, not most of the time.
___________________
Relationships
___________________

We'll answer these questions in discussion.

___________________
Doom
___________________

You’re doomed. Your powers may be killing you, or maybe you’re hunted ruthlessly, or maybe you embody an apocalypse. But one way or another, your future is grim. What brings your doom closer?

Overexerting yourself, facing danger alone
___________________
Sanctuary
___________________

You have a place where you can rest, recover, and reflect upon your powers. Choose and underline three features of your sanctuary: a library of valuable tomes (mostly advanced science and medical textbooks), a powerful computer (mom's computer, with all of her research and active subscriptions to many exclusive research services, news wires, and deep web resources), healing equipment (a special biometric scanner that can perform diagnostics and assessments that a normal doctor wouldn't think or be able to perform)

Choose and underline two downsides of your sanctuary: draws dangerous attention (Mom can remotely monitor activity on her computer), location known to many (I maybe should have been more careful when I was telling everybody that I found a secret lab in my basement...)

The first appointment of many:
My mother? Isn't that the first question EVERY shrink asks? Look, Mom left years ago to pursue her career as an evil scientist with a megacorp. Rumor has it she's climbed pretty high up the ranks, and a lot of it had to do with me. See, I'm her pet project. I wasn't born with powers, I was engineered. Dad never wanted me to know, tried to hide it from me for years why Mom left. But I found her lab. An actual secret lab, in my own basement. It was loaded with crazy equipment and a big bookshelf packed with textbooks. It took me a few years before I was actually able to break into her computer, but that's where I found her papers - about me. I found her lab notes too. As hard as the papers were to read, it was the lab notebook that really messed me up. I don't remember how many times she referred to unborn me as 'the subject'. Barf city, right? Hah, I remember, back when I was like six years old, I kept asking my parents if I was adopted, every day for months. I was obsessed, I just couldn't believe they were my real parents. As I got older, I kinda brushed it off, you know? It's just a phase every little kid has for awhile. But maybe it wasn't a phase. Maybe little six year-old me knew something I didn't want to notice. Mom was always a bit cold. Clinical I guess you might say. Not exactly the apron-and-cookies type. More like the labcoat-and-special-homework type. It took me years to find out that other kids' parents weren't making them learn algebra in 4th grade. So maybe, deep down, I always knew there was something weird about my birth. But test tube science experiment baby wasn't really on my radar, know what I'm saying?

So I've got electric eel DNA. That's my big secret. Kinda freaky, right? But, it's not really that weird, compared to all the other stuff it could have been. I mean, this is Halcyon City we're talking about. So I generate bio-electricity. Problem is, the eel DNA didn't take as well as Mom wanted. Thanks, CRISPR. The organs are underdeveloped, so I can't produce any high voltage or anything. You know, sometimes I think that's why she left. Like I'm not good enough for her or something, you know? MAybe she's out there making more test tube babies so she can fix whatever went wrong with me. But that's so whack, 'cause there's nothing wrong with me! Does she even know about my powers? Nothing in her notes ever said anything about these microcurrents. Nothing about how I can surge my nervous system with that tiny bit of electricity that I can make. Nothing about how I can flood my body with adrenaline and lift up a car, or how I can dump an entire gland's worth of dopamine to help kill the pain when I finally come down and my muscles have partially separated from my skeleton. Nothing about how I can stimulate my nerves, and trick my brain into seeing her standing there, into hearing her voice telling me for once that she loves me, trick my skin into feeling what I only imagine a mother's hug is supposed to feel like. Man, that sounds pathetic, doesn't it?

But maybe she knew something after all. See, there's this machine in her lab that analyzes my body, spits out all kinds of stats and biometric data. That's how I discovered my powers in the first place. I first noticed some weird discrepancies in my body's electric resistance, and then I found some unexplained brain activity that couldn't be linked to anything. Turns out my powers had been running in the background for years, healing me a little bit faster and better when I scraped my knee, or when I sprained my wrist, or when I broke my collarbone. But it wasn't until I started getting into self-hypnosis that I found I could control those microcurrents. It was a weird phase, I'll admit. It was the summer I turned thirteen, I had finally gotten into my mom's computer and I was researching all kinds of weird stuff. I found some crazy website where people were talking about training their psychic powers. it was full of text files, amateur how-tos, and scientific articles from bogus journals. Rumor had it one of the mods was an actual superhero. I never did open my third eye or awaken any other psychic powers, and my kundalini is definitely still coiled around the base of my spine, but suck it Peter Betzen, I still got freakin' super powers out of it! But I digress, as they say. I started using my powers, testing their limits, experimenting with the applications. I mean, you would too, right? You find out you have super powers, what's the first thing you do? Take 'em out for a spin!

But every rose has its thorn, or at least that's how the song goes. Turns out, my powers are killing me. Slowly, like really slowly. I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna keel over tomorrow or next week or anything like that. But it's wearing my body out faster than normal. See, those electricity organs, my batteries I call 'em, have been getting a workout, and according to my latest scans, they might even be growing a little bit. But it's not an efficient process. I eat a ton - we're talking eight to ten thousand Calories a day minimum, and that's just a normal day. I know I'm a growing boy, but you can't tell me that's normal! The background microcurrents wer fine, but ever since I started using them actively, my cells have been oxidizing at a quicker pace. Basically, I'm getting old without getting old, you know? I'm still learning to manage my powers, and now that my batteries are getting more use, they sometimes get full for some reason and discharge all at once. I'm still trying to figure out why it happens and control it, because those discharges can be dangerous. Aside from making my body do stuff I don't want it to, they rapidly accelerate my cellular degeneration. On their own, the rate at which my powers damage my cells is mostly offset by the way the microcurrents stimulate my body's natural healing. It would probably catch up to me sometime in my early twenties when I hit adulthood, biologically speaking, but for now it isn't that big of an issue. But these discharges cause permanent damage, and so far I haven't found any way to heal it. Honestly, I'm scared I might end up with cancer or something if it keeps happening.

So that's me. Bioshock. Part human, part eel, part human baggage train. Sometimes I wonder about the proportions, you know? I live at home with Dad, Mom's off somewhere probably managing some freaky government project to engineer killer bacteria that eats toxic waste and turns it into laser beams or something. Dad's in on my secret, natch. I tried to hide it for awhile, but it was pretty pointless. Besides, if I hadn't told him, it would have been a little tough to get him to enroll me here at Halcyon High, right? I'm sure I'm not the weirdest you've seen. Please tell me I'm not the weirdest you've seen. I'm just here to ace my classes, make some friends, and maybe somehow figure out this whole supoerhero thing. Is that too much to ask? But that's the bell. Thanks for the chat, doc. Write me a hall pass?


This sounds too fascinating to pass up on. It's always interesting to see what non-Pathfinder games are running on the boards.

I had some questions about how powers work; the playbooks give you guidelines as to how you select them, but I take it that it's more-or-less free-form beyond the bare-bones mechanics? So many hyphens! Looking through the gameplay thread should be illuminating. Do the Abilities come with extra rules that aren't included in the Playbooks you linked?

I'm interested in submitting something for the Doomed playbook, and I'd like to run the concept by you before doing a write-up. Conceptually, I'm going for powers based on bio-electricity and micro-currents. The idea is that the hero generates and controls small amounts of bio-electricity to stimulate his and others' nervous systems, sometimes to ridiculous extremes. If he needs to be strong, he can force his body to pump massive amounts of adrenaline and temporarily overcome his normal limitations (superhuman strength and speed). He can also alter his and others' consciousnesses by overriding their sensory systems and to create false sensations in any of the 5 major senses (psychic constructs, possibly memory alteration as well).

Some questions - I'm not entirely sure what vitality absorption is meant to be. Is it like sapping health or life force from other people? And is there any way to confer some powers on others temporarily, even if it's not something accessible until it's unlocked later? I'm not sure what the advancement that allows you to take a move from another playbook; are moves the same as abilities, or are they in a separate section of the rules?


Lucas Bot

Declaring a Pinhole Gambit as a swift action, using Disarming Shot as a standard action.

Lucas returns fire on the officer, aiming to take the crossbow right out of her hands.

Shortbow: 1d20 + 6 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 6 + 4 = 18 +4 bonus from Pinhole Gambit.
Arrow: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3 piercing
Thunderbolt Stance: 1d6 ⇒ 1 lightning

Disarm using Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19

If the attack is successful, Atsadi regains one maneuver and the officer takes a -3 to AC until Lucas's next turn.


Atsadi Bot

Terrifying Blow: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 5 + 1 = 20
Damage: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (2, 5) + 4 = 11

Enemy must make a DC 14 Will save vs. Frightened for one round and 1d6 ⇒ 4 extra damage.


Atsadi Bot

Atsadi has a lot of complicated powers and I'm not sure what's available and what's not, so we're going to make a simple attack with the greatsword, shall we?

Attack: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 5 + 1 = 13
Damage: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (1, 6) + 4 = 11


I expect that Skyler would still respond to an email, as directed above.


Neat! Refreshing doesn't reset the quiz, though. Maybe add a button at the end to send you back to the beginning for re-takes?


Dot! I'm considering an Unchained Summoner with a Psychopomp eidolon. I like the idea of having the sentient spectre of inevitable demise haunting a small child, helping it in every way it can if only to hasten it toward an untimely end.


That's hilarious, yet terrifying.

I have some shopping left to do. I've got three brothers; one of them is easy to shop for, but I have no idea what to do for the other two. It's getting cold here too, but that's to be expected in Kansas.


Per the "miracle" that was discussed above,

Spoiler:
I don't understand how it's not miraculous that she was able to recall the General's wife's dying words. Are we invoking quantum reverse-causality? From my understanding, that information arrived from nowhere in temporal paradox fashion. The only way the narrative has internal consistency is if time flows identically both forwards and backwards and causality is irrelevant, along with some very hard determinism.

I also totally missed the part where she made an on-screen decision to have the child. And I definitely don't understand why she made the choice to tell her husband about their child's disease in the way that she did when the implication was that it was that particular way of going about presenting said information that led the demise of their marriage.


This sounds like a fun exercise! Alright, I've got some questions.

How close are your fey to mythological fey? Do you have the Seelie/Unseelie Courts? It sounds like, if you did, it would be more of a Summer Court and a Winter Court situation.

You use the Knights of the Round Table as a comparison. How much do you want to lean into the Grail lore and the Camelot flavor for your story?

I've got a few ideas that could be elaborated on, but they depend a lot on the answers to the above questions. In any case, I'm intrigued by this set-up, insofar as it casts the fey in some way as an active force with their own agenda that has real implications for the world. So often fey simply are and they rarely seem to do anything besides help/hinder mortals for their own amusement. As such, it's certainly a viable choice to make the Winter Witch and the Winter Queen one and the same, whereas under the more strict mythological paradigm I wouldn't use the fey as main antagonists in this manner.

Concerning your third point, have you decided that freezing Olgrimm is actually sparing him, or are you open to other interpretations? Depending on your campaign's cosmology and/or the particular views and philosophies of the Winter Witch, it may actually be a "fate worse than death", or at least prolong death in an unpleasant fashion. To that end, the question of "Why?" could be simply that it amused her to do so, or to punish him for a personal offense. If you do like the idea of it being a (small) mercy, perhaps there's a possibility of a love story angle? Did the Winter Witch actually kill anybody during her reign of terror? If not, perhaps killing is something of a magical moral event horizon that she's not willing to cross. Or perhaps she was saving Olgrimm for later, either to be killed later or used for other plans or as part of an internal conflict she might be having with herself.

This "winter of her heart" bit is awesome, and I love how evocative it is of that certain kind of magic that permeates post-Celtic mythology (like the King Arthur myths of Britannia). If the Bane of Sorrow will end the winter of their queen's heart, deciding what the winter of her heart means will help us to form a more concrete idea of the Bane of Sorrow. If you like the Seelie/Unseelie (or Summer/Winter) Courts flavor for the fey, perhaps this is an opportunity to add an interesting twist to the classic paradigm. Maybe ending the "winter of her heart" will cause a transformation and the Winter Queen will become the Summer Queen. That would play well with the idea of the Winter Witch having some sort of internal conflict, as these two aspects of her identity struggle for primacy. Along those lines, perhaps ending the winter of her heart is a little more involved than merely retrieving the Bane of Sorrow, and Olgrimm might be a necessary part of whatever it is that has to happen to fulfill it.


It's a good ol' Wormwood reunion! Good to see you again, Aku.

I won't promise that I'll submit anything; I understand your wariness about people stretching themselves too thin over multiple PbP games. But if I start putting ink to paper and magic happens, I won't stand in its way ;)


Saethori wrote:
The Dread Pirate Hurley wrote:
There's no such thing as being bound by "what the character feels", because you control that.

I honestly wonder what that feels like, to be completely detached and in control of a character.

As a writer and GM, I have created over a hundred characters, each with a distinct personality. I don't have that level of control over a single one of them. Each one has their own goals and aspirations, and while I can guide them to certain things, I honestly couldn't force any one of them to do something "out of character".

So I really do wonder how it feels.

I can sympathize with creating characters that are vivid enough that they "have a mind of their own". However, if they only ever have one way of seeing the world, if there's only one course of action that could ever make sense to them in a given situation, that's a lack of depth. It's a very pretty, but very flat, picture.

Consider that you yourself are a living, breathing human being. Are you only ever capable of seeing one perspective? When confronted with difficult circumstances, do you ever feel conflicted? Have you ever been in a situation where you were enough in control of yourself that you could make a conscious decision about how to feel about and react to that situation? Maybe something happens that makes you feel both happy for a friend but sad for yourself? And you could choose how to respond to that conflict?

People rarely have just a single overriding feeling governing their behavior. So why should our characters?

EDIT: To add something more for the OP, there are other ways to play a vengeful sort without actually exacting vengeance. Perhaps you like the idea of a petty Calistrian witch. If she's so petty, she probably holds a lot of grudges. Maybe it gets to the point where there's so many that she can't even keep track of them all, and some of them simply fall through the cracks. You might be able to remember that you were mad at somebody, but maybe you forgot why. And once you realize that you've forgotten why, it's a little harder to rationalize the vengeance. And if you can't rationalize the vengeance to yourself, it's practically blasphemy to exact it in the name of Calistria. Vengeance has to have a purpose, otherwise it's just random acts of meanness. There's probably a god for that, but Calistria's not your gal.


This is one of the most well-developed re-recruitment posts I've ever seen! I've got some questions for you.

How much leeway do we have with fluff here? This is clearly not Golarion, and it looks as though Golarion religions are not in play. If I were so inclined, is an ancestor-worshipping elven oracle feasible?

Also, is the ring supposed to be mysterious to us, or are you looking for the applicants to create some backstory for the ring we have possession of?

I'm looking through the info on your campaign tab. Should this prospective PC be a member of the Consortium of Light, or can they choose to be from a different group such as the Perfect Circle?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

If you, as a player, don't think that PvP would be a fun way of handling the situation, then find a different outlet for your character. There's no such thing as being bound by "what the character feels", because you control that.

We don't have much info on the specific situations in question here, so we don't know if your character was asking for help and the rest of the party explicitly denied that help or if it was more that they had other stuff going on at the time or what. CN might be selfish, but they might also be a self-sufficient type. Your character survived - might that actually prove that she didn't need their help anyway? Why does your character interpret the party's actions as a personal slight against her?

Furthermore, is this really something big enough to even be worthy of Calistrian vengeance? Calistria is vengeful, but that's different from being petty. In fact, petty vengeance might be condemned for cheapening acts of meaningful vengeance. Do you castrate your lover for glancing twice at another attractive person as you walk down the street? No, you wait until you have proof that they're two-timing on you. Then you ensure that they contract venereal disease and spread it to their partner, and arrange for their tryst to be exposed in the most humiliating and publicly devastating way imaginable. Ideally, both of their lives (or at least their reputations) are destroyed, and neither of them is going to be getting very much action on account of public knowledge that their no-no zone is a no-no zone.

Calistrian justice should be saved for those who really, really deserve it, because that is a sting to be savored.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

[Raúl Juliá voice]For you, the day Bison beat you with a crowbar was the most important day of your life. But for me... it was Tuesday Friday.[/Raúl Juliá voice]

1 to 50 of 420 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>