Gold Dragon

The Wyrm Ouroboros's page

1,019 posts (3,201 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 35 aliases.




Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Fireday, 31st Desnus, 4719

While there is no sort of 'official' time that everyone closes their shops, there are tendencies. Usually it's between the sixth and seventh bell after noon; some close earlier, a few close later, but even now, getting into the long days of the year, here in Isarn it's been found to be best to close up, and make sure you're closed up. Shops with windows are few and far between, and those are usually ones with a very, very strong understanding with the local hooligans -- they pay enough, and the hooligans actually do make sure that if their windows are busted out, the people who do it pay for it one way or the other, and usually both.

But it gives employees enough time to go home, get something to eat on the way, perhaps catch up on gossip at their local tavern (which is, after all, still the most common place to get your news). And for certain people, it gives them time to eat and do a few necessary things that their employees would find to be truly odd before they too go out into the darkened city.

Certain people ...


Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Fireday, 31st Desnus, 4719

While there is no sort of 'official' time that everyone closes their shops, there are tendencies. Usually it's between the sixth and seventh bell after noon; some close earlier, a few close later, but even now, getting into the long days of the year, here in Isarn it's been found to be best to close up, and make sure you're closed up. Shops with windows are few and far between, and those are usually ones with a very, very strong understanding with the local hooligans -- they pay enough, and the hooligans actually do make sure that if their windows are busted out, the people who do it pay for it one way or the other, and usually both.

But it gives employees enough time to go home, get something to eat on the way, perhaps catch up on gossip at their local tavern (which is, after all, still the most common place to get your news). And for certain people, it gives them time to eat and do a few necessary things that their employees would find to be truly odd before they too go out into the darkened city.

Certain people ...


Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Fireday, 31st Desnus, 4719

While there is no sort of 'official' time that everyone closes their shops, there are tendencies. Usually it's between the sixth and seventh bell after noon; some close earlier, a few close later, but even now, getting into the long days of the year, here in Isarn it's been found to be best to close up, and make sure you're closed up. Shops with windows are few and far between, and those are usually ones with a very, very strong understanding with the local hooligans -- they pay enough, and the hooligans actually do make sure that if their windows are busted out, the people who do it pay for it one way or the other, and usually both.

But it gives employees enough time to go home, get something to eat on the way, perhaps catch up on gossip at their local tavern (which is, after all, still the most common place to get your news). And for certain people, it gives them time to eat and do a few necessary things that their employees would find to be truly odd before they too go out into the darkened city.

Certain people ...


Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Wealday, Oathday, and Fireday, 29th-31st Desnus, 4719

Travel in the streets of Isarn is a risky thing for smallfolk at the best of times; at night it's worse, and after curfew, well ... you'd definitely be taking your life into your own hands. That, however, is why the feline-faced Mordecai walks by your side. Mordecai is one of Androk's most trusted lieutenants, and the 'Black Cat' runs the day-to-day operations of the ex-nobleman's safehouse. Though somewhat prickly and standoffish, the exceptionally straight-laced and well-groomed tiefling is a demon (pun intended) for orderly processes, which is in part what makes him so very exceptional at keeping the place running smoothly; he's also punctiliously polite to each and every person in regards to their station and position in relation to himself, as if he had an organizational chart somewhere in his head, with lines and boxes and Mme. Mercuria's Primer For Proper Deportment memorized as to how each box relates to each other one.

The one truly unsettling thing about him (besides the fact that he does, after all, look like a black cat made human-sized and -shaped) is the fact that in torchlight or less, it's clear that his eyes have a fiendish glow coming from within, an uncanny intense emerald that, though it does not really cast light, definitely makes him noticeable. That glow, however, is an indicator of an ability to see through the darkness, which is one reason why Androk sent him along with you.

Not that Androk believes you can't take care of yourself, but ... he feels responsibility. And it isn't a short trip.

"Madame Karapetyan," he asks, addressing you with the same formality he always displays; 'Madame' because though you are unmarried, you are also clearly an independent woman and you run your own business and that done well, "may I be so bold as to ask a question?" At the end of the passage leading to the streets above, he holds the door for you, but not before taking a swift look through for threats. "The shampoo you sell, what goes into that?" Ah -- nothing terribly critical for the Conspiracy, but -- considering he has fur all over his body -- somewhat critical for him.


Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Wealday, Oathday, and Fireday, 29th-31st Desnus, 4719

This is it. The end of the beginning -- the real start of the Conspiracy. You head off into the streets of Isarn, half an hour before curfew, needing to get home before some brainless brute of a city guardsman -- or perhaps worse, a gang member -- spots you and decides to hassle you. And of course they never come in singles, but in annoying little packs. You could easily handle one or two of them, probably three, maybe more, but ... there's the issue of leaving a few corpses behind you, and that probably wouldn't be wise.

Getting back to your troop will probably be something of a relief, because the conversation you'd had with Androk on the way out had been ... well, a bit troubling ...

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

"I want to talk about Alix," you'd said after getting a fair number of yards away. "You know I want to bring her in and now you're suggesting I use her to help our activities. Is this a sign of your support?" You were blunt, in part because this was important.

Androk shook his head. "No, of course not. For one, I haven't had enough leisure to be certain of her, and for another, you can't yet yourself be so certain of her politics, and her ... regard for you might not be strong enough to keep her from seizing the opportunity to jump a grade or two by turning you in. I'd like to make a bit more sure of her before bringing her into the group. I recommend using her for working with -- or on, rather -- Lieutenant Bonfils. Think of it less as working for us and more working for you. You will, after all, need to build your officer corps, and that with individuals who will follow your lead and your example."

He paused at the termination of the path you'd memorized, with its various branchings, just at the door to the stables, and turned to you. "Helping you is one thing, Lucien. Being a part of our conspiracy, even knowing about it -- you put not just your life at risk, but all of ours, and the lives of every one we know. I know it's a difficult thing to do, but in this at least, learn patience." He clapped you on the shoulder, then nodded you through the door. "Ride safely home, Lieutenant."

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

So now, with your horse saddled, mounting him in the yard, you can begin to move your way through the emptying city streets, considering the two people you're to find more information about -- Lieutenant Bonfils, and Chantelle Pascal. Come to think of it, Pascal might not be as difficult as it seemed at first glance; after all, Le Commune sort of 'entails' not just that particular section inside the city wall, but its citizen-guardians also roam as protectors across a goodly amount of territory on the south side of the river. Which is where the (somewhat run-down) fortress your own troops are quartered. It might not be so difficult to encounter a few of these 'citizen patrols', and with a bit of luck and foresight, have a discussion with "Deadeye's Judgement" herself ...


Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Wealday, Oathday, and Fireday, 29th-31st Desnus, 4719

This is it. The end of the beginning -- the real start of the Conspiracy. You head off into the streets of Isarn, half an hour before curfew, needing to get home before some brainless brute of a city guardsman -- or perhaps worse, a gang member -- spots you and decides to hassle you. Of course you'd be able to handle yourself, no matter if they decide to get rough or just be susceptible to a bit of pecuniary compensation for allowing a solid citizen such as yourself to head home; you'd probably be able to persuade them into providing a personal escort, eh?

The real concerns of the moment, though, are your targets. With Jeggare investigating Frère Ardoise, you are left to take a closer look at the other two names you already know -- Thibault Belmont and Sœur Cendre. Belmont should provide no exceptional difficulty; ask around, find where he's located (as you so far only know the man's name and reputation), and make his acquaintance. Perhaps you could see if he needs anything that is normally ... difficult or impossible to acquire, eh?

Cendre presents an entirely different problem, of course, and that's the fact that an ordinary, upright citizen such as yourself just doesn't ask about the Gray Gardeners, much less nose about in regards to a specific one. This is going to take a considerable amount of finesse and discretion ...


Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Wealday, Oathday, and Fireday, 29th-31st Desnus, 4719

This is it. The end of the beginning -- the real start of the Conspiracy. You head off into the streets of Isarn, half an hour before curfew, needing to get home before some brainless brute of a city guardsman -- or perhaps worse, a gang member -- spots you and decides to hassle you. Not that you can't handle two or three or five of them, but doing so would ... have an impact on your image. While that might be good, it might also be problematic at this point, so it might be best to get home as quickly and discreetly as you can.

The walk there should be good for you, though -- give you time to have some thoughts on finding out about Sœur Glauque, the morose, fatalistic Gray Gardener of whom Dolorès spoke. Then, of course, there's sussing out more ... personal ... information on Maël Lambert, all the while trying to be subtle while simultaneously trying to discover who else might be looking for that sort of information -- a someone who might be the unidentified Frère Nickel.

All in all, a busy three days ahead.


Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Wealday, Oathday, and Fireday, 29th-31st Desnus, 4719

This is it. The end of the beginning -- the real start of the Conspiracy. You head off through the catacombs, avoiding the streets of Isarn and their annoying curfew; not that Isarn's catacombs aren't as dangerous as the post-curfew streets, with some brainless brute of a city guardsman -- or perhaps worse, a gang member -- spotting and hassling you. Down below, though, if you're intelligent and clever, you can spot them well before they spot you, and figure out whether or not to interact. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it isn't -- not so much that you can't necessarily handle the encounters, but they can be expensive, one way or the other, and depending on what happens, it might ... affect the reputation you've been busily building.

Still, you have a lot to think about: Sœur Argent, including whether or not she's actually Ellen Montaigne, and whether you should influence her at all; Frère Cadet, working on learning more about him and perhaps manipulating him to flat-out decline inducting Lieutenant Bonfils; and Étienne Joubert.

Joubert, the 'Wolf of Heaven'. What a headache. Certainly one who can get beat up, even sliced up; he's in a dangerous business, after all. The real question revolves around his real motives, his real actions. Is he a patsy for the people who follow him around, praising his 'avenging' and escorting him off for a drink while the others loot the spoils and the bodies? Or is he only masquerading as a paladin, and taking an active part in his gang's activities?


Isarn, Galt
Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Wealday, Oathday, and Fireday, 29th-31st Desnus, 4719

This is it. The end of the beginning -- the real start of the Conspiracy. You head off into the streets of Isarn, half an hour before curfew, needing to get home before some brainless brute of a city guardsman -- or perhaps worse, a gang member -- spots you and decides to hassle you. Sœur Argent -- 'Sister Silver', as it were, with silver being a sort of gray -- is supposed to make a decision about you by next Wealday. 'Very chatty' -- but for three years it's been difficult at times to tell which voices were from physical people and which were from those condemned to the final blades.

Androk proposed a baseline rule: to check if you could see the person speaking, and if you weren't sure if someone you could see next to you, or behind you, may have said something, make an 'Mmm?' sound. And if they said they didn't say anything, make some sort of apology, that you were thinking. Something that would set them at their ease.

The question is, how well can you do that, for the next week and some?


The Haven of Androk Jeggare
Isarn, Galt

Under the Thirteenth Revolutionary Council
Toilday, 28th Desnus, 4719

The bell just after sundown

Few common people Golarion tell time with any degree of accuracy; in Isarn, however, one of the few public services provided to the citizenry by the Revolutionary Council is moderately decent time services. The ropes of Le Temple Creux are pulled by the handful of dedicated ringers who took up residence in the bell-tower and have defended it against all comers; the two remaining bells are their gods, ringing them their religion, and they do so with the precision and fervor of the fanatic. How they know when an hour has passed is anybody's guess, but every hour upon the hour Emmanuel and Marie sing out, and once Le Creux rings, so do the bells of other churches.

Sunset comes late in Desnus, at almost eight in the evening, making for a short night out; curfew at eleven means those who intend on roistering a bar or two once it's dark have their work cut out for them. The same can not quite be said for the few scores of people who are wealthy enough to throw parties -- having to be indoors just means for them that the party is going to last until dawn. Of course, many a city guardsman has allowed himself to be paid off to overlook a curfew violation, and a few can be bribed to escort an individual home. For the most part, though, people settle in, watch the cookfire die down, and drift off to sleep once the sun departs.

For the most part.

Those who have more important things to do than get drunk among friends find themselves in pursuit of those tasks that bring them about; five such individuals, having received, glanced at, then disposed of a scrap of paper upon which were the letters 'HTN1B', make their way to an assortment of places, all within a block or two of La Scène, the residence of Isarn's final blade Madame Margaery, or within the same distance of The Plunging Blade on the other side of the Kantele. One enters a small stable, and never emerges; one, a chapel to pray. Another steps into the back of a booth selling honey and beeswax; a fourth finds his way through a barrister's reading room. The fifth, well, she helped set up these entrances, and more; she can cross the length and breadth of Isarn without emerging onto city streets until she's within half a block of her destination, so reaching the Haven is not an issue for her.

Within the space of the Haven, inside its many unused spaces and its few ones to which a use has been put, each of these people can relax; they are amongst companions, guarded by mystic protections and great densities of stone, protected from all but the most powerful divinations. Inside, there is what can only be termed a war room, a strategy-mapping table laid out on one side and a more intimate dinner table on the other. The map table does not have geography, however, but a more nebulous landscape -- that of the mind, of public opinion, of political leanings and potential, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities anticipated, opened, and past.

The dinner table is laid for a simple snack -- a bit of bread, cheese, a couple bottles of wine, the sort of thing one might share with friends while conversing. In one of the long-side seats is 'Count' Androk Jeggare, a middle-aged tiefling with a rough sort of handsomeness, quick hands, and one of the most ruthless, patient minds with which you have ever had the pleasure of dealing. When you arrive, he lifts a hand from slowly tearing thumbnail-sized pieces of bread from a loaf before him to gesture a welcome to you, and an invitation to sit; his normal reticence remains, and unless there is something in particular you need to discuss with him, he'll remain silent, waiting for all to arrive to offer the reason for his scrap-paper summons.

Arrivals:
HTN1B: Haven Today, Nightfall + 1 Bell. If it had been before nightfall instead, it would have been 1BN. A simple code, but meaningless unless you know what the letters mean, and in what positions.

The Haven is the Safe House Jeggare gets for 'Former Noble'; Jeggare is himself somewhat higher level (8th, but will advance at half-rate at best for a good number of levels), but that's why the safe house protects anyone from being located by anything less powerful than the 8th level spell discern location.

Entry-wise, Lilli of course is the last one, but I figured the stable for Lucien (riding a horse taken from the fort's stables), the chapel for Dolorès, the storefront (from which Jeggare actually does sell honey and beeswax) for Garson (and did you actually mean for it to be 'Garçon'?), the barrister's reading-room for Jerome. There will be two or three entrances to the Haven made specifically for each of those four; as we go along, feel free to come up with another one or two.

Feel free to arrive, engage in conversation with either each other or Jeggare. Once everyone has posted in and settled down (feel free to interact extensively, though) I'll have Jeggare come around to the reason he's called you all there.

Welcome!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As the players will often be running around doing things entirely seperately from each other, we will (sometimes / often) be having seperate threads for extended periods of time. While I do by all means permit players to read each other's threads, I insist that knowledge gained in that manner remain out of your own thread -- in other words, a firm seperation of OOC vs IC knowledge. It will be something I keep a close eye on, and if something seems hinky (a great word), I will be certain to figure out what it is and smack you across the nose for doing it.

However, this thread will remain the sole clearing-house get-together page. Y'all can comment on each other's threads, remind each other of something previous in a thread (or in a previous thread) for whcih their character was present, and if/when you ICly meet again -- after asking permission, because sometimes I will insist on 'no, you tell them what you know in your own words' and deny you the famous spell "Power Word: Blah" which conveys all details of what everyone else just watched -- you can just go with a 'Henri tells you of his adventure in the catacombs' and let it go at that.

So. Welcome to the game, thank you for your tweaks and modifications, thank you to everyone for applying and particularly to Gamer X for pushing Garson Grey over to the legal side of the street (from Criminal to Merchant).


5 people marked this as a favorite.

It was a wonderful rallying cry: "Liberté, Fraternité, Égalité". Liberty, Fraternity, Equality. Everyone forgot what ended the motto: "... ou la Mort", 'or Death.'

For fifty years, the Revolution has laid claim to Galt. For fifty years, councils have risen to power on the whipped-up fury of the mobs of Isarn, or seized it via ruthlessness and betrayal, only to fall to the mob's fury some months, some years down the road. For fifty years, the Gray Gardeners have willingly, even ruthlessly executed those sentenced to death by the mob (whether guilty or not) using the final blades, those terrible soul-seizing guillotines from which none return -- though there are rumors that the highest of the Gardeners know a ritual which can remove a soul from the blades.

Fifty years of 'la mort' ... is enough.

A disgruntled ex-nobleman. A military genius. A reliable statesman. A criminal mastermind. An influential merchant. A distressed prelate. United by their frustration with the constant pandering to the mob, by their disquiet at the methods used by the Gray Gardeners, by their desire for Galt to once again become a place of freedom, wisdom, learning, and beauty, these six have dedicated their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the cause of extracting Galt from the morass of anarchy, chaos -- and yes, evil -- in which it wallows and returning Isarn to what once it was: a shining city on a hill in the greatest culture in Golarion.

It's time for the Red Revolution to end.

Game Summary:

Combat: 1.5 out of 5
Frankly, I suck at large-scale combat, so the idea of that is going to be pretty much right out. How much other combat -- desperate knife-fights in alleys, magical battles, formal duels between fencers -- will depend strongly on how the players approach their objectives. Make no mistake, there will be combat, because some opponents you have to stand up to directly and accept their challenge, but by and large it will depend on the players. Large-scale maneuvers / battles (which may happen) would likely be glossed over by opposed skill checks, possibly using the Mass Combat systems.

That said, while force may provide an answer to many situations, it will will rarely be the best answer, and the more overt the application of force is, the more likely complications may arise.

Intrigue: 5 out of 5
You are five people looking to put down a perpetual revolution that has been churning for fifty years. You are going to have to be subtle, secretive, inquisitive, deliberate, and build up your organization(s) in order to have a chance at not only ending the Revolution, but also freeing the souls of thousands of innocents locked away within the final blades.

That means everything you do is going to have consequences. Murderhobos and psychotics need not apply.

Lethality: 4 out of 5
Death and the oblivion of the soul stalks the streets of Isarn, moving to the baying of the mob. There are powerful players in the city and in the country, and making the wrong decision on where, how, and whether to press an opponent can result in making enemies -- enemies with deep pockets, long arms, and a talent for keeping grudges alive.

Roleplay: 5 out of 5
I love roleplay; I love a well-written post. I may well be tempted to linger in an interaction that is entertaining me, but I will do my best to keep the flow of the game moving along. After all, this is play-by-post, and things are slow as it is ... but if the posting is steady, and the players are engaged, I may allow a scene to linger a bit.

However, never be afraid to PM me asking me to move it along. Many scenes of this game may be one-on-one between your character and the GM; this, too, may impede the flow of the game, and could result in others waiting on a scene to end. I will do my best to ensure this potential issue is minimized.


Recruitment:

Duration: Opening immediately, with an estimated closing date of 12:00 midnight US Eastern time, 12 May 2019. Accepted players to be determined no later than the same time, 19 May 2019.
Background: I have acquired permission from the writers to utilize The Galt Gazette, and so this information will provide the cornerstone of your experience in Isarn in specific and Galt as a whole. However, with the exception of Campaign Traits, do not use the Player's Guide, and please refer instead to the 'Character Creation' and 'Additional Systems' spoilers found below.
Openings: 5, all of whom have ICly known each other for some time (at least 3 years), and who trust each other with their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor. PvP except as a concealing action (i.e. cooperating with each other to deceive someone else, even if either or both of them take damage) will not be tolerated -- period.
. . The Disgruntled Ex-Nobleman: This will be the GM's central NPC host, information source and clearing-house. Obviously not a PC; he has 'Former Noble' for obvious reasons.
. . The Military Genius: You must have your PS: Soldier maxed out; the Campaign Trait 'Rising Star' is highly recommended, as are Feats and Traits that enhance that skill. Otherwise, build as you like.
. . The Reliable Statesman: This character will be a member of the Senate, and will be (at least at game start) the most high-profile member of the conspiracy. The Campaign Trait 'Affiliated Agent' would prove the most useful for making you a member of one of the three political parties. 'Historian of the Red Revolution', 'Barrister', or 'Passionate Orator' would all do well -- though the last might make you a bit too high-profile ... unless you happened to be a vigilante.
. . The Criminal Mastermind. Building an organization is liable to be very useful. Of the campaign traits, Catacomb Dweller' might be the perfect fit, while 'Affiliated Agent' and 'Menacing Mien' have advantages as well -- and don't underestimate being an 'Aspiring Sidekick', so long as your own ideals don't clash too hard with the vigilante's.
. . The Influential Merchant: 'Local Business Owner' is probably the prime Campaign Trait, but depending on what sort of business you wish to have (and how much of your WbL gold you are willing to use), 'Historian of the Red Revolution', 'Affiliated Agent', 'Barrister' -- almost any of the Campaign Traits could be useful.
. . The Distressed Prelate: You must intend to 'go undercover' within the Grey Gardeners in order to learn the secret of releasing the souls within the final blades to their eternal reward; this is a game requirement, and means being ready to take the Gray Gardener prestige class with your next level, and stick with it until Level 10. Feats and Traits that enhance your ability to carry off a long con (e.g. Bluff) are highly recommended; the Campaign Traits 'Secret Practitioner' and 'Menacing Mien' would both prove useful.

Except for the two bolded 'must' requirements, these are only suggestions. Build your character the way you want for the slot you desire to fill. Prospective players may submit as many characters as they desire, for as many slots as they desire; indicate which slot you wish a particular submission to be considered for.


Character Creation:

Level: 5
Attributes: Point buy, 25 points. Standard maximum 18, minimum 8 before racial modifiers. Charisma should not be considered a dump stat in this campaign.
. . Level Ability Score Bonus: Doubled, but must be spent on seperate ability scores.
Races: Core plus tiefling.
. . Special: Tiefling may appear as derivative of any race, not just human, but in all cases ages as half-elf.
Alignment: Any Lawful, any ethically-neutral (NG, TN, NE), Chaotic Good.
Classes: Gestalt; Paizo only. No Spheres.
. . Unchained: Required.
. . Variant Multiclassing (VMC): Not allowed. You're gestalt, act like it.
. . Special: One side of your gestalt must remain constant. If you decide to play, for example, a wizard/fighter, if you wish to add in any other class, it must replace one and only one of those two; at 20th level, therefore, you might be a Wizard 20/Fighter 5/Rogue 5/Arcane Archer 10 -- or a Fighter 20/Wizard 5/Rogue 5/Arcane Archer 10. You could NOT be a Wizard 15/Fighter 15/Arcane Archer 10.
Archetypes: All Paizo. Purple Duck Games archetype replacements for UC Monk. Other 3PP potentially on request -- but make sure you have a 'Plan B' for it.
HP: Roll the higher die of your two Gestalt classes, with a minimum of half-plus-one of that class.
Feats:
. . Feat Tax: World is Square / Elephant in the Room is active. Characters who normally receive the Weapon Finesse feat -- not a version of the feat for a specific sub-set -- for free instead receive Deft Maneuvers.
. . Skill-Based Feat: Players receive 1 free "skill feat" [Acrobatic, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Magical Aptitude, Nature Soul, Persuasive, Prodigy, Scholar, Self-Sufficient, Skill Focus, Stealthy, Street Smarts] at 1st level.
. . Bonus Feats: At level 3 and every 4 levels afterwards, characters will receive 1 additional bonus feat for which they qualify.
. . Disallowed: Leadership and similar feats. See 'Additional Systems' spoiler.
Traits: Two traits, +1 drawback for a third trait. One trait must be a campaign trait; an additional campaign trait has been created.
Rising Star
Spoiler:
You're becoming well-known within the current Council not only as a politically reliable individual within the officer corps, but as someone who is capable of getting the troops to get the job done.

Benefit: You have 750 GP to spend on creating a military force (see the Ultimate Campaign rules for building organizations out of teams) using primarily military teams (Archers, Cavalry, Cavalry Archers, Elite Archers, Elite Guards, Elite Soldiers, Guards, and Soldiers). You must have at least 15 military people (3 of the above teams) in your organization, though you may add on any other type of team (a team of bureaucrats would be useful, just as an FYI) in addition to them. You may add GP from your WbL if you wish, but if any GP from the 750 remains it is wasted.

During downtime, 1 of every 7 days will be spent keeping the peace in the city (and cannot therefore be used in any other way, using a variant on the 'Enforce Order' Downtime Activity); however, each time you roll for an event (using the Mercenary Company Events table) during the downtime event phase you may roll twice and choose your result.


Skills:
. . Type: Unchained. +1 background skill point per level.
. . Total: Skill point bonus option: higher skills per level of the two classes chosen at any particular level, plus 1/2 the points of the second class, plus bonus points from Intelligence. Even the pairing of low-skill classes will gain a moderately respectable number of skills over time.
. . Notice: See 'Additional Systems' spoiler below. Artistry and Performance skills may be as deadly in this game as any assassin's knife. Ignore them at your peril!!
Wealth: 10,500gp (standard WbL for 5th)
. . Profession/Crafting: Downtime rules apply. Crafting will not be allowed for game-start gear.
. . Magic Items: Please be sensible in your purchases.
. . Firearms: Emerging. Note that gunfire is not only unusual, it's loud, and people (like guards!) will go looking for what caused that strange noise; the base Perception DC for hearing gunfire is set at -10. (This is why oil of silence exists.)
Spellbooks, Formula Books, Etc: Receive +4 free 1st level spells and +4 free 2nd level spells in your book at game start.

Other things as questions are asked.


Additional Systems:

We will be using Verbal Duels, Influence, Skill Unlocks, Building and Organization rules, and all that sort of thing; if it's in Ultimate Intrigue, chances are it'll get used.

I strongly encourage you to examine the B&O rules, as leadership is functionally being replaced by the Organizations you build, and the better your organization, the better your chances of succeeding at your goals.

I strongly encourage you to examine the specific rules for Verbal Duels; Performance skills are highly useful in them.

I strongly encourage you to consider the uses of news, art, and propaganda both overt and subtle in history, whether for revolution, war, or political change; the Artistry skills (and to a lesser extent the Craft skills) will enable you to spread your thoughts much farther than your voice can reach.

Expectations, Both Positive and Negative:

Posting: How and When
Spoiler:

  • If you aren't sure if you should post, post. I expect to post 5-6 times per week; I acknowledge that life happens, and I may post only 4 times some weeks. (More, some other weeks.) I expect the same from my players. If life does happen, I intend on giving an apology and notice on expected resumption on the second day of not posting; I expect the same from my players. I don't care if your characters have nothing to do in their part of the game, they're sitting back and watching the opera or the murderfest or whatever it is that's going on; post and let the rest of us know you're not only alive, you're paying attention to the game. I know that sometimes Paizo.com doesn't let you know that something's active and bump it to the top of the list; check every day or two or three anyhow, and when you do, post to indicate 'hey, still in the game!!' Even if it's a ten-word sentence, yawning, scratching your side, and rolling over in your sleep.
  • If it's not IC, put it in either the discussion thread or in spoilers. My ideal is for a thread to read like a novel, or a chapter out of one. Naked dice rolls, OOC conversation, all that jazz breaks that flow up. Put it in a spoiler tag, or if it isn't a question for clarification for the GM, take it to the discussion thread; that's what that thread is for. Try to avoid using OOC tags to aside something; definitely do not do it in the middle of a paragraph or sentence; that's breaking the fourth wall as well, and either belongs in a spoiler, or doesn't belong at all.
  • Post your die roll builds. If you have a half-dozen feats adding and taking dice away, let me know what's happening. "+4 BAB + 3 Dex + 1 Point-Blank - 1 Deadly Aim + 1 Weapon Focus = +8". Until you change things you can just use the +8, but if you decide not to take Deadly Aim, then 'rebuild' it for me. This helps to keep everyone honest - including me.
  • I won't always show my work. While I will keep a spoiler here with general Perception and Initiative rolls, and while it will be rare that I post something that you see, or more likely that you DON'T see, I will do so. Rarely. Believe that I will always have rolled your Perception scores (with circumstantial bonuses), potentially against a Stealth score; I just don't want you to see the fact that hey, I rolled a stealth roll!! This too helps to keep everyone honest. Well, all of you, anyhow, but it means it helps me fudge the game from time to time. Like I said, rarely.

How to Play Like A Star:

Spoiler:
  • Personality: Give your characters this one, and not a two-dimensional cardboard ones. Take a moment while writing your post to come up with adverbs or adjectives that describe what she's doing. Lively; bubbly; disgruntled; thoughtful; irascible; tender-hearted. Whatever they are, come up with them, and then infuse them through your post.
  • Equippage: You have stuff. People fidget. Unless you're playing a strictly-disciplined monk (and there aren't many who do), consider medieval standards of cleanliness. Dirt is everywhere; you live an active life. Brush off dirt, straighten your tunic, fiddle with the flap to your pouch, hook a thumb in your belt
  • Background: Overcomplex is overcomplicated is bad. Simple is beautiful. Most people are just people; most heroes are just the right people in the right place at the wrong damn time. Have one twist that turns you from 'ordinary guy' into 'person with a mission in life'; one twist is really all you need.
  • Location: You're in Galt; don't come from the far side of the world without a Very Good Reason. If you ARE from the far side of the world, infuse your posts with that 'out of place' vibe - Galt is not Vudra, or Absalom, or where-ever you're from.
  • Description: What's that 12+ Charisma mean? Are you a stunning 20 Cha elf with legs that go all the way up? Or a 16 CHA half-orc who might have a certain rough attractiveness, but whose power of personality lights peoples' spirits on fire?
  • Movement: People are rarely still. Some people gesture when they speak; people rarely keep their eyes fixed on the same part of the same thing for more than a few seconds, and even if they do, they're likely to blink -- or shift their body. Scratch; rub your chin, or eye, or behind your ear. Play with your hair. If you find yourself making a post that is entirely spoken word, start breaking up sentences with physical gestures.

How to Waste Your Time and Mine:

Spoiler:
  • Repeatedly ask to use your own race / class / 3rd-party product/item/spell/whatever and expect an immediate answer. Yes, the GM can introduce variants; yes, you can combine items and the like, making unique magic items. If you do this, however, show your work. If you don't show your work, don't expect it to be accepted.
  • Take three years to make a combat post. If two or three days go by with you doing nothing, then congrats - you did nothing.
  • Ignore what's been going on, and not read what I've written in posts and spoilers -- including these. Ignoring the NPCs or the universe around you may force me to repeat myself, which I hate. Far more likely, you will receive some penalty for your IC inattention, from a one-time skill roll penalty up to and including the infliction massive damage on you, which may well result in your character's death. I hate hate hate this sort of crap. If you can't manage to be involved in the game, the game will not continue to include you.
  • Be incoherent, writing posts that make no sense. If the 'making sense' isn't part of the bolded verbal explanation by your character, at the very least make it part of the italicised internal dialogue.
  • Dictate the actions and reactions of the world and people around you. While I allow this to a limited extent, that extent ends just a couple steps before reasonableness does. Posting that a classless, mundane NPC takes a step or two backwards (i.e. out of your reach) when you draw your sword, or runs for cover when (having drawn your sword) you tell them to hide? That's cool. Having them run from you terrified out of their wits when you show a couple inches of steel? That's not cool. In fact, it's stupid -- and I'll turn this on its head and to your detriment by having them go to get someone they trust and who is going to be a complication for you.

About Myself:

I am an assh0le.

Let me say that again, just so that you and I are on the same fvcking page:

I am an assh0le.

I will not coddle you. I will not automatically be careful not to insult your tender-wender feelings. I will kick your ass when you're being a schmuck, I will kick your head when you're being a pedant, and I will kick you out of the game if you deliberately wind me up. If you don't need any of those things done to you, you will find that I generally like people, that I'm a laugh riot, that I don't take myself too seriously, and that I can take an insult like a champ. But make sure you're wearing your big-boy/girl pants if you want to play here, dammit.

I run with an eye towards realism. That doesn't make my game a slavish image of reality, and that won't make this a simulation instead of a game, but someone who uses ass-backwards logic in the vein of 'well, the X here could be anything, it's a fantasy X with magic' is going to get Gibbs-slapped the first time they say it, and b!tch-slapped the second, and kicked out the third - because fantasy games like this one have their core roots in what we as humans know. Isarn is practically Paris. Galt is revolutionary France turned up to 11. Leaders have a vested interest in remaining leaders, which means making sure that someone who offends them gets put in their place. Anarchy does not even begin to describe the insanity that's been Galt for the past half-century.

I do not play your character - only the rest of the world. This means that you control what your character does, I do not. What I do control and dictate is how the rest of the world reacts to your charater. If you diss the high priestess, the organization heads around her take affront on her behalf -- not that she can't take care of herself, but there are still certain proprieties to be observed. As a consequence, you might get repeatedly challenged to duels. You might be seized by the house guards for being a classless idiot, sent to a kangaroo court that's made up its mind before you even get there, and have a night with Madame Margaery because you pissed in the wrong cornflakes. I don't dictate what you do; I only dictate what the rest of the world does in reaction to what you do. Heal a person? Defend a town? Slay a marauding dragon? They love you, your reputation grows. Start throwing fireballs around the tavern - or the town? Well, they don't love you, but your reputation DOES grow; just not the sort of reputation you might want.

I write the way I want myself, my character, or the world to be viewed. I write so that both you and I can enjoy reading what I wrote. It is a statement of fact that I still return to scenes I have written in years (and, at this point, decades) past to enjoy the story and the writing there. I also write very, very well for an amateur, and I've been trying to break into the pro scene (if I can get at least one of my ten different projects done), but it means that I write well. And I check my writing before posting it. And I tend to use word selection specifically for its implications and impact. (Subtlety is my friend, though it may not be yours.) The more you write, the more you learn to write; the better you write, the more people want to play with you. It is my hope that you write well for this campaign, and if you don't write well, that you will Learn To Write Well - and then do so.

I want you to have fun. Being a player means wanting your character to do Cool Sh!t(TM). That means Spotlight Time - you know, the moment in the game where you do Cool Sh!t(TM)? That's when the spotlight is on you and your character, and you do your Cool Sh!t(TM). That spotlight can move fast - there's a lot of characters that are going to be here - but if you want to try some wild-ass stunt, then by all means, try your wild-ass stunt. I am, in fact, here to facilitate your wild-ass stunts. I am also here to provide you with Object Lessons on why wild-ass stunts are wild-ass, because when you fail, you look like a wild ass. (And if it's a wild-ass stunt, then I think there should be a reasonable chance of you failing - but I'm pretty sure we'll figure out together what 'reason' in such a case means.) But I'm also here to cheer when your wild-ass stunt succeeds, and reward you appropriately for managing to pull it off, you crazy kid.

I will be flexible - within reason. If I have a set-piece I need to run you through, then you will encounter that set-piece no matter where you go - Mivon, Daggermark, or Absalom. However, if you try to hie yourself all the way to Absalom or some other place that is clearly well out of the campaign expectations (e.g. Isarn in specific and Galt in general), then I reserve the right to be a bit cross about it, and Gibbs-slap you for making me twist reality not only into a pretzel, but into a Moebius strip in order to make everything work because of your ludicrous craptastic journey to Absalom just because your oats are up and you want to have a go at the Starstone.

I want to have fun too. I am not going to get involved in huge arguments about politics, an off-the-wall interpretation of a rule that depends on how you define one word, or whatever. I am open-minded, and I know what I don't know - to wit, much of the system. However, I've been playing and running pen-and-paper RPGs for over thirty years, and so I can smell a bullsh!t attempt at sixty paces. You have one (1) chance - that means two (2) posts max, and maybe one (1) post - to convince me of a rule interpretation. If I say no, roll with it, and try again the next time, because the next time I may agree with you for a myriad of reasons. Like I said above about realism and playing the rest of the world, though, it means that for the most part, 'usual consequences' will be usual. What I said above about you having fun means that I WILL adapt the game to the wild stunts you crazy kids try to pull off - either through consequences due to your failures, or amazement due to your successes. But if I start approaching this game with trepidation, if the moment I see '3 new messages' I get a sour feeling in my gut, I will locate the cause of my upset and I will make it not be a cause of upset any more, either through telling the offender to get their act together, or removing them from the game for not having done so. Because I want to have fun too.

And because I am an assh0le. I reserve lots of rights - the right to Gibbs-slap you, to tell you you're being a schmuck or a pedant, to ask you what drugs you're smoking if you think you can use two lances at once during a charge, to take a phone book to you if you think your special snowflake deserves special treatment. I especially reserve the right to kick your butt out if you not only go out into left field, but stay out there and scream and whine and cry and tell me I'm being unfair for doing all of the things I've already warned you right above this very statement that I was going to do. I also reserve the right to run a howling good game, to write like a poet (and to write entirely new poetry appropriate to the game), to make pugnacious NPCs, to make you fear for your character's life, to run you ragged, and to try to make this the best game ever played on Paizo.com.

And I'm setting out to finish this game, not just start it.

Now, you got all that? You did? And you're still here? Smokin'. Go put together a character, and let's go make fvckin' magic.


The First World
Home of the Fey
Oathday 2nd Calistril, 4710 AR. - ???

Beyond the cave opening, which when turning about to look behind seems merely to be a rocky outcropping with a low thirty-foot-wide gap in its face and a stream trickling from here to there right in front of it, is a meadow surrounded by vastly immense trees, hundreds of feet tall. For those who have been to Kyonin, there is a resemblance -- but those in Kyonin look to be little children yearning to achieve the height, the spread, the immense treeness that these towering trunks seem to bear with them. Even the man-height bushes gathered about their toes at the fringe of the meadow seem to embody bushiness; everything is intense, vibrant, seemingly more alive and real than those base pieces of form and function you left back in Golarion.

And yet those who have information about the First World know that this place, this home of the fey, is in its way quite possibly more incimical to life because those that live here take nothing as consequential. A lethal trap might just be meant as a joke, as the one caught in it will emerge once again from the very fabric of the plane years, decades, centuries later, none the worse for the experience. Trying to cut your throat might be considered a compliment among the natives.

But perhaps fortunately, there are no natives to greet you, other than the towering oaks, the bushes, the grasses. The only things here at the moment are the fourteen of you: the king, eleven of his Electors, and the two monks.

And still in pursuit, those unholy screeches echo into the cavern from the widening passage -- two, maybe three of them.

As if in response, howls of challenge rise into the air from one side of the outcropping, and around the side race a pair of wolves, one of them monstrously large, each of them racing to their faithful humanoids -- Greyfang to Kaellin's side, Tieshi to William's. The latter dips his head to deposit a mass of leather at William's feet, then yawns to get the taste of treated cowhide off its tongue: the saddle and accoutrements necessary for the cavalier to mount him.

Others emerge as well; around the side opposite that from whence the wolves came, a tree walks out of the forest, brushing through the low plants that reach the 'knees' of its twelve-foot height; a honking sort of bellow rises from Heartwood's mouth as it spots Acaciano. And over the top of the outcropping clanks a short humanoid form wearing what looks to be plate armor, bearing a spear in its hand and a sword at its side. Seeing Velar, Lumnia lifts its spear and shouts, "My lord, the enemy comes!! Shall we not smite it with steel??"

How they got here is a mystery -- but here they are.

Roll Call:
NPCs: Chalm, Coalhouse, Aramil, Zámoždom Duchovný, Azaneth Nymaah and her defender.
PCs: Velar, Darivan, Kaellin, Theodric, Acaciano, Amavin, William, Bartek; G'lyn Nalag will be brought in relatively shortly (a PM has been sent).

As a quick technical description of the meadow, it is an oval of grass approximately a hundred fifty feet the long way, about a hundred the short; the outcropping of rock the front of which bears the cave mouth rests near the middle of one wide side, a trapezoid about fifteen feet in depth which starts to rise ten feet away from the brush behind it. A stream emerges from the brush about thirty feet to the right of the outcropping (if you're facing it), goes across its front, then meanders another forty or fifty feet before going back into the forest. The rest of the meadow rolls a little, but there is no major difference in height from one point to the other; the maximum difference between the tallest point and the lowest might be ten or twelve feet.

At current, there are no sizeable breaks in the brush surrounding the meadow, but it would not be difficult to push through it.


The Free City of Restov
Rostland, Brevoy
Wealday 1st Calistril - Oathday 2nd Calistril, 4710 AR.

In Calistril, it doesn't matter where in Brevoy you are; it's cold.

This morning's sun broke bright and icy in a crystalline blue sky, traditional for the last official month of winter; while snow may yet be in the offering between now and late Pharast, most of the heaviest falls are behind the city. The Swordlords and the nobility of Rostland are making final preparations for the party - or rather, The Party, to give it the emphasis it requires - on the morrow, which brings a very welcome flow of silver and gold from the coffers of the rich to the coffers of the not-so-rich. Even the bootblacks and torchbearers can look forward to a night of money-in-the-pocket, re-primping a lord's footgear or lighting the way for a carriage (or a handful on foot) from The Party to one of the countless post-Party soirees already scheduled.

The added influx of adventure-hungry swordsmen, land-hungry farmers, fresh-faced journeymen, power-hungry noble scions, god-hungry fanatics, and blood-hungry plotters has swollen the city's eighteen-thousand plus to well over twenty thousand; while the farmers have been welcomed readily by the chamberlain Oskar Vorwilde, the leaders of the rest have undergone interviews by both Vorwilde and Sir Nikita Alexeyevich, the Royal Captain of the Guard. You too have had these interviews, alone and with the rest of your group, now you wait nervously like the rest of the two- or three-dozen adventuring groups, some of you packing the inns of the town full, some of you getting clever and renting a townhome for yourselves and your minions, and some among you in the barren, snow-mounded fields just outside of town, pallisades erected to keep at bay hungry wolves and desperate bandits alike, housing not just yourselves but hundreds of farmers, mostly alone but a few families, in singles and groups ranging from strict order to a mish-mash of chaos.

Many of the farmers will be headed back home by Starday or Sunday, having gotten the promise of funds or transportation they need, to gather together their meager households and head south when the warmer winds blow in four or six weeks - in time to get there and break ground, not so soon that the ground will still be frozen. Others, mostly craftsmen of one stripe or another but almost all of them either journeyfold fresh out of their apprenticeships or those needing a new start, will wait for spring as well. Some few - vagabonds, or those who have been already turned out by landowners or mastercraftsmen, or the sharp ones who know that 'first established, best established' has been a watchword for millenia - will undoubtedly travel with the new king and his baggage train as they advance to the nearest safe haven (likely Nivatka's Crossing or Oleg's Trading Post, but some suggest that Chalm has cut a deal to temporarily establish himself in Fort Serenko) and begin tromping through the average of two feet of snow (and drifts varying from five to twelve feet in height) to start poking around and seeing what troubles can be stirred up, then quelled for good. The Stolen Lands have an even worse reputation than pretty much all the rest of the River Kingdoms; it is, bluntly, the most lawless area of them all. While others confidentially hint that Chalm will march deep into the Kamelands immediately to establish himself on the Tuskwater or Candlemere, this seems unlikely at best.

For the most part, though, everyone is still here in Restov. Who are you, and where are you staying??


M Roleplayer 25 / GM 8 / Writer 18 - Neutral Annoyed - Atlanta, GA - SA: Punctuation, Spelling, Sentence Structure

This will be the unifying Discussion page for the Mythic Kingmaker adventures; I expect there to be many, many threads.

Starting out, you legacy people can make sure you're going to start together; William Nightmoon has decided to swap out characters, so I'm going to run him through application again (though it's likely things will be weighted in his favor).

Come up with a new name for yourselves, a few things for y'all to have done, that sort of thing. I'm working on the RP page you can get started on / in now.

I expect everyone to have finalized any tweaks they may have wanted by the 18th. Aolis, I am leaning somewhat towards allowing Spheres of Power, but I may take a vote on it; I suspect greatly that it's the sort of option everyone needs to be on-board with and using, so I'm still somewhat iffy. All I ask for now is that you make sure you have both versions of your character handy for whichever way the decision goes.

Everyone else will get to join in on 25 December, so y'all have almost a month to RP 'a day in the life of' kind of thing.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

There is a lot I don't know about Pathfinder. I mean, a lot. The 'Walk Me Through It' series of threads is intended to allow you, the Pathfinder community, to sit down with a newbie at some system or another (Spheres of Power, Kingdom Building, Army / Battles System, Path of War, Psionics, Psychics, and others) and explain it to me - how it works, how to use it, how to balance it, how to manage it as a GM. Examples will be had and need to be used, from baseline creation all the way through a high-end exposition, using whatever system we happen to be exploring; the more options a system has, the more examples and exploration need to take place. The preference is to have a handful of baseline examples, and then 'grow' them through use of the system.

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

Spheres of Power

So I have a campaign, and one of my players is asking if he can rebuild his character using Spheres of Power, 'a unique magic system created by Drop Dead Studios'. While I understand that this is intended to enhance magic by moving it away from the Vancian system that D&D and its inheritors (of which Pathfinder is one) possess, and while the wiki linked above gives some amount of information, it's ... a little weak on execution.

The first example I'd like to see is that of taking the character in question, Aolis Greenborn, and converting him to Spheres of Power. What's his damage output? What can he do? Just as importantly, what can't he do? How is this going to unbalance / improve / weaken / change him in his core aspects, that of 'the knowledge dude' and as an arcane spellcaster?

The second example I'd want to see developed is that of a sacred caster of some sort - cleric, druid, paladin, something along those lines - built from the ground up, first level, and then evolving every three or four steps so that we can see how it develops.

Walk Me Through It.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

PROCLAMATION
BE IT SO KNOWN that the office of the Regent of the Dragonscale Throne, acting within its own authority and upon the advice of the Swordlords of Restov, and for the greater good of the People of the Nation of Brevoy, has granted unto Chalm Surtova, cousin of His Majesty Noleski of Brevoy, the throne and charter of the lands south of Brevoy, that wilderness region commonly known as "The Stolen Lands".

HIS MAJESTY Chalm Surtova thereby does call for a body of reputable and experienced explorers and adventurers of acceptable social standing, that they may be granted the honor of swearing fealty unto him, that they may become his vassals and liegemen, uphold his rights and honours, execute his laws and justice, and protect his people and country. They shall be required to uphold the River Freedoms in his name, yet establish upon the land that Freedom that shall replace the Sixth, that the people shall have not what they can hold, but what they have earned and created by their own labors. They shall thus be required to strive against banditry and other unlawful behavior should it be encountered, to clear the land of perils and monsters, to develop their assigned fiefdoms, and to protect the subjects of the new kingdom.

IN RETURN for their oath of temporal fealty unto His Majesty Chalm Surtova, his line, and his nation, should they be of honourable estate, they shall receive patents of nobility from His hand as appropriate to their labours and station, and shall partake of the kingdom's largesse in proportion to the labour and effort with which they shall invest it.

SHOULD you perchance be of a company of venturers of reputation and honor, and should you be interested in settling a new land and bringing order and progress to such a wilderness, you are commanded to present yourselves and your credentials to His Majesty's chamberlain, Fidel Réviser, and His Majesty's Captain of the Guard, Sir Costaud Soutenir, to be found within the City Hall of the Free City of Restov, on or before Oathday 26th day of Abadius, 4710 AR, that they may be reviewed and submitted to His Majesty Chalm Surtova for acceptance and oathtaking during the gala the Crown of Brevoy does command to be given for His Majesty Chalm Surtova by the Lord Mayor of the Free City of Restov, Ioseph Sellemius, to be attended by the Nobility and Swordlords of the Free City of Restov, upon Oathday 2nd day of Calistril, 4710 AR.

SO DECREED on this Toilday 2th day of Abadius, 4710 AR, under the watchful eye of the Overlord of Restov, by King Noleski Surtova, by the authority granted him as Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.

(Signed)
Noleski Surtova, Brevoy Rex

(His Seal)

About the campaign:
This will be loosely based off the Kingmaker campaign path, with a number of significant changes. Most of them will be familiar to those who have applied to or played in Corsario's Kingmaker campaigns, but some of them are new.

First, this will be a significant undertaking - not four nobodies going out to set up a couple of farms in the Greenbelt and beyond, and hacking through a few 'issues', but a sizeable number of individuals seeking their fortunes, with oaths of fealty sworn to a recognized noble that the current king trusts moderately, but can do without if he fails like so many other things in the River Kingdoms. As a consequence, this game will have:


  • A large number of players - up to 16 - with cohorts and followers, enabling them to roleplay both in concert and at odds with each other;
  • Advanced (7th level) and complex characters, with magic items, extensive equipment, abilities, backgrounds, IC history with each other, and the like;
  • Multiple smaller groups of 3-8 individuals, sometimes all of one type (leader/cohort), sometimes a mixed bunch, where leaders will not necessarily be paired with their own cohorts, thus enabling players to be involved in multiple experiences (and not have to RP off themselves); and
  • plenty of spotlight time - a fair amount of politics, significant chances to be underhanded (or to NOT be underhanded), enforcement of law and order, slam-bang fights, at least one war, flamboyant duels, spectacular magical fireworks, and who knows, maybe even a romance or two.

As written above, this is Noleski Surtova stealing a march on the Restov Swordlords, so politics and a social situation will be involved right out of the gate. However, hot on its heels will be a fight, a kidnapping, a discovery, a running battle, a choice, a chase, another fight, another social situation (of sorts), another choice, and ...

... and that's just the prologue.

This campaign will start out at a higher level, and also go Mythic (with certain enhancements of my own devising). This is not a campaign to learn to play; while people new to the system are welcome, I certainly hope to have people who know the system inside and out upon whom I can lean if/when it comes to crunch.

Speaking of crunch, I am utterly unfamiliar with the Kingdom and Army rules; while use of them is well in the future, if anyone has good experience and can shepherd us through them, it will be of benefit. If we do not gain anyone with such knowledge, I am more than willing to play fast and loose, using and abusing knowledge skills, followers, random die rolls, and lots and lots of narrative to describe effort put into growing the kingdom.

If you are thinking you won't get to be the king or queen (even if, as Mel Brooks says, "It's good to be the king") in this game, you are correct; you probably won't, since the aforementioned Chalm (pronounced 'Calm') Surtova is the king, and you are going to be his firemen. I use the word 'probably', however, because the reason for Mythic tiers is because though this game is based off the Kingmaker campaign (and all its events will take place in this campaign), you will have a far more difficult task ahead of you than just spanking some bloody jumped-up nymph for getting too big for her britches. You will be epic; you will be legendary; you will be Mythic.

Or, y'know - you'll die.

All players from Corsario's Kingmaker - Agents of the Kingdom are not only invited, but have priority and immediate acceptance into the game. Yes, even Axhammer, Grogimus, with the caveat about it being a requirement of the game that he swear an oath of temporal (i.e. earthly) fealty.

About the recruitment:
As stated, I am looking for 8 to 16 players, each of which who will start with a main character and a cohort. (So 16 to 32 characters at game start.)

At game start, characters will be organized (with their cohorts) into groups, based off common elements or themes within their backgrounds and characters; it will be a given that these groups have been in existence for at least five years, and that any particular individual has been a member of the troupe, fighting beside and protecting and trusting each other, for at least two years. (This gives you a sizeable depth of trust implicit with each character and cohort in your group.)

Teams may have worked with each other, may have been rivals, but at the very least they will know of each others' reputation. Rivals may have fought each other on the field of battle, but after the war they should be able to have a drink together. This will not be a PvP game.

The first adventures will see characters out of necessity working together; afterwards, past group allegiences will be remembered but superseded by loyalty to the entire group, and players will be expected to trust each other, "mix and match," and split into any configuration needed at the moment.

If you can assemble your groups on your own, that's great.

Recruitment will be open for one month, until the night of Sunday, 18 December 2016. I will allow myself a week to analyze and make selections, and intend to give Christmas presents by posting the roster of accepted individuals late Christmas Eve / early Christmas morning, so you have plenty of time to make a good character.

More importantly, take the time to assemble a coherent background that fits into Kingmaker, Brevoy, and the River Kingdoms. Good writing, and a good background, counts highly. The area and culture are loosely based off post-Renaissance France and Spain (what with duelling); do your homework. Most importantly, understand that I have done my homework, and can puncture an overblown background with a rapier wit.

(Get it? Duelling and rapier wit? See what I did there? ... okay, never mind, forget I said anything. Sheesh, you people ...)

Ask questions. Be flexible. Be friendly. Be Courteous. Be willing to have fun.

Valid Sources and Options:
Except for psionics, all Paizo if it can be explained into the region. (Like I said, background counts.) No 3rd party unless added below.

Unchained Classes as below.
Fractional Base Bonuses.
Background Skills.
Artistry and Lore skills available.
Skill Unlocks available.
Scaling items available.
Words of Power available.

I don't have everything memorized; if you're wondering, ask.

Character Creation:

Primary Character (PC)

Level: 7
Attributes: Point Buy, 25 points. Minimum Charisma 12. (This is a hard minimum, so don't try to finagle me.)
Races: Core primary. Featured races may apply, but I will select at most 1 Featured race out of every 5 characters.
Alignment: Any Good; Lawful Neutral, True Neutral.
Classes: Core and Base (no 3rd party). Barbarian, Monk, Rogue, and Summoner must be Unchained. No witches. Standard multi-classing, no variants.
Archetypes: Maximum 1 per class. 3rd party archetypes only to replace those lost to Unchained.
HP:
. . Game Start: Maximum for level.
. . Advancement: Average (round up) + 1 (So 1d8 = 6.)
Traits: 2, 1 must be Racial or Kingmaker; +1 from 1 Drawback.
Feats: Normal for race, class, and level.
. . Bonus story feat; initiating events assumed to have happened.*
. . Bonus leadership feat: Leadership. To get it out of the way now, no, you cannot have Cohorts instead.
. . Crafting Feats allowed, but all items at start are purchased at full cost (no discount).
Skills: Unchained, +1 background skill point per level.
. . Profession and craft skills may be useful for downtime.
. . See 'Crafting Feats' above regarding items at start.
Gold: 24,000 gp, no crafting.
. Magic Item Limits:
. . 1 magic up to 8,000 gp
. . 1 magic up to 4,000 gp
. . Any magic up to 2,000 gp
. . 2 wand maximum + 1 healing wand
. . 10 potion/scroll maximum, +10 healing potions/scrolls
Spells and Spellbooks: Not initially tracked. For those who msut find and transcribe spells (e.g. wizards, etc.), double the 'new level' spells (4/level for a wizard).

* - You know - you've died and come back to life, or you've stolen 1,000+gp worth of stuff and you've kept souveniers, whatever. I am particularly flexible with Story Feats; if there's an effect you want, but the thematics of the Story Feat doesn't quite fit what you want (e.g. Dynasty Founder, but you want to build a trade company), don't worry, ask me and I'll work with you. Same thing with Traits.

Leadership:

Leadership Feat
In this game, Leadership - including your follower numbers - will grow into importance. You must build the cohort you acquire from the free feat. You possess a general reputation modifier of +3 (of 'Renown' and 'fairness and generosity'); you possess no benefits nor drawbacks as of yet in regards to follower reputation.

Cohorts
Your cohort is your secondary character; you should put almost as much effort into their character and background as you do your own. Your cohort should either amplify your PC's main strength (a fellow cavalier, for example), or else take care of one sector of situations (one, not all other) where your character is weak - magic, social situations, underworld issues, etc. As your cohort will often be seperate from your PC, hyperspecialization is ... not recommended, but will be accepted, because if they get killed, you get a Leadership penalty for your next cohort, don't you?

Cohort Creation

Level: As per your PC's Leadership feat. Special rule: cohorts will gain in levels in lockstep with the PCs, remaining at least 2 levels behind them (again as per your PC's Leadership feat).
Attributes: Point buy, 20 points.
Races: As PC, including 1 Featured per 5 characters.
Alignment: As PC and Leadership.
Classes: As PC.
Archetypes: As PC.
HP: As PC.
Traits: As PC.
Feats: As PC, including bonus story feat. Will gain 'nesting' Leadership-style feat at 7th level (may select Cohorts now, if desired, and gain a free feat at 7th).
. . Crafting Feats as PC.
Skills: Unchained, no additional background skill point.
. . Profession and craft skills may be useful for downtime.
Gold: 10,000 gp, no crafting.
. Magic Item Limits:
. . 1 magic up to 3,000 gp
. . 3 magic up to 1,000 gp
. . Any magic up to 500 gp
. . 1 wand maximum + 1 healing wand
. . 5 potion/scroll maximum, +5 healing potions/scrolls
Spells and Spellbooks: As PC.

Followers
Followers do not need to be fleshed out, but you are permitted to do so. Followers above 1st level may possess PC classes; only 1/3 of 1st level followers may have a PC class.

Attributes: NPC (Basic).
Races: As PC, including 1 Featured per 5 characters.
Alignment: As PC and Leadership. No Evil or Chaotic Neutral Minions, thank you very much.
Classes: As PC.
Archetypes: As PC.
HP: As PC.
Traits: 2 traits, 1 of which must be Racial or Kingmaker. No drawbacks.
Feats: Normal for race, class, and level. No bonus feats.
. . Crafting Feats as PC.
Skills: Unchained, no additional background skill point.
. . Profession and craft skills may be useful for downtime.
Gold: Depending on level, below.
. L3: 3,000 gp
. . 1 magic up to 1,000 gp
. . 1 wand maximum, including healing.
. . 2 potion/scroll maximum, +2 healing potions/scrolls
. L2: 1,000 gp
. . 2 potion/scroll maximum, +2 healing potions/scrolls
. L3: 300 gp
. . 1 healing potion.
Spells and Spellbooks: As PC.

If you do not flesh out the followers to such an extent, they will be presumed to have the equipment necessary for their assigned task - masterwork if possible, standard if not. L3s will possess 1 CLW wand and 2 CLW potions; L2s will possess 2 CLW potions, and L1s will possess 1 CLW potion.

Future followers will come similarly well-equipped; your NPC followers (as you can tell) are a couple steps above the average when it comes to equipment. I have yet to determine magic-item breakdowns, but followers will generally possess PC-level wealth-by-level.

Recommendations:

- Builds: Build the build you want to play.
- Background: Limit your background plot twists to 1, maybe 2. An overcomplicated background typically irritates me. Let it make sense, not be a fantasia; that's what the game is for.
- Writing: Be coherent, use all the rules for spelling/punctuation/capitalization/etc. Ugly writing makes for an ugly character.
- Leadership: Consider your character in light of the people they've drawn to them. Why do they follow you? What do you offer them that they can't find elsewhere?

How to improve your chances:

- Personality: Give your PC one, and not a two-dimensional cardboard one. Take a moment to come up with a dozen adverbs or adjectives that describe him or her. Lively; bubbly; disgruntled; thoughtful; irascible; tender-hearted. Whatever they are, come up with them, and then infuse them through your background.
- Equippage: You don't live in your armor, and you need to move your gear. Reflect your character's personality, background, everything else in their gear.
- Background: Overcomplex is overcomplicated is bad. Simple is beautiful. Most people are just people; most heroes are just the right people in the right place at the wrong damn time.
- Location: This is Brevoy; don't come from the far side of the world without a Very Good Reason.
- Description: What's that 12+ Charisma mean? Are you a stunning 20 Cha elf with legs that go all the way up? Or a 16 CHA half-orc who might have a certain rough attractiveness, but whose power of personality lights peoples' spirits on fire?

How to waste your time and mine:

- Ask to use your own race / class / 3rd-party product.
- Totally min/max your character.
- Ignore the build requirements.
- Create a character background that makes no sense.
- Make a loner.
- Be incoherent.

Special Notes on Alignment:

I use the 9-point system for Law/Chaos and Good/Evil. Actually, I technically use an 89-point scale for each of those two (L/C and G/E); there are 'transition points' where you really know you're about to slide, and you can get a decent idea of how far you're sliding one way or another due to certain acts and the like. However, while Good/Evil is relatively easy to explain, talk about, agree upon, Law/Chaos is not.

Law and Order are essentially synonymous; a Lawful person likes structure, whether internal or external, in their lives. Social structure tends to be important to them; self-discipline tends to be at least as important. They tend to follow laws - just laws if they're a Good person, any laws if they're an Evil person, and then twisting the letter and the intent of the law until it squeals to their advantage.

Chaos and Freedom are equally synonymous; a Chaotic person likes freedom in their lives. A Chaotic individual prefers the freedom to be able to make their decisions without social pressures to make them a certain way. They tend to believe that people can make their own life decisions without someone somewhere telling them that they can't make certain ones. They may choose to obey a law (or laws), but it's their belief in freedom that allows them to make that decision.

All of them believe in consequences for your decisions; only madmen and qlippothics believe otherwise.

In most RPGs with alignment systems, and especially in Pathfinder, alignments are essentially objective conditions. What that means in game-play is that if I warn you you are currently or about to be engaged in an act or situation that may radically shift or violate your alignment restrictions, then take it as guaranteed as gravity, as certain as water being wet, that that's the condition that's happening.

Like with anything - see my 'I want to have fun too' section in 'about myself', below - you have two OOC posts at best to try to convince me that what you're doing does not violate your moral code (Good/Evil) or your code of ethics (Law/Chaos). Understand / realize / remember, however, that while you play your character, I play all the rest of the world around your characters. That's the king, and the servant girl, and the wind and grass and trees and monsters and, oh yeah, the Gods. If I post that your cleric character is getting the sense that Cayden Cailean disapproves of the imposition of her will upon someone, and you can't convince me in a post or two over in the Discussion thread that your actions are essentially freedom-loving, then that's the way it is - your actions, at that moment, are not approved-of by the Lucky Drunk as being too Lawful. Back off and keep your alignment, or press on and accept the consequences, whatever they may be.

About myself:

I am an a*$$%+*.

Let me say that again, just so that you and I are on the same fvcking page:

I am an a&@~###.

I will not coddle you. I will not automatically be careful not to insult your tender-wender feelings. I will kick your ass when you're being a schmuck, I will kick your head when you're being a pedant, and I will kick you out of the game if you deliberately wind me up. If you don't need any of those things done to you, you will find that I generally like people, that I'm a laugh riot, that I don't take myself too seriously, and that I can take an insult like a champ. But make sure you're wearing your big-boy/girl pants if you want to play here, dammit.

I run with an eye towards realism. That doesn't make my game a slavish image of reality, and that won't make this a simulation instead of a game, but someone who uses ass-backwards logic in the vein of 'well, the X here could be anything, it's a fantasy X with magic' is going to get Gibbs-slapped the first time they say it, and b!tch-slapped the second - because fantasy games like this one have their core roots in what we as humans know. Brevoy and the River Kingdoms are a blend of late- and post-Renaissance Spain and France, adding a touch of robber-baron and bandit king to it. Nobles in Brevoy have a vested interest in seeing the commoners kept in their place, even if the commoners aren't their commoners. You can spurn these things, but doing so will have consequences - and those consequences can mean you getting executed for giving offense to a royal person.

I do not play your character - only the rest of the world. This means that you control what your character does, I do not. What I do control and dictate is how the rest of the world reacts to your charater. If you diss the princess, the nobles around her take affront on her behalf. You might get repeatedly challenged to duels. You might be seized by the royal guard for lèse-majesté, taken out back, and be executed for the treason under which that class of actions is defined. I don't dictate what you do; I only dictate what the rest of the world does in reaction to what you do. Heal a person? Defend a town? Slay a marauding dragon? They love you, your reputation grows. Start throwing fireballs around the tavern - or the town? Well, they don't love you, but your reputation DOES grow; just not the sort of reputation you might want.

Learn the Six River Freedoms. Seriously, if you're playing in the River Kingdoms (and we are) this sh!t winds up impacting about 80% of your interactions. The above declaration - and, essentially, what 90% of the game is going to be about - is strong-arming a majority of the Kingdoms into changing #6 ("You Have What You Hold") into actual rule of goodness and law, as #6 essentially legalizes banditry. #4 might get a facelift, but learn, learn to love, and live by the other four as if your life depended on them - because they probably will.

I write the way I want myself, my character, or the world to be viewed. I write very, very well for an amateur, and I've been trying to break into the pro scene (if I can get at least one of my ten different projects done), but it means that I write well. And I check my writing before posting it. And I tend to use word selection specifically for its implications and impact. (Subtlety is my friend, though it may not be yours.) The more you write, the more you learn to write; the better you write, the more people want to play with you. Learn to write well - and then do so.

I want you to have fun. Being a player means wanting your character to do Cool Sh!t(TM). That means Spotlight Time - you know, the moment in the game where you do Cool Sh!t(TM)? That's when the spotlight is on you and your character, and you do your Cool Sh!t(TM). That spotlight can move fast - there's a lot of characters that are going to be here - but if you want to try some wild-ass stunt, then by all means, try your wild-ass stunt. I am, in fact, here to facilitate your wild-ass stunts. I am also here to provide you with Object Lessons on why wild-ass stunts are wild-ass, because when you fail, you look like a wild ass. (And if it's a wild-ass stunt, then I think there should be a reasonable chance of you failing - but I'm pretty sure we'll figure out together what 'reason' in such a case means.) But I'm also here to cheer when your wild-ass stunt succeeds, and reward you appropriately for managing to pull it off, you crazy kid.

I will be flexible - within reason. If I have a set-piece I need to run you through, then you will encounter that set-piece no matter where you go - Mivon, Daggermark, or Absalom. However, if you try to hie yourself all the way to Absalom or some other place that is clearly well out of the campaign expectations (e.g. the River Kingdoms and environs), then I reserve the right to be a bit cross about it, and Gibbs-slap you for making me twist reality not only into a pretzel, but into a Moebius strip in order to make everything work because of your ludicrous craptastic journey to Absalom just because your oats are up and you want to have a go at the Starstone.

I want to have fun too. I am not going to get involved in huge arguments about politics, an off-the-wall interpretation of a rule that depends on how you define one word, or whatever. I am open-minded, and I know what I don't know - to wit, much of the system. However, I've been playing and running pen-and-paper RPGs for over thirty years, and so I can smell a bullsh!t attempt at sixty paces. You have one (1) chance - that means two (2) posts max, and maybe one (1) post - to convince me of a rule interpretation. If I say no, roll with it, and try again the next time, because the next time I may agree with you for a myriad of reasons. Like I said above about realism and playing the rest of the world, though, it means that for the most part, 'usual consequences' will be usual. What I said above about you having fun means that I WILL adapt the game to the wild stunts you crazy kids try to pull off - either through consequences due to your failures, or amazement due to your successes. But if I start approaching this game with trepidation, if the moment I see '3 new messages' I get a sour feeling in my gut, I will locate the cause of my upset and I will make it not be a cause of upset any more, either through telling the offender to get their act together, or removing them from the game for not having done so. Because I want to have fun too.

And because I am an a&&#$%&. I reserve lots of rights - the right to Gibbs-slap you, to tell you you're being a schmuck or a pedant, to ask you what drugs you're smoking if you think you can use two lances at once during a charge, to take a phone book to you if you think your special snowflake deserves special treatment. I especially reserve the right to kick your butt out if you not only go out into left field, but stay out there and scream and whine and cry and tell me I'm being unfair for doing all of the things I've already warned you right above this very statement that I was going to do. I also reserve the right to run a howling good game, to write like a poet (and to write entirely new poetry appropriate to the game), to make pugnacious NPCs, to make you fear for your character's life, to run you ragged, and to try to make this the best game ever played on Paizo.com.

And I'm setting out to finish this game, not just start it. And hoo-boy, what a finish. Do you feel like going up against a god? You do? Great, because that's just the opening part of Act 6's main attraction.

Now, you got all that? You did? And you're still here? Smokin'. Go put together a character, and let's go make fvckin' magic.

I look forward to reading your submissions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Baseline caveat/rule: don't gripe about how leadership etc. is broken, how it can be abused, etc. This thread is for suggestions, not complaints.

The game is intended to be one that has the PCs developing contacts, creating continent-spanning organizations, and that sort of thing; it is also Mythic. So though I looked up various mythic versions of Leadership, I haven't been satisfied with them. So the following ...

Quote:

Leadership (Mythic Feat)(Ex)

You can attract even more followers to your cause and a more powerful companion to join you on your adventures.

Prerequisite: Character level 7th, Leadership feat.

Benefit: This feat adds half your mythic tier to your leadership score; you may also recruit a cohort equal to your level. Furthermore, at Leadership of 26, you may recruit an 18th level cohort; at 28, a 19th level cohort; and at 30th, a 20th level cohort. Your cohort may possess mythic tiers as well, to a maximum of 2/3 of your own mythic tier, rounded down.

This somewhat combines the Greater Leadership ability from Noble Scion, as well as the Champion's Crusader Mythic Path ability. I am considering putting the Mythic Tier increase to full-tier, though unlike the Crusader path ability the followers can't use the Mythic Surge ability.

Quote:

Recruits (Mythic Feat)(Ex)

Your recruits are especially skilled.

Prerequisite: Cha 13, Character level 5th, Recruits feat.

Benefit: The lesser cohorts you gain from the Recruits feat are more powerful than standard. You add 1/2 your tier (minimum 1) to your leadership score for recruitment purposes, and these lesser cohorts may be up to 2 levels lower than your character level. They may also possess mythic tiers up to 1/3 of your tier (round down).

Special: As with standard Recruits, you may exchange this mythic feat for its Leadership version upon achieving level 7th, essentially switching both standard and mythic Recruit feat for their Leadership versions.

This one I'm pretty satisfied with; though again it nudges the Recruits' possible level up by two and gives them Mythic potential, their potential power isn't likely to 'break' things - especially since the basic rules for Recruits state that only one of them can adventure with you at a time.

Quote:

Loyalty (Mythic Path, Universal)(Ex)

People are drawn to your cause, either by your charismatic espousal of a faith, monetary inducement, or stated goals.

Prerequisite: Cha 13, Character level 5th, Recruits feat.

Benefit: You gain followers and a cohort as if you possessed the Leadership feat, adding half your tier (minimum 1) to your Leadership score for both followers and cohort. If you possess a marshal’s order ability and your cohort is within 100 feet, you can include your cohort as an additional ally affected by your order. If you have or gain the Leadership feat, you may have only one cohort, but you gain followers from both this ability and the normal Leadership feat. You do not add your tier to your Leadership score for the standard feat.

Special: Loyalty counts as the Leadership feat for purposes of prerequisites.

I think I like this one as-is too; it saves a feat (per se) but the character loses the possibility of their cohort being Mythic as well.

Quote:

Cadre (Mythic Path, Universal)(Ex)

Through diligent examination, you have discovered the best personnel within your organization, and can place them in key positions.

Prerequisite: Leadership feat or Loyalty Universal Path ability.

Benefit: Through your travels, you have developed a number of reliable followers, officers who can be relied upon to execute your orders. You gain a number of minor cohorts equal to half your character level plus half your mythic tier; these followers must be at least 4 levels below your own, though you gain half your mythic tier (minimum 1) as a bonus to your Leadership score to determine whether they achieve that point.
You must have the Leadership feat or the Loyalty Universal Mythic Path Ability to gain this ability; you may not possess the Recruits feat. As these are primarily leading officers for your followers, only one of the cadre may adventure with you at any one time, as with the Recruits feat. You may adventure with both your Loyalty cohort and one Cadre officer, however.
If a minor cohort dies, you take only a –1 penalty to your Leadership score. You will, however, take a number of weeks equal to your current number of cohorts (including that from Leadership or Loyalty) to attract a replacement.

Special: Unless you possess the mythic feat 'Beyond Morality', cadre officers must be within one and a half alignment steps of your character, e.g. if you are Lawful Neutral, they may be Neutral Good or Neutral Evil, but not Chaotic of any sort. If you are Lawful Good, they can be neither Chaotic nor Evil, but may be True Neutral. As with the Recruits feat, you only take a -1 penalty to your Leadership score should you be the cause of a Cadre officer's death.

This one I'm very not-sure about, to be entirely honest. You could have an additional (4-levels-lower) cohort kicking around with you, but again, they aren't Mythic and so are running a risk of some nasty death or another. They also don't have the potential to gain Mythic tiers, and you need Loyalty or Leadership to gain this.

Quote:

Disciples (Mythic Path, Universal)(Ex)

You have drawn a select handful of individuals to your cause.

Prerequisite: May not possess Leadership, Vile Leadership, or Recruits feats, or the Loyalty or Cadre mythic path abilities.

Benefit: Through your travels, you have developed a number of reliable followers, disciples who follow your instructions, teachings, and philosophy. You gain a number of minor cohorts equal to half your character level plus half your mythic tier; these followers must be at least 3 levels below your own, though you gain your mythic tier as a bonus to your Leadership score to determine whether they achieve that point. Your disciples may be mythic individuals as well; their mythic rank cannot exceed 2/3 your own mythic rank (round down).
As these disciples have an interest in learning and spreading your philosophies of life, you can have only one lesser cohort travel with you at a time (though they all gain experience at the same rate, as those not present are assumed to be studying, proslytizing, and growing independently). Whenever you are in a major town or city, you may meet with one or more other disciples, and exchange your current companion for a different member.
The rest of your disciples are busy learning and studying (and accomplishing their own wonders, sometimes in your name), and so those not traveling with you cannot engage in mundane or magical crafting or Profession checks. Lesser cohorts not traveling with you can serve as managers for your holdings if you are using downtime rules (Ultimate Campaign 88); if you possess a stronghold or school of learning, they may even be able to hold positions of influence (Ultimate Campaign).
If a minor cohort dies, you take only a –1 penalty to your Leadership score. You will, however, take a number of weeks equal to your current number of cohorts to attract a replacement.
You may not have the Leadership, Vile Leadership or Recruits feats, or the Loyalty or Cadre mythic path abilities. You may possess the Crusader mythic path ability (which does not grant a cohort, only followers).

Special: Unless you possess the mythic feat 'Beyond Morality', disciples must be within one and a half alignment steps of your character, e.g. if you are Lawful Neutral, they may be Neutral Good or Neutral Evil, but not Chaotic of any sort. If you are Lawful Good, they can be neither Chaotic nor Evil, but may be True Neutral.

I think I'm satisfied with this one too, but feel free to poke at it for me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Saturday, 25/09/2077
Movement Assignment: Chicago, IL, USA
en route
Arrival ETA: 1 h 35 m

So here you are - arriving in the decade-old destruction of Chicago, on a military bus with perhaps one or two other Threaded UN PDF Trainees and about thirty UNPDF Marines. Their guns - and since you're on duty just as much as they are, your own Sabordo 10mm Carbine, with your load-standard one-and-three clips - are secured, the bolt-block in-place in the open breech, racked muzzle-down on the back of the seat in front of you. You are under their Second Lieutenant's command during your movement to the bombarded city; he (or rather, the nearest Marine) will be giving you orders should the crap hit the turbine and a Thunder attack roll in on you and the other busses in your convoy.

Beginning a next stage of your life, it is only natural to think about what's come before ...

=======================================================================

Officially, UNPDF Trainee Boot Camp is eleven weeks long, but it can take up to thirteen weeks worth of you in the hands of the good men and women who are charged to take the mass of your raw wannabe selves and decant a focused, driven Cadet out the other side. 'Receiving' starts when you apply (usually online), your parents' electronic signatures attached. It continues through the psychological testing, a thousand questions (most multiple-choice, but a few that are 'open-ended') that you have to answer within 24 hours of your application. Within 24 hours after finishing that, you receive orders to arrive in-person at a specific time at the most convenient UN PDF Trainee Military Entry Processing Station; these orders account for your parents' capability (or lack of it) to get you there, arranging for transport if necessary for you and one parent or guardian (with total strangers who just happen to be planning a trip in that direction, sometimes) and allowing sufficient time for the 'movement'. Then comes the interview. Or rather, The Interview.

The Interview is two psychologists, one local, one from the PDF, who take five minutes of your parents' time to give them one last chance to say 'hell no' (it isn't often that that happens); they then get sent back out to the front for cake and grief counselling There's never any cake left; it's always all just been eaten. That means you get left alone with those two brain-benders for up to two hours' worth of brow-beating, scorn, contempt, spite, disdain, disgust, bile, and every other invention of humanity to strip-mine your personality down to make sure what answers you put into your questions is what you really are - and that you really, honestly, by-your-own-choice-and-no-others want to be there. Fortunately for you ... you did. Those who fail get sent home, or worse.

Since you passed the Interview, they send you down the hall to a battery of tests - basic physical motions, strength and endurance baselines, genetic-sample-taking (four vials' worth!), and the implant of a pinhead-sized short-range-transmitting biomonitor just where the back of your skull meets your spine. If you brought luggage, great - you get to move your stuff from whatever you brought it in into a standardized locker, 1m x 1m x 2m, that gets sealed and sent along with you. Kiss Mom and Dad goodbye, kiddo, because you're off to Trainee Boot Camp on the spot. Fortunately, you knew this would happen before you ever submitted your application less than four days ago. And off you go to one of only seventy-four boot camp locations in North America.

For the rest of 'Receiving' the four training platoons form up - each of them with sixty boys or girls all between 12 and 14 years of age, determined to give it their all and earn the chance to be Injected and, with luck, be one of the less-than-five-percent (2.88% average in North America) who are compatable - and the one percent of those who Thread fully and successfully. 'Receiving' and 'Forming' (the week that follows, which is still not considered part of Trainee Boot Camp) are basically about getting you out of your civilian mindset and into the mindset of a PDF Trainee. You are, after all, only 13 (well, usually), and very, very few of you or your compatriots in Boot are of the military mindset when you go in.

You sure as heck are when you come out, however.

The PDF, they say, is one of the toughest basic-training courses to go through, because they're not just forming your body and esprit de corps, they're also purging all of the prejudice from your brain to make a PDF soldier or sailor. It is said that in the Middle East, in the fighting along the Palestinian Coast, that Muslims and Jews who fought each other fifteen years ago in the Thirty-Six-Hour War fight side-by-side against the Thunder. Humanity is the only thing that matters, now. The PDF does not want anyone who does not want to be there; if you give up, you head back into your local military forces. One out of four who enter give up or are tossed out 'for cause', whether physical (remember the biomonitor?) or sociopsychological.

The PDF Trainee Program is almost as tough - slightly less so on the body, slightly moreso on the mind. The North American drop-out rate isn't quite as bad as the adult boot camp drop rate; 'only' 1 out of 5 will withdraw, their enlistment delayed until after their eighteenth birthday, when they will be reactivated and ordered to report to a national-level military service center for boot camp. Once you volunteer to fight for humanity's survival, they aren't going to let you back out, after all.

Unlike one out of five of your squadmates, though, you stuck with it - by gum, you did. Twelve-plus weeks of body-exhausting, mind-stunning, book-learning, order-following, Drill-Instructor-shouting, back-of-the-head-smacking, seat-of-the-pants-kicking, bitten-by-something-itching, firing-your-weapon-so-much-your-hands-are-tingling, and most importantly self-forming determination, drive, and refusal to give up. You marched in the Commandant's review on that last day, head held high. You threw your cover (that's your hat, you philistine) into the air like everyone else when she or he addressed you graduates as Cadets, not Trainees for the very first time. Heck, your loved ones might've even been there.

Afterwards, depending on when you first volunteered, you may wind up spending another thirteen weeks waiting for Injection. The time isn't wasted; you and the rest of the graduates of your training platoon continue to refine and expand the skills learned in Boot, and as more platoons arrive the Sergeants in charge do the same thing the Drill Instructors did at Boot - get you into competitions. Victory, after all, is worth it, whether that's an extra dessert or a vidcom home - or just the pride of triumph. Then came 27/08/2077: Injection.

And you thought the Interview and Boot were tough.

In every interview over the last thirteen years, PDF Commander Toliver Fisk - the first individual to successfully Thread to any degree - has stated that the Injection was the greatest and most prolonged pain he has ever experienced, before or after. Professor Karl Schein, the scientist who invented the KS Serum, has made no apology about the fact that The Injection hurts so much, stating that when the potential for such deep-seated alterations is being introduced, an organism must of course experience pain. Across one day, in hundreds of rooms beneath the Injection facility, twenty-five hundred teens experience two hours of mind-shattering pain as the chemicals and retrovirii slowly drip into their veins. Blood and nerves on fire, muscles stressed in endless minutes of agony, internal organs twisting inside you as they refuse to cope with the torment, your last year's worth of meals striving to expel themselves from your body ... Only one in ten thousand teens actually dies from the Injection itself; it's just that all the rest of you wish you could.

Then comes the waiting. A full week passes as the serum works its way through every crevice of your body, silent and subtle, sliding into your cells with every beat of your heart, every movement of your muscle, contemplating your body chemistry and your genetics and deciding whether or not it should affect you. The earliest anyone Threads is eight days in, the latest is twenty-three - a sixteen-day bell-curve that starts on 03-09-2077 and ends on 18-09-2077. For those days, it's constant push-push-push, physical activity of all sorts, everything from the confidence courses to the rappelling tower to the running tracks to the Olympic-sized pool. Every movement you make, every step you take, is watched like a hawk by combat-armed, -armored, locked-and-loaded soldiers, keeping pace no more than thirty but no less than twenty meters distant, or behind rifles in towers overlooking the base's entire outdoor zone. At each of the 75 injection facilities in the North American region, and out of the approximately 2500 - more in the States and Canada, but by no more than a hundred - per site, only about a hundred and fifty are reactive. Which means on Day 3, someone reacts.

Usually it's something mild - very mild. Someone feels subtly better, improves their two-mile-run time by half a minute, stays underwater for an extra fifteen seconds. Sometimes it's something more significant - a sudden surge of power on their side of the squad-versus-squad tug-of-war. The biomonitor implant keeps a close watch on each person's endocrine and neurotransmitter productions, and can tell when someone's Threaded.

And then people start dying. A girl projectile-vomits at breakfast - first her food, then her internal organs. A boy seizes during a run, in such contortions you can hear his bones snapping. Another youth starts to rappel off the side of the tower, only to go completely slack and fall three stories straight to the ground - dead before he even started to fall. Forty, fifty of them, kids you've come to know - on average, at least one that you'd been through boot with, often two or three.

Even worse are the ones, one in ten, who are ... well, unnerving. They start to run faster than is possible, or leap without a rope from the tower, or dive into the water with a full load and yet swim an Olympic time. And they do not stop. Orders slough off them, despite boot camp training; most of them laugh maniacally. Some grow violent, lashing out at the nearest noncoms, covering the twenty-meter distance in less than a handful of heartbeats before crushing a 23-year-old corporal's ribcage with a massive punch.

All of them must be put down by gunfire - the first combat deaths you witness as members of the United Nations Planetary Defense Force, for make no mistake, they are combat deaths, and are treated as such.

Then there's those who Thread just as fully as those one-in-ten, but don't lose control. The one in a hundred who react to the KS Serum; the 1 in 2800 who graduate training. The 1 in 3500 who volunteer for the PDF; the 1 in 340,000 kids of your age group.

You Thread, and keep control. You're going to have the chance to become a superhero.

Spoiler:

Each of you can give me a post, telling me what you are doing at the moment of your Threading. It will almost always involve a physical activity, usually movement of some sort; everyone who Threads fully gains an enhanced movement. For this reason, I will give each of you the date of your Threading, and the movement power (or powers) you gain as you Thread.

You will, in the course of your Threading (by which I mean within 10-12 seconds of displaying your abilities), be ordered to stand down - or rather, to stop, get face-down on the ground, hands behind your head. If you can retain self-control and do so, then they'll cuff you (not ungently), help you to your feet, and escort you to the medical bay where you'll be released but still be under guard, then be more thoroughly (and medically) inspected. You remain on guard until the necessary departure date to get you all to Chicago on the same date, which date is the above. (Note that the PDF - and this game - uses dates in the European style of DD/MM/YY.)

You can write about all that if you like, or you can hand-wave it; this is significantly different from the game on HC and Google Groups that you 'old folk' can write yourself a new scenario. While some RP opportunities are lost (especially the events with your parents), this makes more sense in the worldbuilding aspect, and will get you together with each other pretty much immediately.

For powers, everyone gets +2 SPD; for most of you, this'll mean you react, act, and move generally twice as fast as you used to.

Price, Jodie (05/09/77, Day 10): Flight 7" w/ x4 NonCombat multiplier
Marshall, James "Jake" (06/09/77, Day 11): Running +8", Leaping +4"
Younger, Bill Jr. (06/09/77, Day 11): Flight 10"
Adolescent, Desperately Needs A Name (08/09/77, Day 13): Tunnelling, 1" through 6 DEF Material (most stone or concrete, though not reinforced concrete)
Talmadge, Corwin (08/09/77, Day 13): Flight 7" w/ Position Shift
Kingsley, Jerrold "Jer" (09/09/77, Day 14): Running +10"
[b]Stein, Sebastian (09/09/77, Day 14):
Leaping +15" (16" forward, 8" upwards/downwards w/o damage), Accurate
Cartwright, Mei (11/09/77, Day 16): +3" running, +4" Leaping, baseline Clinging (hand-grips).
Lannings, Dakota Annabelle (13/09/77, Day 18): Flight 5", no noncombat increase; swimming +3"; running +2"
Walker, Bruce (16/09/77, Day 21): Teleport 5", position shift, safe blind teleport, 'knight's move' instinctive fixed location (4" back, 2" left)

Remember: 1" = 2m = 6.5 feet.

After Day 23, for all of you who survive, assignments are passed out, and movement orders are cut. Some Cadets are headed to PDF Marine training; the others are headed to PDF Naval training. Both are middle- and high-school combined with continual physical training to turn them into truly superior soldiers, ready for promotion beyond their initial rank of Private or Seaman First Class, or to go on to two more years of Officer Candidate School. They will frequently intermingle with each other, spending one quarter of each year at the other school so as to understand their counterparts and work efficiently in the field.

You, however, receive your assignment, and a rare one it is - one of only seventy-two this quarter. Movement orders are cut for you to head in military convoy to Chicago, for your assignment is PDF International, the North American Branch of the superpowered school for the Threaded. For four out of five years you will learn to harness your new powers, expand them, control and use them to destroy the Thunder. The first nine months of your fourth year, you will spend in intensive training for the final three of that year - a field assignment as an E-4 (Specialist) embedded in a company of PDF Marines or, more rarely, a PDF warship. Unlike the others of your training platoon to whom you've said goodbye, you will see real combat against the real enemy.

And there's a very real chance that you might really die ... but that's almost four years away. Now? Now you just have to make sure you can figure out how your new assignment works ... not to mention your powers!!


Yadda yadda yadda. Questions, requests, thoughts, OOC crap - goes here.

I prefer to keep my OOC seperate from my IC; however, since ease-of-gameplay is important as well, some rules for the gameplay thread:

IF you have something you want answered in the gameplay thread, then ask it there, but put it inside Spoiler tags. Rolls, too, should go inside spoiler tags; in fact, anything and everything that is not actual prose (i.e. game writing) that you want to put into the gameplay thread should be inside a spoiler tag. Tactical maneuvers, directions, requests, etc.

Spoiler tags can and will be used for specific, seperated activities; what happens in the girls' room vs. what happens in the boys room, for example. If you are doing something that the entire group cannot see, or if you are addressed into a spoiler tag, then keep it up until you 'rejoin the group'. It helps, notably, to keep the same tag set going: 'Girl's Dorm' on every tag, for example.

If you START such a spoiler-event, you should include the names of the people who should be participating, like so:

New Event: You, Me, And Him:
New stuff happening for only us three!!

Later spoilers would only need the event/situation name ('New Event' in the example above). Otherwise, if it's in-character writing - actions, reactions, thoughts, conversation, telepathy, radio, whatever - you can post it 'in the clear', as it were.

Any questions?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

While this is initially an interest check, I am all for conserving threads, and should there prove to be enough interest, I would turn this into the recruitment thread.

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

The Invasion has happened; the alien 'Thunder' have gained a beachhead upon the planet, from which conventional forces have not been able to dislodge them. Thunder forces hold hundreds of waterfront cities across the world, from New York and Los Angeles to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and others. They are strongest in pure-salt-water cities, such as Los Angeles; they are weakest in pure-fresh-water cities, like Chicago. It is self-evident that the Thunder utilize seawater in their fuel processes, and possibly in their life-cycle as well; whether it is the salt mixture, the trace metals and minerals, or some other combination the scientists have yet to discover. It is notable, however, that the Thunder struck and seized cities, and not relatively bare portions of coastline; it is likewise notable that in the six years since the Invasion, a noticeable amount of what used to be humanity's hives have been consumed and reused.

The Thunder hold the high ground; communications, observation, weather, and spy satellites lasted for a few weeks at most. Ground-based telescopes have verified that there are approximately a score of Thunder armed colony ships in orbit. Nothing launched since the invasion has managed to make it out of the stratosphere; nuclear payloads were similarly somehow detected in transit, whether by conventional aircraft or ground-hugging Tomahawk-style missiles, and were destroyed by massive area-effect mass-drive bombardment. Clearly the nuclear payload is keyed to, as conventional cruise missiles (though not high-ballistic - medium, intermediate, long-range, or intercontinental) were not destroyed, and were able to advance into the target zone before being detected, deployed against, and often (though not always) destroyed. Even outside the 'threat zones', however, air travel remains risky, as one never knows if any particular aircraft will suffer either a kinetic bombardment elimination, or be suddenly targeted by planetary forces for elimination.

Humanity, however, holds the 'low ground'; though the enemy has at-will control over the air across 65% of the planet's land mass, they do not appear to possess sub-marine technology. The United Nations Planetary Defense Force now controls nearly every submarine in existence, and though those submarines have executed tactical and strategic strikes of surpassing genius, they are virtually irreplaceable - and vulnerable to surface attack if they venture within twenty-five or so meters of the surface. Resupply and crew exchange operations are among the most highly-secured and -classified operations in the ongoing war.

The Thunder themselves wield technology that is considerably higher than humanity has been able to achieve, utilizing high-energy plasma weapons on individual, rocket/missile, and gunship scales. Though these weapons have not been deconstructed, analyzed, and reproduced at the level where the common trooper is equipped with them, certain hurdles have been leaped due to a biological one achieved by a certifiable mad genius - but his success was the key to others.

Two years after the Invasion, with humanity being gradually but implacably driven away from the oceans that still feed a vast amount of people, the German genetic genius Professor Karl Schein offered the combined defense forces a radical proposal - genetic alteration of volunteers from the Armed forces. His serum, he stated, would 're-Thread' the subjects' DNA in order to greatly enhance their strength, stamina, resistance to damage, rate of recovery, reflexes, speed, perception, and all in all turn soldiers into super-soldiers. He refused to volunteer any information regarding his methodologies, and in fact had concealed all of his research data before presenting his findings, his offer, and his further research demands to the PDF.

Caught between a rock and a maybe-not-so-hard-after-all place, the PDF gave Prof. Schein all he demanded. But the DNA of adults has stablized, and all of the many military volunteers died, went mad - or worse. It wasn't until six months later that Schein, during illegal (but, due to his carte blanche blanket permission, permitted) experimentation upon adolescents, discovered the key to success. Schein discovered that during puberty, children's DNA was in flux - very slight, but enough for the numerous 'KS serum' variants to gain a foothold.

The KS serum's 'Threading' of adolescent genetics has worked far beyond even the PDF's wildest dreams. The teenagers so enhanced possess not only the assured abilities, but powers beyond human capacity - the ability to fire bolts of energy, to generate shielding, to run at racecar speeds, to leap tens of meters at a time, even to fly.

While seventh through ninth graders across the world volunteer (with the permission of their parents or guardians) for military schools designed to turn them over to the national militaries as trained soldiers once they graduate, others volunteer for the United Nations Planetary Defense Force fill schools that will turn them into soldiers for a global cause. Since the UN holds the KS Serum, only these latter undergo the injections. Just under 3% of them prove reactive to the KS Serum. 30% of thsoe die due to complications; 10% adapt powerfully, but suffer psychotic breaks and must be put down. 55% receive a slight boost to their natural potential; 4% receive significant increases in their natural abilities or minor superhuman enhancements. Only 1% both fully Thread and retain psychological stability.

Do you feel lucky?

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

The inspiration for this game comes from various 'earth-invasion' manga, as well as the movie 'Battle: Los Angeles'. You may think of the latter as a documentary on the first few days of the Invasion. This is a Teen Champions game, albeit with a purpose. Your character enters the game at age 13, 14 or 12 with a really good story. You are a true volunteer; there are no victims of 'pressured into volunteering' here. If your Threading fails, you will go back to your ordinary life. If it fails catastrophically, you will die, or turn into a monster and die. If it succeeds, you will become a movie star who regularly risks particularly brutal death in order to try to turn the tide on a decade-long war of survival.

This is a HERO 5th Edition (revised) game. It is a one-source world, i.e. all characters receive their powers via KS-Serum-sourced DNA Threading. There is no magic, no normal-person-piloted power armor. (Yes, there is mecha of a sort, but it's very much in the testing phase, and isn't likely to come into the game world except via news reports.)

Knowledge of the HERO system is (obviously) very useful, but not necessary, so long as you can clearly describe what your adolescent 12-to-14-year-old is like. (13-year-olds preferred.) While initial pre-Threaded characters can/will be built by the players, in order to preserve the suspense and wonder of discovering what you can do, the GM will be building your heroic power suite - though not without being guided by the character build and the player's preferences. (Doesn't necessarily mean you'll get all you want, or exactly what you want, but something similar is likely.)


Okay, so I want to have multiple threads for the action, because the first session in this case is not going to be 'so you're all in a tavern'. Is there any way to do this, have multiple gameplay threads, or am I going to be stuck with a dozen orphan threads that can't be linked to the campaign?


M Roleplayer 25 / GM 8 / Writer 18 - Neutral Annoyed - Atlanta, GA - SA: Punctuation, Spelling, Sentence Structure

As a dwarf, it is up to you to look after the needs of the various dwarven communities. As a sworn judge of the Mosval courts, it is your duty to rule on matters large and small throughout the Mosval region. As a maker of weapons and armor, it is your duty to create the best gear you possibly can. And as a Dedicate and petty saint of the Father, it is your god-touched duty to do what is right.

There have been a few very quiet unpleasant rumors of late about the Lord Seneschal, Baronet Caspar Rothchilde, but due to his nearing the end of his third term as Lord Seneschal, it is to be expected; there are always two or three people, nobles or a wealthy someone, who maneuver to try to acquire an appointment to one of the three most powerful political positions in the city. Nasty rumors, then, are a virtual certainty in the last year of a Lord's term, as opponents try to sully the Lord's good name, and get their own raised in exchange. It is to the Lord Seneschal that you report, but it is the Lord Reeve's Provosts who do the dirty work of the courts. The judges who travel on a circuit (which all younger judges must do from time to time) always bring two Provosts - they act as your personal bodyguard, your investigators, your posse-leaders, your executioners. They are, in general, a ruthless, sly, bloody-minded sort, the kind of person nobody wants to admit they need.

They are also, in general, very very dedicated to justice.

However, even in the Mother's season, a Dedicate of the Father has a job to do when he's in town, and that's accept a spot in the rotation for leading the various worship services; one at dawn, one two hours after mid-day, and then one at dusk. Such sessions are short: readings from 'Lives of the Saints' or other book of theosophy or theology, a declaration or offering of thanksgiving, and a short sermon by the dedicate leading the service, whether in regards to the God of the season or the element of the day. The three Dedicates who are assigned Treeday - like you were, for the dawn service - are allowed to sermonize on whatever they feel needs to be said. (Dedicates of the Bastard are particularly interesting in this regards, at least from the point of view of a Dedicate.)

Your morning duty done, you are putting your Dedicate's stole and robe into the 'visiting' cupboard inside the vestment room off the central chamber, perhaps contemplating another hour or so worth of rest, when a shouting echoes in the distance. Inside the temple precincts, certainly, but ... there aren't many up at this hour, really. (Early morning services are attended by those used to getting up at the crack of an hour before dawn, so they're not poorly attended, but they're not -well- attended.) Sandals clap rapidly thither and yon across the swept-daily cobbles and tiles, and then grow louder as they approach your door.

Knocking. "Dedicate IronBrow?" The door opens, and the acolyte for your dawn service, a woefully lean halfling tweener female named Walli, pokes her head in. "Dedicate? There's a boy here just over from the Sword of Boram, says please can you come over there straightaway. He seems pretty anxious about it." The Sword of Boram is an inn only a couple or three streets over; they make a pretty good dwarven stone stew every couple of weeks. For them to be sending for you would mean ... well, at the very least, that whatever's happened isn't probably an emergency, but probably involves both the temporal and the spiritual.

Well, so much for going back to bed.


M Roleplayer 25 / GM 8 / Writer 18 - Neutral Annoyed - Atlanta, GA - SA: Punctuation, Spelling, Sentence Structure

All right, so you have your character built. You and I have fit you into the low-magic world that Homecoming is set into. What's next?

Well, first a bit of a discussion, a give-and-take: what you and I are expected to give to the campaign, and what we can expect to take away from it. After that, I'll put up

Writing:
I have not been disappointed with the writing capabilities of any of you so far. What I want is good writing - proper punctuation, capitalization, and spelling, good sentence and paragraph structure, following the rules of the language and literature. I want you to write your character: what you think, what you feel, how you react, what you do. I want you to write well. I want all of us to be able to sit down to the computer and read a story thread and go 'wow, this is really good'. I want us to have people who follow the campaign because it's just that good of writing.

I do not want clutter; that means that combat stuff is going to get taken care of in a seperate thread. I also do not want you taking major liberties with the parts of the game that aren't you. You'll notice in the example in the Combat portion below, 'Davent' doesn't say what happened to the goblin, only that it shrieks; I'm cool with a goblin shrieking when it gets shot with an arrow, y'know? While I may give HP totals and you'll be able to determine for yourself whether or not the thing is dead, I may not give you that information, which means you'll need to allow me to do my job.

Similarly, in social situations you don't get to decide how people react, even if you made what you know is the appropriate DC for a skill. There are many ways to react - an Intimidation target might blubber and weep, or cower, or swallow and go pale and just talk very quietly. That's my side; that's what the world-building is about. Don't walk over it, because if there's a reason for you to use a skill, there's usually a reaction I have in mind for how the person's or people are going to react.

I will - on RARE occasion - post something about how your character is feeling. This will be both deliberate and rare; deliberate, so that you know how the scenario is meant to go; rare, because while I expect you to respect the world around you and allow the GM to do his job, I respect your own control over the character. I want you to have fun, and I will keep up my end of the money-back guarantee bargain: you will have fun in this game. I have never yet had a player in this campaign who was not disappointed when it ended, and part of why is because of the seperation of Church and State player control and GM control.

Technicals:
I do not know Pathfinder as well as I know, say, Shadowrun; I'm still getting used to combat maneuvers and the like, and you people will undoubtedly romp all over my bad guys until I get a better feel for how to do damage. I will be asking you for advice, or to explain things; please don't get mad with me if I ask you the same stupid question three weeks in a row. On the flip side, if after reading through all the information I have an opinion on a rule, know that you will have a chance to debate with me on that opinion - one chance. Direct me to the PF FAQ on that item, or remind me of how the rule combines with this other one (which I have), whatever. Understand, however, that once I listen to your argument, I will make a final one-time decision; that decision will stand, because I refuse to get bogged down in a three-day discussion of one niggling little detail. I decide; we move on.

If that comes up again later on, you will have another chance to convince me - but the same 'one shot' deal applies. Or if after the scene ends you want to convince me of the 'right' interpretation, then by all means, yammer away, and you just might manage it. That won't change the results of the scene, however. The intent, though, is to keep the game moving.

Combat:
Combat typically slows a PBP game down to a crawl; hell, every game, right? So what I desire is for you to read each other's posts, be aware of who's targeting whom, help them out, that sort of thing. I am very much willing to take advice on how to speed things up; one thing that I think might/would help is group initiative. We'll take either the average of initiative boosts, or the majority point (2/3, so that one Slow Mo' doesn't drag you down too far), and the first person to post can roll initiative for the group. I, when I post the encounter, will provide initiative for the opposition; that'll let y'all know right when you post whether or not you guys go first. If you do, then fire away; if you don't, then those of you who post before I do can write out initial non-combat-effective reactions. This, I hope, will speed things up.

Or we can go with some other methodology that y'all have found effective; let me know.

I will give some basic information on an opponent, such as AC, magic resistance, and saves; what you can do with that is type up in the combat thread what your character does, make your rolls and even roll the opposition's saves. Armed with that information, you can then write out your post in the RP thread, knowing whether or not you hit, or the target has made or failed its save. This will apply during most encounters; I will warn you if you'll be unable to use that information, such as with a 'boss fight'.

Example wrote:
Davent, the fletching of the arrow tickling his ear, tried to draw a bead on the goblin tangled up with Beatrice. As the thing lifted its arm to hammer the cleaver down on her shield again, he shifted his point of aim to the thing's armpit, feeling the bowstring snap against his forearm protector. The arrowhead buried itself in the goblin's torso, making it shriek.

As I said in the writing section, keep the OOC, tabletalk, dice rolls, all that stuff out of the RP thread; I want that to read like a story, so keep it IC and clear of rolls and all.

I would like, at the end of each 'combat technical post' (or hell, next to your alias - I'd do it for mine if I could figure out how), for you to post your character vitals information. Have it in a handy text file - current AC (modified by anything you've been hit with, or actions you've taken), current HP, your saves and modifications to them, your current armor / weapon / ammo status, spells going, that sort of thing. A one-shot technical blurb will help me out immensely.

Posting Rate:
I expect 3 posts a week; I know that we've been going hell-bent-for-leather, but I also know that writing takes up a crapton of time, which means slowing down is a possibility. That expectation is on my side as well; I expect, and you can expect, at least 3 posts per thread per week from me. (I'll try to keep my writing in check, so that I'm not spending eight hours a day here.)

Anything else?


You aren't adventurers; people don't become adventurers, because people (usually late teens) who do decide to strap on some armor and go wandering off into the wilderness usually perish in quite-deserved ways, like poking a bear with a stick and finding out that the bear doesn't care that it's just a game.

What you are is better (or worse, depending on your point-of-view): you're people who get things done. You're adults, practicing your profession. When something needs to get done that's a little unusual, odds are better than even that you're the person that they'll come to, and maybe there's a bit of silver in it for you. In Mosval, there are something over ten thousand souls, and while there are definitely more accomplished people in town, none of them are as young as you are - though you aren't some stripling 15-year-old-equivalent; more like 22 to 25.

You might have a farm; you might have a business. But when a problem knocks at your door ... it's time to put your boots on.

Technicals:
Homecoming is a game for 4-8 players in a homebrewed world. Short version:

  • Starting Level: 3rd.
  • Starting Gold and Items: 1500gp. No magic items save alchemical items and healing potions at game start. You do not need to purchase your farm, place of business, etc; the 1500 is for your adventuring equipment. Food and transportation is important. (See 'Domain'.)
  • Statistics: 25 point buy; I normally run Homecoming with a whopping 50-point buy, but I'm going to rein that in.
  • Starting HP: Max. It's a tough world out there, baby.
  • Allowed Races: See the 'People' section. Only one of each allowed race, except for humans; there can be as many humans as there are players, if y'all wanna go 'hyooman'.
  • Allowed Material: I'm working with Hero Lab, and I don't have oodles of everything bought, so bear with me. At the moment, Pathfinder Core, Advanced Player's Guide, Unchained (except see Banned below), Ultimate Campaign / Combat / Equipment / Magic, Adventurer's Armory. If you have something you want to bring in, ask, I might have it. (Kind of wish I could just download my Hero Lab campaign settings; if anyone knows how, let me know.)

Classes note:
A class can be reskinned to a certain extent. And to a certain extent, I am willing to do this. However, Do Not Push Me On This One.

  • Restricted Starting Classes: Barbarian, which can only be taken by a greenskin character. Only one Paladin.
  • Banned Starting Classes: Bloodrager and such combo classes; I don't have that supplement, sorry, and even if I did ... I might not permit it.
  • House Rules: Pathfinder Unchained is in use, as follows: Background skills, Artistry and Lore skills, Alternate Crafting and Profession Rules, Skill Unlocks, Stamina/Combat Tricks free for everyone (but Fighters get double Stamina); Unchained Alignment (1-10, any non-neutral starts out in the middle of that alignment); Wound Thresholds; Unchained Diseases and Poisons; Simplified Spellcasting, Overclocked Spells. I am not sure about Spell Attack rolls, mainly because I haven't had reason to dive into spellcasting of late, so this is up for discussion.
    Ultimate Combat is in use, but the Armor/DR and Piecemeal Armor, are out; Wounds and Vigor I haven't played with, so discuss.
  • Skills, Feats and Traits: Characters receive: 2 extra Feats, 1 Story Feat (uncompleted, obviously), 3 traits, and may take a drawback for an extra trait. Characters receive 1 non-class Knowledge or Artistry skill as a class skill; they also receive 4 extra skill points, which must be spent on Profession, Artistry, or Craft skills; if the character puts 3 points into one skill, they can spend the last point as they like.
    Words of Power are used, and allowed.

If you want a trait that requires a certain Faction, talk to me about it; if you have a Faction you wish to be a part of, again, talk to me about it, because while the PF factions do not exist on the Ravennan continent (or in the Homecoming world), there are factions, and I am more than willing to create something similar or interesting for you.

The Place and The People:

The Place
The entire 14,000 square mile area is rather like northern Wisconsin or Minnesota -- lots of rivers and lakes, hordes of trees. The entire area contains plenty of people - almost three hundred fifty thousand - but the majority live in small towns and villages of 500-1000 people. The area is influenced and defined by the distance from and primary influence of the nearest godswood, of which there are six or eight, but only two or three to be concerned about at the moment. Godswoods are druidic circles, the nearest (Crowsfoot) being ten or fifteen miles away from the largest city and location of the game's start, Mosval.

Allowed Races
Human, elf, dwarf, halfling, gnome, half-elf*, minotaur*, changeling*, goblin*, and orc*.

* - I will allow a maximum of two of a combination of these races. As I do not impose a 'race X is automatically evil', and morality is somewhat subjective (see also 'Gods'), neither goblins nor orcs are automatically evil, though both tend towards a certain barbarity due to their tribal structure. Minotaurs tend towards lawfulness due to the 'siege mentality' they possess; changelings tend towards chaos, due to their own slippery nature.

Humans are the majority race (80+%) in most of the 'civilized' area, populating not only the cities of Mosval (over ten thousand souls) and Ice Bay, but also the towns of Hawk River, Threelakes, Rushing Gorge, Moosejaw, Easter Crag, and Edima. Like most places with humans in them, a smaller halfling community coexists, one halfling for every ten humans. While each city and town has its fringe area of villages, together they take up less than thirty percent of the forest and northern grasslands. The primary 'ethnicity' is Ravennan; a gypsy-like wandering group, the Romny, are the other significant local ethnicity. On the coasts of the continent (think early American colonies) exist colonies, founded by various kingdoms and empires across either sea; if there's a Pathfinder ethnicity you want to have, I have something that's close enough. PF took them from RL and so did I, so there are sufficient similarities to work. You'll need an explanation why you're a thousand miles inland, though. And yes, this means that the Ravennan humans are in the position of the American Indians. I'm not unaware of this interesting twist ...

Fifteen miles north-west of the godswood, a quasi-mystic grouping of about thirty upright petrified trees -- which occasionally 'grow' when sung to by the right sort of person - hosts a colony of around 400 elves. A scattering of others live throughout the rest of the area, but less than a thousand have made it this far north; the elven presence is centered far to the south. The Crowsfoot godswood is led by an elven druid, unusual as most elves seek to master arcane mystic power as their ancient shapeshifter masters had.

A treeless tor (semi-plateau) forty miles north of Mosval contains a colony/mine/fortress of dwarves, established around an iron mine which, though its best years are behind it, still produces enough iron to make working it viable. A thriving community of more than four thousand dwarves and an assorted handful of others works the mine and produces goods; it is said (but only said) that the dwarves have tunnels out to the other communities that make up the nine-thousand-strong balance of dwarven presence in the area.

Mosval itself possesses a small enclave of gnomes. Thousands of years ago, the enslaved gnomish people developed fighting techniques using only simple tools and even their own bodies; during a bloody rebellion, they decamped en mass from the Phoenix Empire and fled at great cost to this continent, bringing with them their peculiar mixture of contemplativeness and playfulness. Though they acknowledge and worship the Nine, the philosophy of the Golden Path is the core of gnomish culture, as well as gnomish fighting techniques -- by which we mean the monk class. Truth be told, the gnomes were here first - the initial watch-post was established under the contemplative gaze of the local gnomish 'monastery', an enclave which admittedly possesses an above-ground fortress-like establishment, but which really gets going below-grounds.

Halflings are related to gnomes, but were seperated from their cousins thousands of years before the rebellion, having been brought out of the Phoenix Empire by those humans who left; the core fun-loving nature of their mutual ancestors was fostered, and halfling slaves became halfling servants and friends. Unlike other humanoids, halflings do not possess a single racial culture, instead co-developing and sharing that of the humans with whom they live and work.

Elves being quite rare, half-elves are even more so; you will have to convince me to let you play one. That said, it is more likely for them to grow up in the elven enclave, as humans have less tolerance for the slow maturation of elves or part-elves.

Well to the north are various tribes of greenskins, some barbaric, some civilized; the entire 'nation' is a hundred thousand strong. From their youngish 'bolkin' stage through the 'goblin' and 'orc' stages, into adulthood as 'hobgoblin' and 'black orc', and reaching full maturity as 'high hob' and 'bugbear', the greenskin tribes form a major presence in Ice Bay, as well as having a center of their own many nomadic groups in White Fang. The Trollheim godswood is populated primarily by greenskin druids who, though their influence tends to favor their own kindred, continue to keep the balance of nature. Half-orcs (and half-goblins, etc.) do not exist, due to the peculiarity of greenskin transformative genetics. 'Bugbear' greenskins sometimes develop as they age into 'ogres' and 'trolls'; those supposedly-giantkind are actually aged greenskins who have managed to continue to grow in strength. (Trolls are not the wiry flammable sort, but rather the big-as-hell tough-as-nails eat-everything Tolkein/WFRP sort.)

Far to the east, in the Appalachian-like mountains, there are known to be minotaur clans (similar to those in Dragonlance), constantly involved in border clashes and mutual antipathy with their hill and stone giant neighbors. There is a small (30-40) outpost in Hawk River roughly fifty miles to the north-east; the clans are known to foster top-notch rangers and archers.

Individual families of changelings (akin to those in Eberron) are scattered throughout the realm. Usually they conceal themselves as humans, in part because of the tales of great and terrible shapeshifters in ancient times which, in a mystic battle for dominance with the dracotaurs, brought cataclysms to the land. If the tales are true, changelings may truly be their descendents - pitiable remnants of once-powerful mages. There are, however, a significant percentage of adventurers among them, most notably paladins.

The Gods and Recommended Reading:

The Gods
There are nine gods in the Homecoming world, and only one real type of extraplanar being; pay attention, clerics, inquisitors, sorcerors, summoners, and witches, because this impacts you.

The five Greater Gods are the Holy Family; The Father, The Mother, The Daughter, The Son, and The Bastard. If these sound familiar to you because you read Lois McMaster Bujold, congratulations; that's exactly where these came from. They have some pretty damn spectacular portfolios, and if you have Domains or Inquisitions, you can give up one (or both) of your free starting Feats in exchange for an additional Domain/Inquisition per Feat. The Holy Family generally want people to do what's right; they tend towards Good, with the Father being Lawful and the Son being Chaotic, while the Ladies being Neutral.

The four Lesser Gods are the Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. They don't give two craps about humanoidity, just about power; those with evil intent usually see one of them as a Patron.

Contacting 'Outer-Plane' spirits usually involves contacting the dead; summoning a Being (demon, angel, whatever) gets reskinned as a particularly tormented or sacred spirit or the like. Aasimar and Tieflings don't exist; the dead cannot engender children on the living. Various witch pacts, summoner eidolons, etc. again get reskinned - whether as drawing power into a natural critter (or person!) of that type that is nearby, or having a private channel into a microscopic aspect of one of the gods, whatever.

Contacting 'Inner-Plane' elementals and the like involves a kind of contact with the Lesser Gods, the spell essentially asking them to charge a local portion of the world with a fragment of their sentience. This gets really dangerous with the 'intelligent' versions, but see above - sometimes this gets channelled through a local critter / individual.

Sorcery is handled rather differently. Sorcerers are possessed, bar none, by what is called a 'demon'; these are elements of raw, undiluted chaos that are allowed into the world in order to keep it on the point of the balance between raging life-purging inferno and frozen life-purging crystal. So-called 'bloodlines' (and bloodline powers) are, however, how the sorceror has decided to view his possessed state; a reskinning, nothing more.

Recommended Reading
Lois McMaster Bujold's 'Chalion' trilogy. It's where I filched the Gods (well, the Holy Family and the sorcery) from. Besides which, it's just a darned good read.

Yeesh. Anyhow. I have Hero Lab stuff for most of this, including monetary systems, yadda yadda (which I'll leave off except for flavor), but if you have a question, I will by all means answer.

Two final caveats: one, the critters of the Homecoming world, whether real or magical or bizarre, are balanced with a near-realistic ecology in mind. And two ...

... dragons are not color-coded for your convenience.


I've been looking into firearm development, something I'm going to need to really get into in the relatively near future ... but PF (all D&D games, really) really sort of falls down when it comes to firearms. Firearms can be seperated into five groups:

  • Primitive: Weapons using flash-pan, wheel-lock, matchlock, and similar methods to fire the charge. Slow to load and fire, highly vulnerable to inclement weather.
  • Simple: Primarily flintlock weapons; faster to load, don't need already-burning 'matches', but still vulnerable to weather.
  • Developed: Percussion cap weapons, whether external brass-cap-on-nipple or needle-fired integral-paper-cartridge; alchemical cartridges are these latter ones, and the development of the paper percussion cap leads to nitrated cartridges for percussion revolvers, which are still front-loaded (just at the cylinder). This does eventually lead to weapons designed to be loaded at the breech (back of the barrel) instead of the muzzle (front of the rifle) - which, let me tell you, results in a lot faster firing rate.
  • Advanced: Pin-fire and rim-fire metal cartridges, all breech-loads; the latter are an evolution of the former, which were chancy with an exposed firing pin. Once rim-fire was developed, they could move the firing pin from the bullet to the hammer.
  • Modern: Center-fire cartridges as well as automatic and semi-automatic weapons, which use the recoil from firing to do various things - but basically means most of the guns we know today. (Most modern revolvers are double-action, meaning that pulling the trigger cocks the weapon, rotates the cylinder, AND fires the gun. Single-action revolvers are only Advanced, in this set-up.)
The leap between advanced and modern firearms - and even going from developed to modern - is a matter of decades. On Earth, the flintlock is developed around 1630; the percussion cap in 1825, which is what really gets things started. From there, it's a measley 52 years (1877) to the Winchester double-action revolver, and only six more to the Maxim gun, the world's first recoil-powered machine gun.

Pathfinder, however, already has metal cartridges and breechloading weapons - developed on Earth in 1857. The first field-piece automatic weapons (the French Mitrailleuse) made use of this in 1859, and Spencer developed his repeating carbine in 1860.

Which means PF (and other games) are much, much closer to the Gatling Gun (virtually already available), semi-auto pistol, &c. So why don't they? Well, here are the answers / reasons I've come up with, and will play with:


  • Firearms are dangerous. As in, REALLY dangerous. All non-proficiency penalties for gunpowder-using weapons (including siege weapons) are doubled.
  • Individuals proficient in firearm weapons but who do not have Grit, whether by class feature or feat, suffer standard non-proficiency penalties for gunpowder weapons. So taking the proficiency cuts the issues by half, but there's still the misfire chance issue ...
  • Misfire chances for non-Grit-possessing individuals are doubled. (Only doubled, not quadrupled, for non-feat-possessing individuals. I'm mean, not cruel.)
  • Mages have created and widely distributed spells specifically designed to a) locate at Extreme (800 + 80 ft/level) range (2nd level spell, variant on Locate Object) any amount of gunpowder, and b) have a good chance to detonate at Long range ('Rolling Comet', 4th level) large stores of the stuff. These spells are so widely distributed that they are automatic in spellbooks for any spell-memorizing class that can cast them.

This keeps firearms around in the world, but their volatility and general difficulty to handle keeps them uncommon and unlikely to overwhelm the rest of the world as they develop further. I do intend on them developing further, from flintlock and percussion-cap rifles into revolvers, pump- and lever-action longarms, and perhaps even up to gatling-style guns. However, because they are hideously dangerous unless you happen to have a PC class (as it were), they'll develop slowly, and never have the same massive effect on the world that firearms have IRL.

That said, ignoring the stuff you can acquire from Mosin-Nagant in Reign of Winger, the majority of PF firearms are simple firearms, found in eight general categories: small, standard, large, and multishot pistols; shotguns, longarms, and multishot shotguns/longarms; and heavy armament. What I need to do still is revise the PF weapons to fit into this system (primitive to advanced or modern), then develop the ten 'developed'-class weapons and four 'advanced'-class weapons that have yet to be developed.

This is where you come in, if you want to help.

I have a basic list of what weapons fit in where (found here, and I'm pretty confident of their placement, but feel free to debate); what I need are builds for the 'missing' weapons, and if something moves from one category to the other, well, that means something needs to be designed to fit there instead of the other, right? What might also be required are adjustments or definitions of firing and reload speeds for different classes of weapons; I am not familiar enough with the PF firearm rules, so there's a learning curve for me here as well.

I do not think these would change the feats and class progressions of firearms-using classes and archetypes, but by all means, if you think it would, sing out.


Okay, I posted this over at the GitP boards, but it should get posted here too, so ...

I'm using the Pathfinder system for a different world, blah blah blah. While in Hero Lab and fiddling around, I noticed an interesting little ioun stone: the ocher rhomboid, introduced in #4-12, The Refuge of Time.

Quote:

This orange-colored, translucent, faceted item is an ioun stone and has the same properties. While it orbits its owner's head, that owner gains a bonus feat. This can be any feat she meets the prerequisites for.

The ocher rhomboid ioun stone radiates an evil aura at all times, and anyone who wears it (that is, causes it to orbit her head) is considered to have committed an evil act. The alignment of the one wearing the stone shifts one step toward evil. Players who wear the stone should be given the opportunity to atone for this action before the scenario's conclusion if such an alignment shift would result in their removal from the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign.

This ioun stone is cursed, and can't be removed by its owner or anyone else except by the methods outlined on page 536 of the Core Rulebook.

As with other ioun stones, the ocher rhomboid has a resonant power when placed inside a wayfinder. First, it turns the wayfinder into a cursed item that can only be removed in the way the stone itself can. Second, the wearer gains Knowledge (arcana) as a class skill for as long as she wears the wayfinder.

Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, caster must be 12th level; {b}Cost{/b} 15,000 gp

ALL: #4-12: The Refuge of Time (7-11)
Activating during the game is at no cost and you gain the item and curse.

Note: Mark Moreland said on Jan 27, 2013 "you could still be good (after paying for an atonement while being unable to remove the cursed item or simply not choosing to remove it because you like the reward) and not have to keep paying for atonements."

My reaction went something like this ...

"A feat?!? Free and clear, for only 30k plus Atonement? Oh, I am SO there!!"

But then ... meh. Atonement. So I developed the topaz rhomboid ioun stone, which is (thematically) what the ocher is meant to have been, but something went wrong, it became a cursed item, yadda yadda. Therefore ...

Quote:

This pale-yellow, translucent, faceted stone grants its owner a bonus feat. This can be any feat she meets the prerequisites for.

A Rhomboid is usually faceted, with a shape resembling a prism but with sides of unequal widths or angles, giving it a flattened cross-section.

These crystalline stones always float in the air and must be within 3 feet of their owner to be of any use. When a character first acquires a stone, she must hold it and then release it, whereupon it takes up a circling orbit 1d3 feet from her head. Thereafter, a stone must be grasped or netted to separate it from its owner. The owner may voluntarily seize and stow a stone (to keep it safe while she is sleeping, for example), but she loses the benefits of the stone during that time. Ioun stones have AC 24, 10 hit points, and hardness 5. The powers of each stone vary depending on its color and shape.

Resonant Power:
Gain one Knowledge skill as a class skill.

But noooOOOoooo, that wasn't enough for me -- why have three magic items floating around your head, when you can just wear one? Though I wrote in the fluff that the original was a necklace for mages, I really came up with it for the combat fellers - the martial sash.

Quote:


Inspired by the necklace of mystic mastery and typically created out of some bright-colored silk, this wide cloth belt worn from shoulder to opposite hip is subtly embroidered with scenes of martial triumph. The powerful magic in the martial sash grants three combat-related feats (chosen when the sash is created) to the wearer. These feats are always closely related, and are invariably intricately linked; complete martial style feats are the most commonly-found martial sashes (e.g. Tiger Style, Tiger Claws, Tiger Pounce), but others (weapon focus and specialization feats, two-weapon style feats, dimensional agility, etc.) are known.

The wearer must be capable of independently learning the feats enchanted into the sash, possessing all other prerequisites for the feats besides any gained by the sash itself. While sashes often possess 'bedrock' feats, some possess advanced feats, requiring the wearer to have some skill in the area already.

There are three variants of the sash, a necklace-slot necklace of mystic mastery (max one metamagic feat and two others), a chest-slot sash (above), and a belt-slot 'swashbuckler's sash' (rogue/bardic/social feats).

So here's the question I really want to ask:

How much do you think would be a fair price for each of these? 10,000gp per feat has been suggested (especially since you don't receive the feat 'free and clear' - you have to have any necessary pre-reqs); I started out at 90k for the one and 300k for the other, but my current prices are 30k for the ioun stone and 90k for the necklace / sashes. Thoughts? Price suggestions? (I have to admit, 10k ... seems pretty convincing to me right now.)


I'm developing a follower for an NPC (long story), but I really like the whole 'blind oracle / diplomat' vibe I'm building into her. The world is a combination of low and high magic (long story), and she's 6th level, so going by the PF build rules and my own world requirements, she gets half book value in GP to spend - works out to 8,000gp.

What I've decided she also does, though, is that she scribes scrolls. (I just like the idea of this blind lady doing calligraphy, you know?) However, what I want is to give her basically a magic item, a western quill or an eastern brush, that a) cuts down the material cost of scribing a scroll to 1/2 or 1/4 standard, and b) cuts down the time spent to equate to that required for the new material cost (i.e. if it's 250gp or less, 2 hours scribing time).

What what you price that to be, and what requirements involved in its creation? I'm thinking major creation ... and maybe Craft: Calligraphy at 5-10 ranks ... ?