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Greetings. As the title would suggest, I am running a Reign of Winter campaign and one of our players has gone missing and the group and myself would like a replacement PC as opposed to a DMPC. We have currently just concluded book 1. Character will be made at 4th level and will join the group on the way to Whitethrone.

The current group consists of:

Cara, Elf Ranger (Archery)
Geedra, Goblin Witch (Debuffer / Fortune Manipulator)
Asgrid, Dwarf Oracle/Summoner (Healer / Support)
-Grugkt, her eidolon (Currently the Melee Fighter)

Incoming player would be replacing a human bloodrager.

I am no so much interested in completed builds or anything, but rather character ideas in this thread. Race, class, gender, archetype, role, etc. I would ideally prefer a player unfamiliar with the adventure path but that isn't a make or break thing.

Character guidelines:

Race: Any core plus the following featured races - aasimar, tiefling, goblin, hobgoblin, orc, ratfolk, tengu.

Class: No gunslingers. No occult classes or vigilante just because I am unfamiliar with them.

Other than that I'm okay with any Paizo archetypes, spells, feats, and so on. Obviously the group could use a melee fighter but I'm not going to base a decision solely on class. I will ask for my current group's input. Feel free to consult the Reign of Winter's player's guide.

For a general synopsis, the group is out to stop the plot of the current queen of Irrisen, Elvanna, who seeks to cover the world in endless winter. She has somehow subdued or overcome her mother, Baba Yaga, and the PCs have taken on the mantle of the Black Rider, one of Baba Yaga's heralds, in order to find her and put a stop to Elvanna's plans. The adventure path is obviously very winter/cold-centric, and will take the group to Irrisen and beyond.

Your character will have previously met another of Baba Yaga's riders and have had the mantle of the Red Rider passed on to you.

I'll see what ideas people have over the next week or so and see where we fall. Feel free to ask any questions you have.

Gameplay Thread

He ran. He didn’t know where he was going, but all he could do was put distance between him and them. His breath was heavy, his blood pounding so loudly in his ears his mind was all of a fuzz, his vision blurred. His feet crunched on the white crust below, but his feet were already numb. Each step he took shed more blood onto the ground below, pulling him another inch closer to death. He could feel his heart slowing, and prepared himself to meet his end. But then the white gave way to brown beneath his feet, and the trees began to thin. He was almost away, and he knew now that he would not give up. He thundered on with his heavy footfalls until the last trees shied away from him and he burst into open land, into fields dead and clutched in layers of frost. But the sky was blue and cloudless and ahead he could see grass grasping the land. He pushed on until the frost was behind him and crops graced the fields, on and on until he heard something, a methodic sound, recognizable as iron on wood. He moved closer to it, knowing that his time was near. He only had to find someone, tell someone. He came upon a shack, and as he moved around it, feeling his way, the last thing he saw before his eyes gave out was a man and his lumber axe, running towards him.
“Argentea…” he managed to say. And then darkness overcame him.

Chapter I: The Snows of Summer

Your travels throughout Taldor have brought you to Heldren, a small village of less than two hundred people situated in the south of the country, a few miles north of the expansive Border Wood. A small community of herders, farmers, and woodcutters, Heldren is outside the reach of Taldor’s politics and Qadiran intrigue. Quaint and unassuming, the village of Heldren seems to be a fine stop on your travels to purchase supplies, fill your bellies, and rest your bones. You find the residents of Heldren quite amiable and welcoming, unguarded in their answers to any questions and otherwise plain delighted to have visitors.

Your vagrancy has led you to Heldren, and you find that you are welcomed into the village, almost as if you were a distant relative or someone who had visited before and has been gone a while. One man in plain linen garb of about thirty looks at you and says ”We don’t see many elves around Heldren. Are you a relative of Tessaraea? Good if you are, she could use some cheer!” You also hear some townspeople talking of an odd pair that has also arrived in the village recently - a goblin and a dwarf, traveling together. You notice that the people do not seem too worried or perturbed about there being a goblin in their midst, but much more curious as to why one would be traveling with a dwarf. Despite this, you still sense something in the air you can’t quite place…for all of their friendliness, people still seem a touch on edge.

Geedra and Asgrid:
Heldren has welcomed you much more warmly than have other towns in your travels. The residents here do not seem to bothered by a goblin in their midst, though you come to realize that you are soon the talk of the town. The gossip is mere curiosity, however, and as far as you can tell no one has a poor thing to say about either of you. A few townsfolk do ask where you are from and how you came to travel together, but they seem intent on avoiding any questions that might cause offense. Other villagers bring up some small talk, particularly about the weather…indeed, it seems as though many of the villagers are quite keen on the weather, asking how it is up north, if you’ve been that way.

After you have all spent some time in the village - a few hours, anyway, the talk of the weather becomes more and more prevalent, and the townspeople are quick in including you in the conversations most everything is having about it. You learn that Heldren has been suffering from a very unseasonable cold snap, and the further south you go, the worse it gets. Local hunters from the Border Wood, just a few miles south of town, came through and claimed that it was snowing in the forest, and by the look of the amount on the ground, it had been for some time. It hasn’t snowed in the village yet, but it does keep getting chillier, and while temperatures remain comfortable, they are certainly out of place of the height of summer. Many of the townsfolk that speak of it also reference a woman called Old Mother Theodora, who is the town’s wise woman, midwife, and to some, a soothsayer. She has been warning of grave times ahead.

Furthermore, a man an inch away from death came stumbling out of the wood just a day before onto Old Danby’s farm, muttering just a single word before falling unconscious. Dansby managed to get him into the village proper on his trusty mule. After he was brought back into consciousness, he told the town council that he was a mercenary in service of a Taldan noblewoman, escorting her north. Their caravan was attacked in the woods by bandits and strange creatures who carried his charge away and slew all but for him, who escaped the fight in order to find aid. Other than the strange weather, talk of this mercenary seems to be the most prevalent. It is clear that Heldren does not see many true warriors or adventurers, and the recent happenings have evoked in them a mix of excitement and concern.

Geedra and Asgrid arrived in Heldren about half a day ago, and Cara about six hours ago. There is not much to this village, but it does have a handful of shops and services open to the public, and inquiries about any sort of place and answered and the townsfolk are happy to direct you to your needs. There is a blacksmith, a barber, a general store, an apothecary, a tavern, a livery, a temple, a butcher, and a woodworker. Travelers are recommended to go to the Silver Stoat for a rest and a meal, and while the town has no inn, passersby are welcome to a place to sleep on the tavern floor by the fire if they so desire. Feel free to move about the town as you wish. Many of the villagers seem slightly eager to talk to you if you allow it - its obvious they don’t get many outsiders. Also, Knowledge Local checks or Diplomacy checks can award you further information about the goings on around town.

Knowledge (Local) or Diplomacy DC 5:
There is some talk that the unseasonable cold and snow in the Border Wood might be magical in nature…and some fear that agents from Qadira have something to do with it.

Knowledge (Local) or Diplomacy DC 10:
Above, plus Old Man Dansby claims something is stealing from his fields. His farm is closest to the Border Wood, and half of his fields have died off to an icy frost.

Knowledge (Local) or Diplomacy DC 12:
Above, plus a farmer’s son took ill a few days ago. He fell through the ice that has encased Wishbone Creek inside the Border Wood. Rumor has it that the boy claims he spotted a white stag in the forest that talked to him and he tried to follow it.

Knowledge (Local) or Diplomacy DC 15:
Above, plus a group of rangers in the Border Wood who are called the High Sentinels usually keep banditry quelled, though the villagers say that they are doing a poor job of it if a noblewoman’s escort of armed guards could be attacked and the Lady abducted.

Knowledge (Local) or Diplomacy DC 18:
Above, plus a hunter named Dryden Kepp claimed he saw a giant white weasel the size of a horse in the wood on the High Ridge. No one believed him, so he went off to try and trap it.

Knowledge (Local) or Diplomacy DC 20:
The noblewoman, Lady Argentea Malassene, actually traveled past Heldren two weeks ago, traveling from Oppara to Zimar to meet her betrothed. Rumor has it that the two didn’t get along and lady Argentea called off the engagement which caused quite the scandal, and was on her way home.

The Reign of Winter game for those I have invited. While I work on getting the adventure started proper, let's iron out everyone's characters and discuss the group in general. Here are a few guidelines for character creation:

The campaign will start in southern Taldor, but it won't stay there long. Obviously the campaign will deal in matters of winter, cold, ice, and snow, as well as witchcraft and planar magic.

Abilities: 18 point buy for stats, with no stats below 8 or higher than 18 after racial adjustments. You can reduce a score to 9 or 8 for extra points, but keep that deficit in mind for roleplaying purposes. This is a bit lower than the usual 20 point buy, but there are some things that happen at the end of the adventure that will make up for it. Depending on how characters are looking with the 18 buy, though, I might change my mind.

Classes: Any paizo class or archetype is fine except gunslinger. Feel free to try out the Advanced Class Guide playtest classes!

Races: Any core race is fine, and most of the uncommon races are okay as well. My campaigns tend to have less blanket alignments for races to allow for more playing individuals than stereotypes, so playing a goblin, hobgoblin, or orc might get you eyed suspiciously by NPCs, but not attacked on sight. (I also tend to keep more of a 3rd edition view of goblinoids rather than the degenerate, cannibalistic, fireworks and fire pathfinder versions). Aasimars and tieflings are fine if you choose an alternative racial trait to Clestial/Fiendish Resistance (same for Undine). Tengu, kobold, and ratfolk are also allowed.

For a final list: Core, Aasimar (sans resistances), Gnoll, Goblin, Hobgoblin, Ifrit, Kobold, Lizardfolk, Orc, Oread, Ratfolk, Sylph, Tengu, Tiefling (sans resistances), Undine (sans resistance). I might also allow the Skinwalker if anyone is interested in playing it.

Keep in mind that playing an obvious fire-kin like an Ifrit will likely draw the ire of many enemies that fear fire. People of Irrisen also tend to harbor a dislike of crows, so a Tengu might pose some social problems. Lizardfolk, being reptilian, are cold-blooded, which may affect survival.

For humans, any nationality is fine if you have a reason for being in Taldor (Ulfen, for example, travel south to serve as royal guards in the capital of Taldor).

Alignment: Good and neutral alignments only.

Traits: 2 traits, one of which can be from the Reign of Winter's player's guide.

Keep regional human languages in mind when choosing languages.

I'll fish CrazyHedgehog's other campaigns for a final player, or if any of you have someone that might want to play, feel free to invite them for the final spot.