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Hey, just checking back to let you know that life's gotten quite a bit busier (for happy reasons).

I'm not going to finish my application since I don't want to overcommit, but wish yall the best!

HP: 5d8 ⇒ (7, 1, 5, 4, 4) = 21
HP reroll: 1d8 ⇒ 5

Great, thanks for offering to try out Spheres. Lemme roll!

5d6 ⇒ (6, 1, 1, 2, 5) = 1513
5d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 3, 6, 6) = 2418
5d6 ⇒ (5, 3, 2, 4, 4) = 1815
5d6 ⇒ (5, 5, 1, 5, 5) = 2113
5d6 ⇒ (1, 3, 5, 6, 1) = 1615
5d6 ⇒ (1, 5, 2, 4, 5) = 1714
5d6 ⇒ (3, 6, 5, 4, 1) = 1915

Not bad!

I'm trying out making a Minstrel (spheres of power bard archetype). It trades away both all spells and bardic performance (what??) for some cool non-magical ways of inspiring and supporting allies, and interfering with foes.

Note, if you're new to Spheres of Might, this is the place to start.

Ask if you have questions! My experience was that it was a lot to digest at first, but it's a really elegant system (more balanced, and with better utility than PoW).

Hi Wolf, I think you've opened your sources to include some 3p content before. What're your thoughts on doing it here? I'm thinking in particular of Spheres of Might, and/or Path of War.

Sounds good, thanks. In that case I'll keep Constrictor drawback.

Do you want us to do purchases yet? If not, I'm ready to go!


Now a follow up: taking the Wrestling sphere grants IUS normally. What, if anything, does it grant in your house rules? Unarmed Combatant?

Sorry to be slow to dive in. Yesterday was my daughter's birthday, and we're dealing with someone rear-ending our car.

Hoping to make some progress on my sheet today, and looking forward to playing with yall!

Great, thanks. One more Q: As I mentioned, I had my old character Tassa Bokrugscu in mind. Before I post with that profile though, "Bokrugscu" is a *very* specific surname (means "child of Bokrug" in Varisian, presumably at least being given to her by a parent or parents who worship Bokrug).

I have no attachment either way (and will assume nothing about my background either way, until it gets revealed in game) but figured I'd give you the choice about if you like the profile having that last name or rather I don't.

Oh, and another thing:
I'm still working on crunch but might take the Witchwarped drawback feat as a Boon. If I do, it grants a permanent trait that
#1) counts against my total traits when transformed with Blank Transformation, but NOT–as far as I read it, though let me know if I've got that wrong–when I'm using another transformation (e.g. serpentine or vermin). Pls let me know if that seems right or not.
#2) if I take it, my thoughts were either take a Bite (and then retrain it when I get my Bite from my archetype at L3), OR take Web (which I could keep forever). Preferences?

Oh...and another nuther Q:
Your Shifter gets a martial tradition. I switched back to the Spheres one (mid-caster, mid-BAB, d8 HD). That one doesn't typically get a martial tradition, but I'd happily keep the one you added to your version. ;-) Just let me know either way.


Thanks so much! And it looks like a good group of players and an interesting party.

At first level, do we take both a regular and a background feat?

Party roles for Tassa, my Shifter (Famine Spirit)
- Melee (and somewhat ranged) damage dealer
- - Melee attacks will often also debuff (grappled, fatigued/exhausted/sickened/nauseated, CON drain)
- Battlefield control with 'web' (flavored as black, oily ichor)
- Maneuverability (as needed: climb, eventually: burrow, glide)
- Survival, Sense Motive, Stealth
- Freaking herself–and her companions–out, as mouths and eyes and tentacles keep popping out of her at awkward moments.

BTW, I've never tried to design someone like this in Spheres, but I'm finding so many wonderful tools. I'm planning to give her a casting tradition including Vampiric Casting, and Innate Curse (Ghoul) to represent the constant hunger that she has to keep in check (or satisfy) within her. And then looking at Bloody Savage and maybe Sanguinivorous as drawback feats to take as tradition boons, to give her a way to

- - -

One more Q: do you have a houserule around Perception? I noticed none of the classes seem to get it as a class skill.

Hey YBD, Shifter seems like a great way to build my character. Thanks for the suggestion.

Famine Spirit is EXACTLY the right flavor/image, but I worry about how the archetype works with your house rules:
- DDS Shifter is a mid-caster (and full caster in Alteration)
- DDS Famine Spirit gains some goodies in exchange for dropping Alteration CL from full to mid
- Your shifter is a low-caster (and full caster in Alteration); in exchange for going to low caster and losing 5 talents it gets full BAB and d10 HD. That seems like a reasonable trade, but…
- Your Famine Spirit drops from full in alteration to low, unlike the DDS Famine Spirit that at least shapeshifts at mid-CL. I’m worried that’s a trade that would cripple her effectiveness.

Would you consider allowing Famine Shifter on DDS’s original (3/4 BAB , mid-caster) Shifter instead of your modified version? Or some other way to keep from playing a Shifter who is a low-caster in Alteration?

Thanks for considering!

Just checking back. I think Shifter will work great for me.

OK, I know Sphere Shifter a bit but don't know the archetype at all. I'll check them out!

@Sir Longears, +1 on how awesome Sentinel is! It's the best implementation of a defender/tank in Pathfinder that I've ever seen, since they're good both
at staying standing AND at making it difficult for foes to ignore them.-

- - -

I think I'm surprising myself, and my concept of someone with some horrifying, hungry thing "awake" inside of them is drawing me more right now than my Mummy's Mask idea.

I know you've explicitly asked us *not* to write a backstory, but with your indulgence I'll share one from a short-lived Ustalav-based horror game, that my character inspiration comes from. The intent is NOT to have this be my Strange Aeons character's backstory–I'm fully bought in to the backstories being unveiled, and surprising us–but to give you a sense of what I imagine (that you could ignore or draw from, as makes sense, if I end up in the final party).


1. What's your characters economic situation, and the economic situation of their family? A desperately poor character with a rich family tells a very different story than a desperately poor character with a poor family.

3. Where was your character born? In Ustalav? Somewhere else? Why did they move to Ustalav, if they were born elsewhere?

Tassa grew up in Râșnov a tiny scrap of a village in the fens of Dipplemere Swamp, on the edge of the Shudderwood. The villagers put up with the dangers lurking in the swamp--and the greater ones in the dark reaches of the Shudderwood--in order to harvest the small stands of darkwood that could be found a few day trek into the forest. There wasn’t much of it there, certainly not compared with the great forests of Darkmoon Vale, but it was enough to keep the families of Râșnov fed and housed.

Her father, Sergil, was a fisherman and a forester who braved the Shudderwood to collect darkwood. Her mother, Lyuba, was an armorer who crafted darkwood shields and darkcloth armor to sell.

While Lyuba was pregnant with her first and only child, half of the village--including her husband--set off for their twice-yearly trip into the Shudderwood to harvest Darkwood. The next morning she awoke to the screams of her neighbors. Following the sounds she found the remains of Sergil and the rest of the logging party. Whatever had beset them had eaten much of them, but decorated the border of the village with the their remaining viscera.

Lyuba and the other survivors spent the day cleaning up the remains of their friends and family’s bodies, striving to bury what they could before it was all eaten by crows and buzzards. Life in the fens of Ustalav was rarely kind, and almost every year they lost someone on the darkwood expedition. Never before though had Lyuba witnessed anything like this cruel massacre. A the end of the day--horrified, sick with fear and rage--she fell into a fever-dream. In it, she cried out for power. In her utter abandonment to dreams of revenge, she found a willing patron: the Great Old One, Bokrug, whose unimaginable appetite for vengeance matched her own.

When she woke, Lyuba called the rest of the village together. She taught them the sacrifices they must perform to protect their village from further threats. Distraught and desperate for safety, they quickly agreed and Lyuba became the Witch of Râșnov.

4. How did your character become whatever class they are or learn the skills they have?

5. What does your character do for a living? How did they get into doing that?

As Tassa grew, her mother tried--and failed--to teach her witchcraft. Tassa utterly lacked the gift. Lyuba muttered about it with obvious frustration. ”You are my only daughter. You should be the fulfilment of Bokrug’s promise. Surely you can learn a simple spell!?”

While Tassa lacked in magical aptitude, she did inherit her mother’s gift as a craftswoman. Lyuba contented herself that she could at least pass on the to Tassa the secrets of how to work darkwood and darkleaf into armor. Tassa found that the patient focus needed to work the ebony wood distracted her from the anger she felt at her bleak, unfair life, surrounded by so much fear and pain...and from the hunger growing within her.

Like most Râșnovers, Tassa was trained early to fight with bow, sword and shield, and when she reached maturity she joined in the biannual expeditions into the Shudderwood to bring back darkwood. On her most recent foray she slew a pair of harpy whose baubles included a strange lump of black metal.

Tassa was immediately drawn to it, and when she touched it she was overwhelmed by powerful visions. Rather than show it to her fellows, she chose to quickly tuck it away until she was home. Lyuba recognized it instantly as the starmetal, adamantine. Though at first the starmetal resisted Tassa’s forge, with the aid of her mother’s witchcraft Tassa managed to create a fire hot enough to work it. As she did, Tassa entered a dream-state. She worked it relentlessly, sleeping little and missing meals for days on end. Finally she could tell that she was done. She donned the gauntlets and went to show her mother.

When she arrived at her mother’s hut, it turned out that Lyuba was out back in the garden. Tassa was greeted instead by her young neighbor, Yoska, delivering fresh bread to the Witch of Râșnov. ”Look what I just made, little one!” she smiled. The 9-year old baker’s apprentice marvelled at the metalwork, and at the motif of tentacles, scales, eyes, and teeth that covered them. As he looked at them, time slowed down. Tassa realized how she’d neglected to eat while forging them, and how ravenous she was. She glanced at the fresh bread, and then back at the boy. An alien hunger rose within her, and then her world went black.

When Tassa came to, her mother was in the room, shouting. Yoska’s half-eaten corpse lay before her...and Tassa saw that her own arm had been replaced with a mass of writhing tentacles covered with impossible eyes and teeth. Wiping her mouth, she realized that it was dripping with blood.

Tassa was horrified to see what she’d done...and equally horrified to see the smile on her mother’s face. ”Oh dearie, Bokrug’s gift has finally unfolded within you. Don’t fear. The death of the boy is unfortunate, yes, but this is the gift I prayed to Bokrug for when you were still within my womb. This is the tool with which you will bring vengeance upon the horrors that plague us.”

”NO!!” Tassa shook her head in disgust and ran home. As she did, the tentacles faded and--to her great relief--her arm returned. She packed her backpack quickly and called to her dog, Pată, to follow her. It wasn’t until Pată backed away from her, growling, teeth bared, that the tears finally came. Sobbing, she headed Southwest, down the road to Lepidstadt.

6. What is their personality like?

Tassa is terrified of the thing inside of her, and terrified that perhaps her mother is right. That this is what she was born to be: a horror created to kill other horrors.

She’s new to life outside the cult-village of Râșnov, and weary of strangers. Even more so, she’s weary of the horror within her. At the same time, she’s lonely without her mother, her village neighbors, or her dog, Pată. Alone, she hungers for companionship.

She hasn’t seen much true Goodness in her life. When she first encounters it she’ll likely be both suspicious and fascinated.

7. If your character is religious, explain why and how. If not, there may be a reason for that as well.

Tassa was raised in a rural cult of the Great Old One, Bokrug. She has made sacrifices to him all her life. Her mother had always referred to her as Tassa “Bokrugscu”, meaning “Child of Bokrug” in Varisian. Until recently she’d taken the appellation as merely a way of honoring her mother’s patron (or wishful thinking on her mother’s part). Now she suspects it means a great deal more.

All that said, the sacrifices she offers to Bokrug are more reflexive than heartfelt at this point. She has yet to be exposed to any other religions, though I suspect she might eventually come across and grow to resonate with Calistria’s faith.

8. Much of the campaign will involve traveling all over Ustalav and foiling the plots of various horrifying monsters. Why does your character care about doing this? Is he an Ustalav patriot, a Pharasman undeath hunter, a monster slayer for sport, or something else?

As Tassa Bokrugscu comes to terms with the horror within her, she is becoming fixated on slaying horrors. It seems that that alone can, perhaps, justify the horror within her.

9. What are your character's moral lines? What would they never do? What can they not stand by and watch? What will they always take advantage of?

10. If you have a character who has sworn a code (such as a Paladin or Cavalier, for example) be explicit in what that code entails.

Tassa wants to say she she would never murder an innocent, and yet...didn’t she just eat Yoska, only a week ago? She grew up surrounded by horror. She was raised on daily stories The Massacre, and constant promises of vengeance. Now she has changed in some horrifying way. She doubts who she is, and who her mother is. She’d like to say she’d never kill without justification...but she knows now that something inside her disagrees.

Other notes

Tassa is reluctant to return home at the moment: Partly to face the family of the boy, Yoska, who she ate; partly because she’d have to face her mother, and she doesn’t want to know more of her mother’s plans for her.

Crunch-wise...I'd think of her as a melee character (maybe gish)...but class-wise I'll probably have to work with you.

For anyone looking to learn Spheres, the Spheres Wiki is a great free resource, and in particular, start with either Using Spheres of Power (for the magic stuff), or Using Spheres of Might (for the martial stuff).

Big picture for Spheres of Power is that you
1) have a pool of spell points (SP), and
2) some talents, that grant you spells.

It's designed with a lot most customization than Paizo's casting (and in particular to let you build a caster who specializes in something like Time magic, or Teleportation effects, or Telekinesis or whatnot, in a way that's not really possible otherwise)...which is really cool, I think, but also can be overwhelming to read at first. My advice is to start with the using Spheres of Power page (if you're going with a cleric or other magic user) and then read one or two of the magic spheres that you're particularly intersted in.

And hey, Shadow Dragon: I started with the old basic box in '80, and think Spheres rocks so if you enjoy learning new stuff, I'll say (for me anyway) Spheres was totally worth it!

Hey, I've been looking at Alchemist and have a few questions:
1) do they get a martial tradition?
2) is the tinker invention the same as a Spheres Technician's?

Thanks again!


I have several concepts swimming about. To help me narrow down: If we have a concept that a class (or race) not listed, is it worth asking about it?

For example, for the Mummy's Mask game, I like the image of a scholarly character who builds and wields (as well as disarms) traps. The concept lends itself to the Spheres of Might Scholar class (though I'm open to building it other ways too).

Or for Strange Aeons, I was thinking about someone who has some sort of horror living/growing inside her. Could maybe be something like a spheres champion spiritualist with an archetype, or maybe some symbiat archetype.

If you want to keep it to just listed options, I'm sure I'll come up with either ways to adapt those concepts, or new ones I'm drawn to.


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Your Benevolent Dictator wrote:

In terms of campaign choice, it's a nail-biter. Strange Aeons is barely beating Reign of Winter for most-popular option, but Mummy's Mask is the overwhelming second choice. This makes choosing between the options quite difficult. ;-)

Honestly, my real meta preference is for you as a GM to make the tie-breaker be whichever one you're most jazzed to lead. Your enthusiasm will make any of the APs shine.

Hi there! I love that you're an ASL interpreter. I'm *VERY* far from fluent, but I learned some as a kid (when my mom brought my brother and I along to a class instead of paying for a babysitter), and got to work as a substitute instructional aide in a deaf preschool for a while (until they found someone more qualified, thankfully).

I live in Oakland CA with my wife and daughter. IRL nowadays most of my roleplaying is PbtA (DW, Masks, Avatar), including a DW game I started to run for kids and adults in my neighborhood (out in our yard) during the first summer of the Pandemic. On the forums, I play PF1 and 2e. (Going back, I got into Basic and then AD&D when I was in Middle School in the 80s, and have played a random assortment of games since then.)

I love character design, both in terms of backstory/personality/motivation and crunch, and I love the flexibility that Spheres brings to Pathfinder. I also love making characters together with other players. One of the coolest parts of PbtA games, in my opinion, is how well they create intertwined backstories and motivations.

In terms of myself as a player (and game longevity), I'm happy to have completed the a 5-year run of RotR AP, led by DM Thron on these boards, and am currently active in DM Kiora's Wraith of the Righteous campaign, which has been going for eight years (though I joined mid-way as a replacement) and is now I believe #4 for all-time most active campaigns (in post count).

And in terms of APs, I'd be very happy to play Mummy's Mask, and suspect I'd come up with an exciting concept for Strange Aeons too. (RoW is great, but I'm already playing in it so I'd pass if that's where you go.) There are plenty of other APs I'd enjoy too...and I really do want to get to play Iron Gods some day.

Hi Brainiac, this sounds great (and I've played with Cwethan in the past and know she's a solid RPer, so her recommendation of the game brings a lot of weight)!

I took a while to try-and-discard several ideas but have settled on one I'm very happy with, so I'd like to submit for your consideration:

Clarabibulus "Clara" Flingflopsparkfizz (Reference Image)


Clara Flingflopsparkfizz Overview
Clara is great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Umbilicus Flingflopsparkfizz, one of the greatest alchemists of all time, and the inventor of the Ultimate Fizzy Drink. Umbilicus was bold and clever, and family lore tells that he once adventured side-by-side with Nivi Rhombodazzle himself, but the most glowing stories always return to his fabled fizzypops.

There's some debate in the family as to whether the Ultimate Fizzy Drink was best enjoyed as a beverage or thrown at one's foes, but all agree that it was zesty, uplifting, and very very fizzy.

Tragically, the original recipe for the Ultimate Fizzy Drink was lost during the brutal tarrasque rampage of -632 AR. Since then the Flingflopsparkfizz clan has worked frenetically -- but fruitlessly -- to try to replicate it.

Reference Image
At 3’ tall and 34 lbs, Clara is slight even for a gnome. Her hair, eyes, and skin color tend to change weekly--likely based on the latest barks, minerals, fruits, reagents, and other ingredients she’s been experimenting on herself with.

Currently, her eyes are gold flecked with pine green, and her hair is a wild mix of purple, pink, magenta, and crimson, with wispy cyan highlights. However her own coloration shifts, her stained and sticky leather apron--and the various vials at her belt--are an easy giveaway of her passion for alchemy.

Clara is good hearted, excitable, and has tremendous (sometimes unwarranted) faith in herself, and in the power of fizzy drinks. Despite a cosmopolitan adulthood--criss-crossing the world in search of ingredients--Clara still sometimes misunderstands non-gnomes. She bears no malice for the non-gnomish...but does have a bit of pity for them (particularly when they’re glum), and Clara does her best to turn their frowns upside down using the best tool at her disposal: fizzy pop.

In addition to her desire to do good, she has a strong motivation to travel Golarion (and beyond!) in search of possible missing ingredients to the Ultimate Fizzy Drink.

Clara was born and raised in Magnimar, where her father runs a thriving soda shop and apothecary. She apprenticed with him as a child, and takes great pride in her family's sodas...but at some point she realized that just puttering in the family soda shop would never bring back the Lost Formula for the Ultimate Fizzy Drink. Determined to restore Great Grampa Umbilicus’ legacy, Clara joined the Pathfinders and set out to explore the world.

For the last decade, she has been traveling Golarion as a Pathfinder. On each mission, she endeavored to discover new ingredients that might be the key to the Ultimate Formula...but over time she’s grown impatient with where her assignments were taking her. She’s recently taken an extended leave to follow a lead.

[...Insert TBD, based on whether I should have a card (as a replacement character, and more generally what hooks the GM suggests…]

Crunch & Party Role:

Character Sheet (which I'm happy to recreate in whatever format you prefer)

Build summary:
Alchemist (bomber) with Medic and Inventor archetypes. Her main party roles will be:
- Support (elixirs, gadgets)
- Healing (Medic archetype)
- Debuffing & moderate AoE damage (bombs)
- Roguishness (Master in Stealth, and can use Crafting[M] to disable traps instead of Thievery, thanks to Reverse Engineer)

A few questions:
1) How are we handling starting gear for someone coming in at L13?
2) As an Alchemist / Inventor, how should I determine what formulas I have learned over time, beyond the minimum that're auto-granted by class features?
3) I know initial players each started with a card. Should we ignore that for the newcomer? If not, how should we handle it?

BTW, I left some holes (esp my most recent activity) in my background, and am very happy to collaborate on filling them, if there are interesting complications/connections you'd like to suggest.


Works for me!

I agree, nice pic!

OceanshieldwolPF and Dorian, thanks for the picture love for Riuzi! I'm very happy with it. I'm a visual thinker, and I often iteratively co-create a character's backstory, appearance, crunch, and image together. Sometimes I still draw my own, but recently I've been playing with Midjourney (AI art tool). It's often excellent for making reference images (and if I play with it early enough in the process, sometimes I have a happy accident that leads my imagination down a different path).

Here are a couple other recent ones: A halfling battledancer (aside: PF says "Halfling skin tones tend toward rich, tawny shades like amber or oak", but the illustrations for them are overwhelmingly white-looking. Midjourney helped me create one that better matched my imagination, and Golarion canon).

I also used it to come up with an image for a tengu inventor who I hope to someday play in a Season of Ghosts campaign...and again, there isn't likely to be any existing art for a character idea like this.

AI image generation has many possible implications as a new technology–not all of them good–but I'm happy to use it for personal projects like this (where I'd never have hired a professional, nor been able to paint it anywhere near this well myself).

Happy New Year to yall!

DM, I'm currently building a Tengu Thaumaturge, who will eventually take the Harrower archetype.

Lore-wise, he was raised in Sandpoint, and his grandparents traveled to Varisia together with the Kaijitsus, as part of their guards & servants, when they fled Minkai over a century ago. (I'll write up a detailed backstory, and happy to work with you to change anything that doesn't work with the lore you're building for your own campaign.)

For now, it occurs to me that with the remaster, tengu (like all ancestries) can be Aiuvarin or Dromaar (mixed elven or orcish heritage).

Aiuvaran says,
> You have elves, or possibly other aiuvarins, in your family tree. You have pointed ears and other telltale signs of elf heritage. You gain the elf trait, the aiuvarin trait, and low light vision. In addition, when you gain an ancestry feat, you can choose from aiuvarin and elf feats in addition to those from your ancestry,

My question: What happens when someone from an ancestry that already has low light vision takes the aiuvarin heritage? Do they instead gain darkvision?

I'm very interested, and would like some lore background on Kobolds in your world (and in Sandpoint in particular).

I know that PF2e is changing the lore to remove the notion of evil humanoid species (and I'm in a 2e game right now where the DM has declared that orc culture is "a bit like fantasy Klingons").

Do you have a vision for what Kobold culture is like? And how Kobolds are seen in Sandpoint? I'm also curious where/how need major Kobold settlements are. All the above helps me to think about my backstory.

In terms of mechanics, I'm leaning toward either an Investigator or an Inventor. Either way, probably Kobold, and probably taking an archetype that lets me dabble more in trapsetting.

- - - EDIT - - -

Oh! Also somewhat curious about the status/commonness/culture/acceptance of Ratfolk and Tengu as well.


Awesome, congrats to all selected! I'm looking forward to this.

OK, I still need to finalize purchases, but I'm happy to introduce Maq'la, daughter of Ulkh, an orcish monk who was raised in the foothills of the World's Edge Mountains.

Pathbuilder build, Profile, Reference Image (though I want to try editing it to give her some streaks of ice-blue in her hair)

Background, to date:
“Hahahahahaha! Well fought, sister.” Maq’la clanks her tankard with Sallah, the Taldan soldier she’d fought beside that day. “You battle boldly, and are surely an honor to your clan.”

Maq’la takes a long swig of ale from her tankard and then wipes her tusks with a sweat-stained sleeve. Leaning in close, she asks, “Now, answer me honestly, between warriors…when humans say that Khai’dun Khailiun was human, do they really believe it?”

Seeing a confused look on her drinking companion’s face, Maq’la says (articulating slowly), “Oh, Caaay-den Caaai-leee-ani, as you say it in Taldan. I’d assumed everyone knew he was Dromaar–some human ancestry, surely, but with a clearly orcish boldness, and thirst for ale. Do humans really believe Khai’dun would’ve had the guts to best the Starstone test, belly full of ale, without at least some orcish spirit in him?”

- - -

Maq’la grew up in the foothills of the World's Edge Mountains, a member of a small orcish clan that has for generations been devoted to their god of glorious battle, tests of strength, and raucous drink: Khai’dun Khailiun (who humans might know better as Cayden Cailean). Maq’la has trained since she could walk to battle gloriously, without hiding behind armor, armed only with her fists, feet, and an orcish Aq’lakh (or bo staff, the favored weapon of her clan).

Even among a clan that prizes martial excellence, Maq’la stood out as a child, both for her strength in battle and for the shock of icy-blue hair amidst her thick green locks (a sign, her mother Ulkh says, of a distant frost giant in their family tree). At present, she has only had a few small tests in the field of battle, and has set out on a walkabout. Some day in the years to come she will return to her clan, should she live that long. For now she seeks to test her own mettle, to engage in glorious battle against worthy foes, and to earn the scars that a true warrior wears with pride.

She came to Heldron several months back, looking for militia work, or other opportunities to prove herself and sharpen her skills. She’s just begun to spend time with humans over those past several months. Maq’la finds–as she learned as a child–that many of them are cowardly and difficult to trust, but she’s finding, to her surprise, that some are brave, and interesting in their differentness…not to mention that some of them brew spirits which (while not better than orcish stouts) are at least new and interesting.

1) I'm making up a bit about orcish culture here. If any of it doesn't fit, please let me know. I'm always happy to collaborate on backstory, or to modify to better fit the DM's worldbuilding.
2) Do you have preferences for where/how we share sheets? I've built her in Pathbuilder, but happy to transcribe into her profile. Just let me know your preferences.

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Looks like a great party! Please do feel free to reach out if you find there's a good spot for Klak-Klak.

Cheers to all!

I love that, and it gives me just what I need. Thanks!

Hi there! I'm starting to dream up an orc PC. She'll probably go barbarian (with an instinctual link to artic elk), and an unusual blue-grey tinge to her skin and hair.(Reference Image)

Reckless, can you say a bit more about how you understand orc culture (in Taldor, since that's where we start, or in general)? How they're seen in Haldren? I know that Paizo is working to eliminate the notion of "evil races", and that they aim to make orcs a standard ancestry in the Remaster...but I'd love to know a bit more about how you picture orc culture, and how it's seen/integrated into the cultures around them, to help me in dreaming up the right backstory.

(Aside: I love that you've included Poppet on the list, and I totally hope we end up with a poppet PC in the party. Heck, I may yet change my mind and make one...)

Hey Wolf, what's the starting wealth right now? It's not ABP, right?

HD: 10 + 6d10 ⇒ 10 + (6, 10, 5, 10, 7, 5) = 53 Well, my ability scores weren't anything special...but those are some damn fine HP rolls!

Oh! And do we get just one FCB, or one on both sides of the gestalt?

5d6 - 6 ⇒ (4, 6, 6, 2, 4) - 6 = 16
5d6 - 6 ⇒ (4, 6, 3, 4, 2) - 6 = 13
5d6 - 2 ⇒ (2, 1, 5, 3, 1) - 2 = 10
5d6 - 4 ⇒ (3, 6, 1, 5, 5) - 4 = 16
5d6 - 2 ⇒ (1, 2, 1, 6, 6) - 2 = 14
5d6 - 5 ⇒ (3, 6, 4, 2, 5) - 5 = 15
5d6 - 3 ⇒ (4, 2, 6, 3, 1) - 3 = 13

Hmmm, think I'm going to pull together an Elven foppish Occultist (silksworn) + Swashbuckler (inspired blade)

(Whoops, too late to edit but wanted to add that I'm planning on the Reverse Engineering feat which would also make Klak-Klak a very capable trap-breaker.)

I'm excited to submit: Xīn Cháo Klak-Klak - Character Sheet in Pathbuilder

Profile (Let me know if you'd like me to copy my build over from Pathbuilder, I'm happy to.)

Character Portrait

Certain conversations happened many times in Klak-Klak’s childhood: ”Now Klak-Klak, how did Willowshore come to be our home?”

The young tengu looked up at her papa Ruk-Ku and recited from memory, ”Grandmother Jae-Jae and grandfather Ka-Kyap lived as migrants for many years, fleeing persecution and violence from town after town. When they came to Willowshore they were welcomed and given a chance to roost in peace.”

Her papa Ruk-Ku’s feathers fanned with pride. Meanwhile her human dad, Bai, came and put his arm around Ruk-Ku’s shoulder. ”That’s right, and they started Miàn Wō, the best little noodle house in town…and those noodles led me right to your papa’s heart. I persuaded him to marry me–and keep my belly full–so that I can fill the minds of young scholars such as yourself!”

Xīn Cháo Klak-Klak (surname: Xīn Cháo, given name: Klak-Klak) grew up in Willowshore’s Northridge. She was raised in a mixed family: Her (tengu) papa, Ruk-Ku, runs a small noodle shop downtown, and her (human) dad, Bai, is the history teacher at the local children’s school.

Ruk-Ku immigrated to Willowshore as a young child, forty-years back, as part of a band of Tengu fleeing prejudice and violence. His family found Willowshore to be refreshingly welcoming. They started their own restaurant, Miàn Wō (or “Noodle Nest”), and grew a reputation for bountiful, fresh, hand-pulled noodles–and an eclectic mix of various ethnic Tian Xia tastes–all at a fair price. They eagerly embraced the new home that had embraced them as immigrants.

After Ruk-Ku married his childhood sweetheart, Bai–a bookish human boy with deep brown eyes–Ruk-Ku and his sister Jaekkak took over the family business, while Bai became a teacher.

From a young age, Klak-Klak was inquisitive and showed a broad interest in the lore and sciences, her dad Bae taught her, though her greatest gift was in engineering. She read whatever she could get her hands on, poring over books about engineering, literature, history, and the arts, often staying up late into the night with a lantern, absorbing knowledge and dreaming of the day when she could make a real difference for Willowshore. She became a dedicated scholar, constantly expanding her understanding of various subjects.

Bai has enrolled Klak=Klak in his vision of attracting more scholars and eventually growing a distinguished university within the humble, welcoming borders of Willowshore. Klak-Klak dreams of giving back to the town that has given the Xīn Cháo family so much, and fulfilling her father's legacy by creating this institution for scholarship and artistic exploration.

Klak-Klak understands that for Willowshore to achieve its destiny as a beacon of culture, knowledge, and innovation, there’s work to be done: both clearing new ground for expansion, as well as protecting Willowshore from the troublesome creatures that sometimes wander in from the misty forests that surround them.

Determined to make her vision a reality, Klak-Klak delved deep into the study of engineering, crafting intricate and innovative machines. Eventually she realized she needed someone with more lived experience and so she recently persuaded Huo Tian-Zhe to take her on as an apprentice.

Her crowning achievement so far is a marvelous suit of mechanical powered armor that protects her while boosting her physical capabilities. With this creation, Klak-Klak hopes she is ready to help Willowshore grow into the often-dangerous woods that surrounds the town, ensuring Willowshore has the room to flourish and realize its potential.

✓ I’ve read the Willowshore Gazetteer
✓ I acknowledge the "Horror & Consent" themes, and look forward to exploring them together
✓ I acknowledge the "About the Family" sidebar, and would be happy for any of the family members I’ve invented to be incorporated into the story (even if that means them being imperiled, harmed, or killed).
✓ I acknowledge that anti-Tengu prejudice may come to Willowshore (and more than acknowledge it, I think it’ll be interesting to roleplay, especially given how much Klak-Klak’s personal identity is rooted in the ways her family has been welcomed and trusted. I like, in particular, that the Player’s Guide notes that it’s the Northbridge residents who’re more open to being ruled by the jorogumo…since that, again, will cause interesting tensions for Klak-Klak and her parents.)

Personality and Motivations
Klak-Klak is passionate, determined, geeky, somewhat overconfident, and a true believer that Willowshore is great, and destined for more. Her fingers are almost never still: rather, if she’s not tinkering with a new gadget, she’s jotting down notes on the sheaths of parchment she carries everywhere.

She is excited to develop useful devices to help make life easier in Willowshore, and to help further her dad Bai’s vision of developing a great school.

She venerates Daikitsu as the patron of artifice, and pays some homage to Hei Feng as well, as the ancestral god of the Tengu. In the end though, Klak-Klak feels the most affection for Jin Li, the Golden Dragon Carp, for his determination to continue through failure until achieving success, and for his daring.

(If there’s a shrine to Jin Li in town, it’s likely the place she’d pray at most often.)

Home, and Relations
Klak-Klak was born and raised in Northridge, and still lives with her fathers, but now that she’s apprenticed to Huo Tian-Zhe, she is considering renting a small room near the Second Best.

Supplies for an alarm snare, 10 sp, and two lesser ghost charges. The parts for the snare and the ghost charges are both payment-in-kind for her work as an apprentice at Second Best.

Party Role, and future plans
Klak-Klak is front liner, and I intend her to perform reasonably well at both melee offense and tanking (including some control via Athletics & Tamper). She’s also a true scholar with training in Arcana, Occultism, Society, Nature, Religion, and four Lores (Academia, Engineering, Tengu, and Willowshore).

She may take an archetype at some point. Perhaps Bastion, or Loremaster?…depending both on how she develops and the needs of the party.

Other notes
I've been active on the boards for many years (including playing through Rise of the Runelords from beginning to end, and currently playing in Kiora's Wrath of the Righteous - currently the 4th longest running PbP game on the forums). I am still relatively new to 2e and will definitely make some mistakes (or have a few naive Qs) as I learn...but the first 2e game I played, I jumped into the deep end with a high-level bard and did alright, so I'm confident I can manage an Inventor.

I love to collaborate on backstory with fellow players and with GMs, so if accepted please suggest any changes that might further the overall plot.


DM rainzax wrote:
gyrfalcon wrote:
DM, do you allow alternate flaws (e.g. a halfling blacksmith whose flaw is in CHA instead of STR)?
Anything in the CRB / Player Core, by the book.

Thanks! Apologies if it was a naive question. I've played quite a lot of 1e but only one game of 2e so far. I like it, but I'm still learning the system to some degree!

Hi! I'll need a week to write up my character because things are crazy with work + travel right now, but I'd love to throw my hat in the ring as well.

I'm thinking of an inventor with Close Ties (background) to Huo Tian-Zhe, smithy at Second Best.

DM, do you allow alternate flaws (e.g. a halfling blacksmith whose flaw is in CHA instead of STR)?

Hey Seer, are you still around and planning to do this? I hope all's well with you!

In case you are, I’m ready to officially present Arthur Cook, lead actor in the latest of Gilbert & Sullivans operettas, including the recent talk of the town, The Pirates of Penzance.

Arthur Cook: backstory, appearance, and other notes:

Background, and Relations
Arthur Cook is the talk of London’s theater scene. In the five years since Richard D’Oyly Carte opened the Savoy theater to showcase the emerging works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Arthur has starred in more of their comedic operas than any other actor (notably playing the Pirate King in the recent hit, The Pirates of Penzance). Cook is renowned for soaring vocals, for dazzling dance footwork, and for an uncanny ability to disappear into a role in a way that makes one sure one’s never seen this person before.

He knows how charming he is, and has recently grown accustomed to having a slew of admirers, male and female. While he’d be lying to say he doesn’t let the acclaim go to his head–fame has it’s benefits!–he is known for taking the piss out of anyone who takes anything (even his own fame and skill) too seriously.

Cook is the son of Adam & Roberta Cook, and was raised by them on the grounds of King’s College, where Mr Cook is a dean (teaching courses in Latin and fencing), and his wife Roberta is a well regarded acting teacher. While Arthur is of reasonable intelligence, he never excelled in his academic studies (much to his father’s disappointment). That is, until his last few years of school when Arthur managed to hone his ability to bluff and bluster to the point where he could often ace a course simply by acting the part, and persuading the teacher that he was surely a star at the subject.

Bonnie Ainsworth is, of course, a devoted patron of the arts, and never misses a production at the Savoy. Some months ago, she arranged to have Gilbert, Sullivan, and Arthur Cook over for a salon, and she was immediately taken by Arthur’s charm and wit. Arthur, likewise, appreciated Ainsworth’s deep knowledge of the theatre–as well as the fine food and wine she serves, and the fascinating company she attracts–and they became fast friends. When she invited him to a gala at Waldenshire (on a weekend between productions) he happily jumped at the opportunity.

character portrait,
(wyld shape: bluebird)

Arthur Cook has wavy brown hair and green eyes. He sports a fashionable mustache and has a rakish grin that is known to melt hearts of women and men. Arthur is of average height and build, yet somehow often seems to tower above those around him. Though not particularly strong, he’s quite light on his feet, and in excellent condition overall. He has the ability to make whatever he wears appear quite fashionable, and recently he’s taken inspiration from one of his favorite roles: wearing the loose white cotton blouse, navy pantaloons, and red sash of Penzance’s Pirate King.

Once he awakens as a dreamwalker, he will have a shimmering magenta-and-indigo butterfly that often lights on his shoulder, or flies about his head like a living crown.

I feel that either a Muse or Nymph suit the bill well. I’d leave to your discretion if one or the other fits better with your vision and plans for the game.

His Wyld Shape is that of a bluebird.

I'm happy to move his stat block to a profile if preferred. for now, it's probably easier to read in this doc: Arthur Cook, stats

I welcome any feedback / suggestions / corrections. Thanks!

Hey Seer, for those of us that're already underway, do you have a deadline you need final builds and backgrounds by?

I don't want to hold things up, *and* have a big work writing project at the moment that I'm trying not to distract myself from, so planning around a deadline would be helpful for me.

My Gilbert & Sullivan actor is shaping up nicely, but not quite done yet!


Re SoG: Great! I'll work on finishing up my Gilbert & Sullivan (Pirates of Penzance) actor as an Envoy | Bard.

BTW, it's worth highlighting to everyone that you might find you want to trade your class skills for a trade tradition, since that's an option available to any class. If you do, you'll get 1 base sphere and 2 trade talents (if both your classes have 4 or fewer skills / level, which is referred to as "Competent") or 2 base spheres and 4 trade talents (if at least one of your classes grants > 4 ranks/level, which makes you "Adroit") ...and then an additional +1 trade talent / class you have beyond the first (so 1 extra, if your gestalt build doesn't include any multiclassing).

Warning, it's a LOT to grok all at once, especially if you don't own the Spheres of Guile PDF...but the Trade Traditions and Using Spheres of Guile and Vocation sphere pages on the Spheres wiki page can be a big help.

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Hey yall! Ventiine, I really appreciate you rescuing folks from the abandoned game.

I've been quiet for a while because I was out of town and off my phone at a meditation retreat. I'm back now but wanted to just let you know at this point I've started another game since Joseph's died, and my plate is full.

I hope (and strongly suspect) this'll be a great one; sorry to miss yall!

....Ooooooh, or maybe my non-Bard side will be a SoG Envoy instead, if that's allowed?

OK, I'm back and will work to finish up my character. His second side will be a Spheres of Guile Professional, if that's permitted.

SoG-wise, he'll be mostly focused on the Performance Sphere but also likely a bit of the Subterfuge sphere and maybe Body Control and/or Bluster. I think, if Professional class is OK, I'm not worried about other talents; if there are some you choose to ban, I can just swap. (Swapping class could work too, but would be better to know that up front.)

BTW, what's your latest thought as to when you'll close recruitment?

Hey, sorry, I'd lost track that I was up. Just realized!

I'm going to be offline til Sunday (or maybe Saturday) so feel free to bot me.

See y'all in a week!

Hey Seer, I wanted to let you know I'm going to be completely offline (no devices at all, let alone Internet) til Aug 13.

I've got the Bard (Sovereign Piper Spheres archetype) half of my gestalt done. I've done some pre-work on a SoG Professional for the other half, but will hold off on finalizing the rest til I know if SoG works well for you. Hopefully that timing will work out!

Yeah actually approval of SoG might be something many folks might care about, just for the ability to trade class skills for a Trade Tradition.

Meanwhile, I'm working more on the Legendary Bard (Improv Artist) side of my gestalt. If Professional doesn't get approved, I'll think of other options.

Seer of Shadows wrote:

My initial reason for banning Spheres of Guile was twofold: on the one hand, large swathes of the material seemed ill-suited to the campaign and, on the other, there were a few issues that cropped up during playtesting and I wanted errata to be released. As I haven't gone over any errata that has been released, I can't confirm whether or not the issues have been addressed.

I would like to pose two questions to you. First, what were you planning on doing with the Performance sphere? And second, has there been any major errata regarding it?

Honestly, if you're at all leaning toward banning it, I don't know if I want to dissuade you.

I think there's a bunch of vey fun stuff. And there ARE several published errata now. I think it's pretty stable/final...but there's a LOT to learn. If you're not thinking "Cool! Lemme learn this interesting new skills-based system!" you should prolly keep banning it.

That said, since you asked, I'd assume I'd lean heavily into the Performance sphere (especially, acting, but likely singing and dancing too...seeing as I'd be an actor from a comedic opera). My first thought was to do Bard (maybe Minstrel SOM archetype) + Professional (with Performance as my main Professional Method). I'd probably also take some Body Control, Bluster and Communication talents.

I'd still be learning the system at the same time as you were, and I'd be perfectly happy to make changes/corrections/house-rules as needed. I doubt it would be OP compared to the other builds around...but it *WOULD* involve a gob of new rules, which could be a burden on you if you're not excited to learn the new system.

100% your call. I haven't given thought to if/how I'd build the concept without SoG...but I can think about it, if that's better for you.

----EDIT Pirates of Penzance content----

Kevin Kline playing the Pirate King in the 1983 movie version. My initial image for my character is based on Kline (who my dad knew in college), and his performance here.

And Modern Major General (from the same film adapation) which is likely the most well known song from the show.

Hi! I'd initially had too much on my plate, but some have fallen off recently, and I just had a glad of inspiration: I realized this takes place during the height of Gilbert & Sullivan's career. Thinking maybe I'd play as a lead actor/singer from some of their recent shows at The Opera Comique in London. (Pirates of Penzance debuted in 1880, and The Mikado in 1885).

I haven't given too much thought to how to build such a troubadour, but I think there would be some delightful aspects of the Spheres of Guile Performance Sphere to play with...if it were allowed. I saw you said at the beginning it was banned and I'll happily respect that if you prefer, but figured I'd ask since it feels natural to the concept. I think at this point it's largely settled and the Spheres wiki is up to date with the latest errata, but if you'd still rather not I'm sure I can find other ways to build them.

- - -

By the way, how many completed (or nearly complete) submissions do you have so far? I'd love to look then over as I noodle on my build.

- - EDIT - -

One more Q: "The form of any piece of Faerie Regalia may be changed at will, enabling a knight to change their greatsword into a longbow to target a fey dragon flying beyond the reach of their blade or to morph their full-plate into padded armor when they need to swim across a raging river."

Apologies if I missed it, but what kind of action is it to change the form of the weapon and/or armor?

Seems reasonably at this point, sadly.

Thanks so much, Redalia, for bringing me on and for your willingness to try out 3PP (Spheres of Might) here.

Mightypion, I look forward to your finale post.

Take care, all!

Right, but then at the bottom of the archetype it says

Greater Training
The grifter may choose to lose rogue’s edge to gain a virtuoso skill talent progression instead. He may not take this option if he possesses an archetype that would alter or replace rogue’s edge.

This (optionally) replaces rogue’s edge.

...I can make it clearer on my profile if you like that I've chosen that option.


And terse is fine, especially since I'm realizing that you allowing 3p is creating a lot more work for you...and I won't be surprised if you help me discover some mistake I've made.

EDIT 2--

Ahhh. Yes, it's DM's discretion. I haven't played in a game that allowed Spheres but didn't allow creating traditions so I didn't think to ask...but if it's important to you, let me look at the pre-made traditions. Hopefully I can change it without charging too much. I'll at least take a look.

From what I see, everyone else had PFS standard. Maybe Sebastian made a deal with some nefarious entity that gave him Max at both levels? ;-)

Anyway, I'll have a build to share very soon. Tonight, I think!