I'm very interested in giving Kingmaker a try, it looks like great fun.
Here is a character concept I've been kicking around for a while. He was originally intended to be a Mesmerist, but since you don't want Occult classes, I can just as easily make him a Bard.
Vittorio Vandomar is a man whose ambition has always outstripped his competence. To hear him tell it, he is a world class showman, a businessman without compare, an adventurer who has plundered ancient tombs for priceless treasures and advised the crown heads of nations on all matters mystical.
In actuality he is just an aging, overweight carnival performer who is down on his (eternally bad) luck and looking for a chance at greatness, or at least a chance to avoid his creditors. After an incident where some griffon eggs he sold turned out to be painted rocks, Vittorio has found his way to the River Kingdoms to start fresh.
Underneath the layers of fat, failure, and fraudulence, there is a keen mind and a genuine desire to prove himself and do some good in the world, but alas these always seem to find themselves overridden when an easier solution presents itself. He's about to receive a rude awakening; nothing comes easy in the River Kingdoms, and if he doesn't discover a drop or two of genuine heroism within him (or at least a few more gallons of cunning), then he won't last very long.
Vittorio is a middle aged Varisian man with a dark beard and a deep, booming voice. He knows some small amount of genuine magic, but augments it with simple sleight of hand tricks and showmanship to seem more powerful than he is. He's a large man, but in somewhat better shape than he looks, and is not above using his age and apparent plumpness to make enemies underestimate his ability to throw a punch (or flee if it comes to it). Vittorio likes to keep the true nature of his abilities secret, and is happy to be mistaken for a wizard or sorcerer if it will make him seem more impressive.
SWISH. "No." ...FZZT. "No." ...CLANG. "No."...
Skie Aldersun turned a page of her book. It was getting dark and becoming difficult to read. She reached for a candle and prepared to light it, but decided enough was enough and entered the back room of her shop instead.
A young man stood nearly ankle deep in rusted weaponry, spent wands, tarnished amulets, and other detritus. He was digging in a bin that was marked "Clearance", because if Skie had labelled it "Garbage" she'd need to pay someone to cart it off for her.
The gnome cleared her throat. "Should have closed up an hour ago. You're not going to find anything in there of use."
Benny wiped dust off his glasses so he could examine a ring that had started going green more closely. "Much of it still radiates trace amounts of magic. Something will work. Statistical certainty." He didn't so much as glance down at her.
Skie bristled. Several different curse words arrived in her mouth at once, and the resulting linguistic confusion nearly made her bite through her tongue. She took a deep breath. Wizards are arrogant, they think they're so smart. Student wizards are even worse, they have yet to learn that being smart doesn't mean everyone else is an idiot. But this student wizard was something special. Here he was in her shop after sundown, tossing junk (tossing BARGAINS, her brain amended) on the floor, and somehow making it sound like she was wasting his time.
"Those items are all used or damaged well beyond the point of functionality." Benny threw away the ring. "It's true that some traces of magic may remain..." A dagger hit the floor and stuck there. "But nothing is suitable for Bonding with". Benny tossed a gray pebble. "I know that as a student your funds are limited...". Benny tossed a gray pebble. "But I have many items of better quality and would be happy to discuss financing. Tomorrow."
"It's not just a matter of quality," said Benny, tossing a gray pebble. At least he now seemed engaged in the conversation, probably because it gave him an excuse to be a know-it-all. "Many a wizard has bonded with a simple walking stick or a sword they don't even know how to use. It's more a matter of compatibility of temperament. You know how a place or an object can feel like it has a certain personality? Well, even a mundane item can have certain quirks and I'm a reasonable man Miss Aldersun, so why have I thrown away the same damned rock three times now?"
Benny and Skie stared at the pebble clutched in his fingers. After a moment the young man loosened his grip, and it lifted off and began to slowly fly around his head. "What. Is. That."
Skie watched as it gained speed, becoming almost a blur. "It's an Ioun Stone. Or at least it was. Hasn't functioned in ages. You seem to have reactivated it, which is odd because I've never heard of one of those being a Bonded Item. Maybe you have a knack."
"Does it do anything besides float?"
"That old thing? It's a miracle it's even doing that. Compatibility of temperament, you said?" Skie smirked. "Can't take a hint, won't go away, orbits Planet You. Yeah, I'd say that's a good match".
Benny watched the little stone, his eyes tracking it whenever it crossed his vision. He was fascinated enough that the insult failed to connect. "What do you want for it?"
Skie went behind the counter and opened a ledger. "Well, it's discount merchandise, but technically functional. I've never known an Ioun Stone to bond, so it must have a certain rarity value. Plus service fee, storage, depreciation, wear and tear on-"
"I'll give you a gold piece for it and clean up the mess."
Sorin Jasidin wrote:
Sorin studied at Bluecrater Academy. If that's the same Academy Benny went to, they could have met there.
Yep, Benny went to Bluecrater. Even took the campaign trait. Having them be schoolmates sounds like a good idea.
They are also both scholarship students who probably would have been looked down upon by others, Sorin for his family's disgrace, Benny for his lowborn origins. And they may have been interested in similar fields of study; Bards and Illusionists have a good amount of overlap, so it makes sense they would have taken some of the same classes.
Sorin Jasidin wrote:
Would anyone like to fulfill the party friendship requirement for Hard Recruitment? I don't mind at all; I'm happy to establish friendships and character connections with everyone.
Sure, I'm happy to. Any ideas for how to integrate our backstories? I'll try to think up some tomorrow.
Siblings: 1d4 ⇒ 3
Benjamin "Benny" Rice was born to a poor family, and his mother died bringing him into the world. As the youngest child, and a runt to boot, Benny grew up feeling like a burden on his family, just another mouth to feed and one that couldn't pull his weight.
By the time he was ten, Benny had taught himself to read (a good way to not be underfoot all the time) and was allowed to spend his days in the village square, where neighbors could look after him while his father and siblings worked, and where he might pick up the odd copper or two doing odd jobs. His father thought he might help feed chickens or fill horse troughs. What he actually did was a bit less honest.
Teaching himself the principles of sleight of hand from a book, Benny ran games of Three Card Monte and Liar's Dice. He cheated enough to ensure he won, but not too much.
A gang of older boys soon found out he was making decent money, beat him up and robbed him. To prevent further beatings, Benny was forced to pay them protection money, and his games grew ever more crooked to keep up with their demands. Benny soon bitterly regretted his dishonest ways, and wished fervently for a way out. He dare not explain his predicament to the town guard, as that would be tantamount to confessing having scammed half the town.
When he was twelve, Benny found salvation from his situation in a book of adventure stories. There was an illustration of a mighty wizard in a flowing cape, reading from a book of eldritch power while calling down thunder and lightning upon his foes. Benny scraped together enough coin to buy some purple dye and wool cloth, and a blank book of appropriate thickness. He filled the book with meaningless symbols, fashioned himself a cape, and let himself be seen around town poring over the book in furious concentration, while sleight of hand tricks made it look like he could make frogs appear and turn coins into butterflies. Soon the rumors started: Benny is studying wizardry! Best not mess with him.
The bullies scoffed at these stories, but kept their distance more and more. When their weekly demand for money was lower than usual, Benny knew he had them. He waited for a rainy and overcast day, and made his preparations. Inspired by a stage trick he'd read about, he found a tin sheet and suspended it from a rope hanging over a gutter. The other end of the rope he stood on around the corner, blocking it from view with his cape. When the gang appeared to collect from him, Benny informed them that he was no longer paying, and that he had become a wizard. Mess with him and lightning would strike them down where they stood.
The bullies laughed, but nervously. They couldn't let such a challenge go unmet. As they closed in on him, Benny raised his hands, shouted a nonsense phrase, and lifted his foot off the ground. Around the corner, the tin sheet clattered down onto some rain barrels, and "thunder" rolled. The entire gang ran screaming.
Benny's mirth was short-lived, as he felt an adult hand close on his shoulder. His trick had not gone unnoticed; Rufus Vittorio, a traveling showman had witnessed it from the tavern across the street, and was impressed with Benny's skill at deception. Not wanting to see such talent go to waste, he recommended him to a friend of his, an illusionist who occasionally helped Rufus provide effects for his shows. Benny received a sponsorship to attend an academy of magic, and was soon on his way to becoming a wizard for real.
Now 24, Benny has at last completed his tutelage and is ready to make his way in the world. On the surface he may come of as aloof and arrogant; Benny is still a firm believer in the power of trickery, and consciously adopts an air of egotism to mask his insecurities. Although he possesses true magic, he likes to supplement actual spells with mere parlor tricks, hoping that regular rubes won't know the difference and he will seem more powerful than he actually is.
Despite this overstuffed demeanor, Benny Rice has a strong sense of justice and hates to see the weak taken advantage of. He still mistrusts authority figures however, feeling that he is better off relying on his wits than society.
Rough draft of Benny's appearance.
Character Background Rolls:
Step One - Homeland, Family, Childhood
Step Two - Adolescence and Training
Basic concept: Benjamin Rice, CG human Wizard//Rogue. Specializes in illusion.
We're already assisting a rebel group of Iomedae worshiping knights to ferry refugees out of the country, have burned down several businesses using zombies as labor, killed a few mid-ranking undead aristocrats, and been generally terrible guests during our stay in Geb.
Also one of the aristocrat killings involved my wizard and the party druid using Command Undead and Fire Seeds to make some zombies into suicide bombers. The Iomedians made us promise not to do that again (spoilsports!), but I bet when the report arrived on the Harlot Queen's desk it made for an interesting read.
So I sincerely doubt Arazni is interested in being besties with us at this point even if we do hand over her lung.
The alternative is killing her, and I'm pretty sure that will anger Geb just as much. At this point we've already made enemies who are way out of our league; making one of them a possible ally may be the closest we can get to leveling the playing field.
But yeah, this is destined to end pretty badly if our luck doesn't hold out. Note to self: next time you find a squishy thing in a jar and the GM is grinning, do not start playing around with it.
I'm currently in a campaign that involves Geb, and one of our main opponents is going to be Arazni. She's out to get us because one of the Bloodstones of Arazni (her lung) recently came into our possession, and we used it without knowing that doing so apparently signals her as to its location.
So an incredibly powerful undead demigod queen is gunning for us so she can have her lung back, and we don't want that to happen. A Legend Lore spell allowed the GM to reveal to us what the drippy thing in the jar actually is and what it does, as well as offer some cryptic hints as to where the others might be found. It's also been very strongly hinted to us that the Bloodstones are collectively Arazni's phylactery (if it's ever been revealed what her phylactery is in the setting I'm unaware of it, but in this campaign at least it's the Bloodstones). So we Gotta Catch 'Em All and destroy the lich queen for good, before she gets her hands on us.
But! While discussing our gameplan between sessions, an interesting idea occurred to us. These organs are still alive; they are specifically described as such in "Artifacts and Legends". This is a piece of Arazni's living body. So...would it work as the material component to a Clone spell?
Our next session is tomorrow, and we're hoping to propose a change of plans to the GM; we'll find all the other Bloodstones alright, but not to destroy them. We're going to use them to grow Arazni a new body and then kill her old one, so instead of regenerating lich-style like she expects, she will wake up as a mortal woman.
After that we're not sure what happens. It's entirely possible that after spending centuries as an undead monstrosity she's irredeemably evil at this point, so we'll just have to kill her again. But at least this time when she dies it will be as a mortal, and she won't come back.
But it's also possible that this will redeem her; unlike most liches, Arazni was transformed against her will, after she had already died. Liches can't help being evil, but returning to life might undo her corruption and gain us a powerful ally, one who knows all of Geb's secrets.
Do any of you know if there's any reason this plan can't work? If there's some aspect of the rules or the canon that we'd be violating? Even if there is, the GM might think this is an awesome enough concept to let us do it, but it's still good to be aware of any potential complications so we can martial our arguments in favor if it.
I have a new player who is just learning the game and has decided to play a paladin. Specifically she wants to use her Divine Bond to get a mount and engage in Mounted Combat. I warned her that the rules are a little complex for a beginner, but she's seriously into the whole "knight in shining armor atop a valiant steed" thing, so I decided to write her up a little guide to explain the rules and what the different feats will do and so on. But when re-reading the rules, I realized there are things I don't really understand myself.
Specifically my issue is Combat Maneuvers. Some of them, like Disarm and Sunder, seem straightforward enough, but the others are confusing, and I'd like to know if the rules have ever been clarified, or if not how you would interpret them.
Grappling: Is it even possible to grapple someone while I'm on a horse? If I do, what happens if my horse moves? Is my victim carried along with me? What if my target is also mounted? If my mount is grappled by a monster, but I am not, how does that affect me?
Bull Rush / Overrun: Who actually performs these actions, me or my mount? If it's my mount and I have feats that improve them, can I use those feats, or does my mount need them too? Some of them, like Trample, seem to apply to the mount if I have them, but others are unclear. And if it's me performing the action, does the fact that the mount is large give me a bonus to CMB?
Trip: The Core Rulebook has rules for if my mount "falls" in battle, but all it says is that I need to make a ride check to avoid 1d6 damage. I assume I'm still mounted, but do I take any penalties for being on top of a prone horse? Am I prone too, until the horse gets up?
So, Pharasma despises the undead, and considers them an abomination. Her priests hold that destroying them is a sacred duty.
So how do she/her clergy react to ghosts? Ghosts are not created intentionally through necromancy, nor does becoming one reflect some taint within the person prior to death (like how cannibals may spontaneously rise as ghouls). In fact, a ghost might want nothing more than to cross over and be judged by Pharasma so it can move on to the afterlife, but it simply can't. They're just an accident.
So if a cleric of Pharasma encounters a ghost, what's the protocol? Destroying it does no good, it will just come back. Leaving it alone would seem neglectful since it's against the natural order. I suppose trying to help it cross over would be ideal, but that could require any number of tasks, not all of them ones the cleric would likely be willing to do. I doubt any of Pharasma's faithful are clamoring to give Geb any help, to pick an extreme example.
Here is a sheet for Templeton. I will add extracts and background stuff tomorrow.
Note that I took the feats Instant Alchemy and Eschew Materials, and left a lot of cash unspent to use as on the fly reagents, as outlined in the Spontaneous Alchemy rules. If you decide we aren't allowing those rules, just let me know and I will change them.
I'd be perfectly happy with the Scout role instead of Sage, if someone else wants to be Sage, or no one wants Scout. Either is fine with me; as a high int character I have skill ranks to spare, so I was planning on maxing Perception and a couple of Knowledge skills either way.
Only real difference is whether I get Stealth as a class skill (neither Alchemist or Barbarian has it) or more Knowledge skills (I already get Nature and Arcana).
Hey, Pokeapache. If you are still having trouble with Hero Lab, try this: do Gestalt at every level, but on odd levels choose Commoner. Since commoners are the worst at everything, it will be as if those are empty levels.
Only exception I can think of is that they have some Class Skills you may have to ignore.
Okay, got a concept going. I took what you said about the Gestalt broadening capabilities instead of focusing them to heart and decided against Investigator as my other class. Instead, I'm going to go in the complete opposite direction as an intellectual brainiac: a Barbarian!
This is Templeton. Kinda looks like hell, doesn't he? Well, Templeton has a monkey on his back, and it's not a familiar or animal companion. When he first met the party he was serving jail time for using some of his his alchemical concoctions for "recreational" purposes; he seemed determined to spend as much of his day in an altered state of consciousness as possible.
It's not his fault; doing so keeps the "Other" at bay. Like most alchemists, Templeton had perfected a mutagen for personal use that increased his strength, improved his athleticism, and prevented him from getting sand kicked in his face at the beach. Alas, these formulas always have side effects, and he sought to mitigate them so he could be in peak physical and mental condition simultaneously. As part of this experiment, he injected himself with the blood of a captured devil.
It didn't work as intended. Now whenever he takes his mutagen he tends to black out, and another far more sinister persona comes to the fore. This is the Other, who seethes with such infernal rage that he has been known to literally burst into flame when fighting, and throws himself into combat with reckless abandon. Templeton would love nothing more than to never become such a beast again, but alas he has become addicted to the adrenaline rush the transformation provides. His use of other narcotics is simply a means to distract himself from this.
Templeton bargained his way out of prison by offering his services as a seeker and disarmer of traps, and 90% of the time behaves as a quiet if somewhat spaced-out academic. He prefers to fight with his bombs and alchemical tools whenever possible, disdaining hand-to-hand combat as it is too tempting to become the Other in such situations; he will do so only in response to severe danger. He is never without at least a couple of doses of Polypurpose Panacea, which he uses to combat such temptations during downtime. It is not unknown for him to carry some "more potent preventatives", but he avoids using them unless he really needs to. Usually.
I'm interested in playing. Thinking I might do an Alchemist, with the Trap Breaker archetype, so I can be the party's trap guy if we don't have anyone better suited for that.
Probably do the Sage role. Knowledge skills are always handy for a character with high Int.
Any other rules for character generation? Like how last time you didn't want any ability scores below 10 before racial mods? Just want to know because if the point buy is 15, I might consider playing middle aged or something if allowed.
Don't know about what gestalt class I'd want. Maybe Investigator? That looks interesting.
Oh, are you familiar with the Spontaneous Alchemy rules from the Alchemy Handbook? They are in a sidebar on the Alchemist page of the SRD if not. Are those allowed? If so, I may leave aside a good chunk of my money for reagents. It would be cool to do things like mix a couple of vials in combat and produce a tanglefoot bag, or be able to produce antitoxin on the fly if someone got poisoned.
Okay, how about this?
He really should have been a bard, he always thought. All his life, Giacomo had listened raptly at the feet of storytellers and musicians, memorizing the tales of great heroes and vile villains, and dreaming of the day he would learn to weave such spellbinding stories himself. Alas, he lacked a performer's flair; lyre and lute strings snapped in his fingers, jokes fell flatter than stamped on cowpies, and his singing voice sounded like a cockerel choking on tainted corn.
More to the point, he was too sensible and serious to be a teller of tales. He could memorize and recite, but never properly create. And so Giacomo took a life more suited to his temperament; preaching the story of the greatest hero of them all, Cayden Cailean. The legend of the mortal adventurer who ascended to godhood during a drunken revel has always inspired Giacomo, who felt this was the caliber of adventure he had always craved, but could only ever dream about. So he traveled from town to town, preaching in alehouses, and doing good where he could in the name of his inebriated deity.
That's exactly what he was doing at the Swallowtail festival, where his life changed forever. If you had asked him before what he would do in a battle, he would have sheepishly replied "Run, hide, try to aid others with the sense to do the same". Instead, when the goblins attacked, he astounded himself by smashing a stein of ale over one's head, then running two more through with his (previously kept only for ceremonial purposes) rapier.
But even this came as less of a shock than being hailed as a hero by the people of Sandpoint. Giacomo decided that this was his god giving him the chance life had long denied him; he was a failure at telling heroic stories, so instead he was going to LIVE one. Whether this tale will end up a rousing saga or a tragic lament he doesn't know or care. One way or another, he's going to see how it ends.
Male Human (Taldan) Cleric of Cayden Cailean 6
CG Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +6; Senses: Perception +6
AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (+8 armor, +2 dex, +1 nat)
HP 60 (6d8+12+6+4)
Fort +9 Ref +6 Will +13
Speed 40 ft
+1 Shock Rapier +7 (1d6+2+1d6 electricity, 18-20/x2)
Masterwork Crossbow +7 (1d8, 19-20/x2)
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 20 (22 with Headband), Cha 12
Base Atk +4, CMB +4, CMD 16
Feats: Extra Channel, Improved Initiative, Craft Wondrous Item, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Finesse (Mythic), Toughness
Traits: Student of Faith, Inspired
Skills: Heal +14, Knowledge (planes) +6, Knowledge (religion) +9, Linguistics +6, Sense Motive +12, Spellcraft +9
Languages: Common, Celestial, Abyssal, Infernal
SQ: Aura, Channel Energy +3d6, Spontaneous Casting: Cure, Domains: Good (Touch of Good), Travel (Agile Feet), Hard to Kill, Mythic Power: 5, Surge 1d6, Inspired Spell, Faith's Reach
Gear: +1 Shock Rapier, Masterwork Crossbow - light, Bolts - crossbow (50), Flint and Steel, Backpack , Bedroll , Cleric's vestments , Healer's kit, Holy Symbol - Silver, Journal, Rope - silk (50 ft), Handy Haversack, Wand of Cure Light Wounds (50 charges), Headband of Inspired Wisdom +2, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Cloak of Resistance +2, +2 Mithral Agile Breastplate