Welcome Trevor! It's great to see new GMs around here! GMs are always in short supply.
I would be up for a shot at S&S if it is the one that runs. I'd probably submit a Grenadier Alchemist or an Okayo Corsair Swashbuckler.
That said, in my experience it is true that both KM and S&S have proven to be difficult to keep going as PbP games. It's true of any of the APs that have involved mini-game systems in them. PbP games are slow no matter what. Having to stop and spend time managing things like crews, ships, and kingdoms just sucks the life out of the game. I've never seen a game with those kinds of management systems where more than maybe two of the players are willing to pay attention to it.
As a first run as a GM it would be a tall order to keep things on track and moving. I'm not saying you can't, just that the two APs you've selected have notorious failure rates.
There is an option in between standard modules and APs that you might want to consider. There are some 1 book length modules that advance characters by around 3 levels over their course. A couple of them are even set in the same region as S&S. Plunder and Peril is set in the Shackles and runs character levels 4 - 6. Seers of the Drowned City is set in the Sodden Lands and runs character levels 6 - 8. It would reduce your workload as GM immensely.
One of those would last perhaps a year. If you wanted you could even extend the length by running both in sequence.
Just my two cents as a failed GM who thought starting big would be more awesome.
I actually went through and looked at the submissions rather than glancing and noticed the same thing. I also noticed there were several clerics in the mix.
Ya just can't have a WotR campaign without some Paladin smiting happening. I'm now working on a Angelkin Paladin of Iomedae / Steelblooded Destined Bloodrager who can piledrive wicked demons the old-fashioned way.
If I like what I get I'll withdraw Bengi, my Ranger/Cleric.
I'm starting to really like the idea! So many new, untried things for me: heavy armor, paladin, LG, low skills, even strength-based is quite odd for me.
Yeah! Here's some art! Business Suit
A similar question hustonj's about local vs cold weather characters, but more specific.
I'm thinking about a Twilight Speaker archetype Skald since it's whole party friendly without the rage acceptance issues. That would mean the character would have to be an Ilvarani/Snowcaster Elf. On the other hand, Twilight Speakers specifically travel outside the Crown of the World to the south as goodwill ambassadors/chroniclers/spies.
Is it too wacky to have one happen to be in the right area in Taldor at the campaign's beginning?
Hi Understandably Bland, I have a question about the Druidic Champion trait. I'm interested in it; I like a bit of intrigue. But it's both specific and vague enough to make it hard for me to figure out a backstory involving it. In other words, it seems you have some particular things in mind there, but nothing I can grab onto to connect a character.
Also, I was planning on submitting a Ranger, but the only class that works with the wooden full plate is a fighter I think. Paladins would be excluded due to the alignment restriction. There are some classes that could take the heavy armor proficiency feat, but it seems harsh to require a feat to get a trait benefit. Also in the case of Ranger, heavy armor shuts down some class features.
Is there anything more you can say about the trait without spoilers being a problem?
Oh, I just meant never mind about the Twilight Speaker Skald. I might yet whip up another alternative character. I enjoy making them. On the other hand, I do like my Investigator and don't plan to withdraw her from consideration in favor of something else.
I could certainly build a Bard, probably vanilla for simplicity, but I haven't figured out a background to get one into the asylum yet.
Another possibility if party combat needs to be boosted some is a Lore Warden Fighter with Bard VMC. Ex-military non-commissioned officer who's now a mercenary. Kinda seedy and wouldn't blink at a shady work offer for good pay.
Not definitely instead of my Investigator, no. I'd be happy to play either depending on what fit the party best. Like I said, there's a fair amount of overlap between Investigator and Occultist on one hand, and Arcanist on the other. I know there's almost always some degree of redundancy in a party, just trying to reduce it to a minimum.
I considered a Cleric, but I think divine is covered pretty well, and the Cleric's lack of skill points bums me out. I thought about Magus, which still might not be a bad idea, especially an Eldritch Archer so ranged combat is covered. But Magus doesn't really do support well.
I considered Bard, which is the class I love and have played the most, an Archaeologist might be good, or Studious Librarian. But Bards aren't terribly combat ready. Not that I care much since hack and slash is only marginally interesting to me, but it' nice to be able to help out.
So, I figured why not Skald, similar to a Bard but a bit tougher and I've never played one or seen one played. Twilight Speaker is about the least Skald-ish of the Skald archetypes. Twilight Speakers seem more like wandering goodwill ambassadors/chroniclers/spies for the Ilverani since they're all very much homebodies.
It's primary buff is more or less the same as a Bard's. There's a slightly slower progression on the bonus increase, but in return it retains the rage powers.
I should check to see if the source is okay though. The archetype is from Heroes from the Fringe?
So... If this is a sort of interest and session 0 combo thread, I've been looking at the character ideas as they're progressing to completed. I've noticed the skills + encyclopedia area is getting a little crowded between an Investigator, Occultist, and Arcanist.
I'm liking the multiple possibilities idea of NotEspi's, so I think I'll do the same the and create a contingency character. I'm thinking better party support and combat assistance than an Investigator provides without abandoning skills, which tends to be my happy place.
Question: What do the dour, quietly noble Ilverani elves of the far north do when one of their kind turns out to have a bubbly, cheerful, inquisitive personality?
Answer: Send them away to be Twilight Speakers in the southern lands so they can restore peace and quiet at home. Yes, the classic promotion / exile combo to keep things calmly unchanging at home by getting rid of the misfits.
Question: What happens when a curious and outgoing young Twilight Speaker leaves their village (population maybe 30) and ventures into the exotic south?
Answer: Fish out of water hijinks where almost anything is possible. When one's entire job is to wander about making friends and spreading goodwill, learning everything one can, and writing reports to send back home, accepting some dodgy invitations and proposals is practically certain. If one is sitting in an asylum with amnesia, that just means it's Tuesday.
Skalds don't show up in games very often because Raging Song is rarely a buff most of the party can use. However Twilight Speaker Skalds give out a flat bonus to attacks and saves with no penalties, something for everyone, and they can still provide the rage powers along with it.
Medium armor, longbow + elven curve blade, and combat buffs should mean the character will be combat ready at 1st level. The Bard spell list is great for support, and skalds are as good at face skills as Bards.
Alright, here it is. I spoilered it due to length.
The full backstory is a bit long. Sorry, I often tend to write long.
The earliest knowledge Miren has of her life was relayed to her by the Desnan priests who raised her. She had been brought to them when very young, the equivalent perhaps of a human 4 to 5 years of age. She had been found at the edge of a garbage dump, ill with fever and covered in rat bites. The woman who found her brought her to the priests, a young husband and wife, for healing. The couple nursed her back to health. In the meantime they tried return her to her family, but were unable to find Miren’s parents, or any clear indication of where she might have come from.
Courtaud, the town where the priests maintained a small chapel, had no resident elves. No elves were known to have visited the town recently. Given Miren’s undernourished condition, they speculated she must have been on her own for some days or perhaps weeks. It seemed she had been using an old shed near the dump as shelter and scavenging food from the dump. Miren spoke only elven at that time, so she was unable to give them any information herself.
The couple, Davos and Alika Carasu, gave Miren her new name and raised her. First it was a temporary situation to their minds. But as months then years passed and nobody claimed her, Miren became their adopted daughter. Of course Miren matured very slowly. She was still in her youth at the end of Davos’s and Alika’s lives. A new cleric had come in their old age to carry on keeping up the chapel, but Miren never developed a close connection with her. Within a couple of years after her adoptive parents’ passing, she moved on, traveling to Lepidstadt with vague notions of attending the university there.
Miren was easily intelligent and well educated enough to pass the entrance exams for commoners who wished to gain admittance to the University of Lepidstadt, but she found paying the tuition beyond her means. She dropped out before completing her first year. She did however secure a position at the university’s main library, which allowed her continued access to the books at the various libraries there. Over the next couple of decades she watched both students and faculty come and go as she continued her studies independently. Although she read widely and on many subjects, her main interests were arcane especially the concept of the Void. It was an idea she has long been familiar with from her parents’ religious teachings. Among all the subjects related to Desna, the Black Butterfly was the one she found most fascinating. She even saw a metaphorical connection between herself and the Black Butterfly. Both of them had appeared fully formed, seemingly from nothing and nowhere. Over the years when she would hit a dead end or roadblock, she would take a break, diverting her attention to alchemy for a while. But she always came back to true arcane study.
During her initial few years in Lepidstadt Miren tried to connect with other students, but too many differences separated her from them: class, wealth, race, intellectual pursuits. In any case, few of them were around for very long by Miren’s measure of time. Mostly she held a low opinion of the students at the university. She saw them wasting the opportunities handed to them while she, who did not, was excluded due to lack of funds.
Eventually Miren settled into a quiet life of study. Her life was largely solitary, with hardly anyone she could describe as a close friend. She kept busy though. Aside from her studies Miren was a percussionist in he community orchestra. She also participated in book clubs when she found one not devoted to trivial subjects.
Manfri Caramitru would change Miren’s life in every way. One of the first things Miren had given up on in Lepidstadt was human males. Considering the city’s demographics, this meant giving up on practically all males. For well over a decade Miren avoided romantic relationships entirely. Manfri was different though. He was a youngish new member of the Theology and History faculties. When they came across each other in the library, he did not treat Miren in the expected ways. She had gotten used to sticking out as the sole elf on campus. Her exoticness attracted attention, but almost always from a particular kind of arrogant, loutish, overly confident kind of man. She soon came to understand that she was the target of a perennial game of “who can get the she-elf”. She was approached by men who were looking for bragging rights amongst their friends. Miren supposed if other students or faculty who might have had a more genuine interest in her were out there somewhere, they either found her intimidating, or were to shy to let it be known to her.
Miren saw their relationship as more than romantic, it was a burgeoning intellectual partnership. Manfri found her knowledge of the libraries’ collections and her talent with languages to be of great help, and he increasingly sought her assistance with projects. As their relationship became closer and closer, Miren ignored rules concerning loans of materials and restrictions on access to certain books and scrolls to get Manfri the things he needed. If she sometimes felt Manfri did not take their relationship as seriously as she did, it only caused Miren to work harder to prove herself. Miren practically took on a second job as Manfri’s assistant. This was not something done lightly. Miren had spent time among dark tomes herself over the years in her own pursuits, but Manfri’s exceeded anything she would have dared on her own. He broke rules that required new degrees of self-justification from Miren. But, she found ways to carry on with him.
Without a doubt Miren had Manfri’s trust, and she valued it as much, if not more, than anything else in her life. Eventually the time came when Manfri was supposed to travel away for a few days to take possession of a number of tomes. A person with whom he had occasionally corresponded had offered the rare books as a donation. Manfri explained to Miren that his lecture schedule would make the trip impossible for him, and asked her to go in his stead. Of course Miren agreed to do so. She never returned.
Manfri Caramitru, Most Worthy Angelic Prince of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye, was never able to discover what happened to Miren. He knew her well enough to be certain her disappearance was not voluntary. His hold on her affections was too great for that. He found it regrettable. He had suspected maybe something was not quite right about the donation offer, which is why he has asked Miren to go. But, she had been very talented, probably more so than she knew. Although she was unaware of it, her grooming as an agent had been proceeding splendidly, and Manfri could even imagine a time in the future when she might have been offered membership in the order. Though alas, the girl's race and poverty would have made it unlikely. But, whether she knew it or not, there was a silent shadowy war being fought, and wars create casualties.
There was a man who was important to her. She remembers his face, and feels that she was in love with him. They worked together on projects. She is quite sure what they were doing was very important for some reason. The last thing she remembers is traveling to collect something.
Looks like there's an Arcanist in development now so I'll go with Investigator.
Should I go ahead and post my character's background here? I didn't before figuring if the character doesn't remember their own past, it shouldn't be revealed until the character could tell others about themselves. But I don't really care one way or another, just erring on the side of caution.
I'm readjusting my class ideas a little. For Investigator the Cult Hunter archetype is out, it forces me to assume more than I really can about what Strange Aeons is like. Antiquarian or maybe Empiricist instead.
I'm also looking at an Arcanist with the School Savant (Void) archetype.
@EltonJ: I tend to do backstories early and finalize mechanics once it's done. I've sent you an PM with a full backstory and an amnesia redacted version to see if I'm on the right track with things.
I'm interested for sure! This sounds very cool!
It's still early, I only came across this recruitment this morning, but the first thing that comes to mind for me is a Ranger with the Transporter archetype. It would be very good for acting as a scout/recon/infiltration type who gets squads of troops to and from targets quietly. I'd tentatively say a half elf from Edenlark, mostly archery focused but using a broken-back seax and light shield for close fighting.
I'm interested as well, but I guess I'd have to add this is dependent on the amount of time I would need to commit. I don't have bunches of spare time.
One thing I'll mention that could potentially be helpful is the Sandpoint: Light of the Lost Coast campaign setting book. It fills out Sandpoint even more, giving stats for more NPC residents, and attaching small quests to many of the people and places in the town. It's set after the events in ROTRL, but that only affects some of the quests.
DM Trawets wrote:
I'm not a particularly rules savvy player, but I was figuring this is how it would work. I didn't assume unlimited AoO's would translate into unlimited use of Bodyguard. Fine with me since it's exactly what I was expecting anyway!
Oh! You were Kevin in that game! It's really too bad about that one. I really wanted to see what could be done with such a crazy, souped up set of characters.
But yeah, I hijacked Joska's backstory for Agna. I like the idea of it, and have been wanting to play an ex-Gray Maiden for a while. It's also easier and faster than starting from scratch.
I'll try to get the rest of the conversion of the backstory and so forth finished just a soon as I have catch up posts in for my current games.
Wow, so sorry about disappearing there. Here's the post I've been putting up in my other games:
Once again I'm very sorry it's taking me so long to get posts up. Both April and early May have been just overwhelming. My workload is up and we transitioned back to working in the office part time. Since I work for the state and all such changes happen at all state offices together, it was a big change with many, many meetings and emails involved. On top of that many federal rules changed at the start of May as Covid-19 policies and procedures are replaced with 2+ year old versions from before. That meant many more meetings and emails.
Meetings would sometimes run so long over their scheduled slots they would completely swallow the meetings scheduled behind them, which would then have to be rescheduled. With all this going on we also still had our regular work to get done somehow. I also had a pet die. It's been a lot.
I think I'm mostly in the clear now with work and things will be returning to normal again. I'll be catching up on gameplay over the next two or three days.
I hope I haven't been too much trouble to wait for.
Alright, here's my first draft. Most of the big decisions have been made, with class, mythic, feats, and major purchases decided. I haven't worked through assigning skill points yet so you can ignore that part.
I'm overwriting another character sheet, which I'm using as a template, so things that look really off in here or there are probably that way for this reason.
Her BAP section will need some modifications for the new character, but the general contours of Agna's background will be the same. She is an ex-Gray Maiden who found redemption through Sarenrae. She came to Mendev to put in some time on atonement.
Hi everyone! I'll be coming into the game in the near future. Great to be here!
I'm currently working on my character so I'd like to solicit any recommendations you might have to cover things the party needs or wants.
This is where I'm at right now:
Human Paladin of Sarenrae (Sacred Servant) 7 / Guardian 2, with a build probably similar to a Guardian you had in the past, with a reach weapon and combat reflexes.
Sacred Servant will give the Light Domain and bring in a couple of spells not on the Paladin list, plus extra spell slots.
Fast Learner for a few extra skills points to cover holes.
Unsanctioned Knowledge for a few more spells not on the Paladin list.
This will cost smites per day so maybe a more combat support oriented build than pure melee bruiser, but we'll see.
I'm fine with CotCC or Falcon's Hollow as a choice, but would rather not do concurrent for either. I'm just to busy to take on multiple new commitments like that.
I don't think a single AP book would be too taxing, I've taken a game about that far before. I think for me burnout is less a factor than needing a good work process in place. Things like how should I be prepping, and how do I compile the stuff I need for running the game in a way that makes it efficient for me, are he kinds of things I need to be better at.
If CotCC is the choice, I'd rather run something like book 3, before levels get to high and combat gets too crazy.
Finally, I'm quite experienced on the player side of things. Aside from occult classes, I know my way around the classes and their archetypes and options. I generally know powergaming when I see it. I'd be comfortable with anything excepting occult and summoners, using core races plus a few I'd allow outside that.
Yeah, I have Hollow's Last Hope and I believe all the associated modules, but only thought of them after the AP debacles.
I also have Sandpoint: Light of the Lost Coast, which has a bunch of quests NPCs can hand out. I've also considered doing a non-AP Sandpoint centered Lost Coast game using those with maybe a few side trips to places like Magnimar (Dawn of the Scarlet Sun), etc. I know the setting there better than any others.
I'm sort of in the same place as Zanbabe. I've played a lot here, but only attempted to DM a couple of times here running APs. Those didn't last long since I quickly got overwhelmed by it. It's left me a little gun shy about trying again.
I feel like I should be giving back something here by this point, but I could really use some help with how to prep as a DM. I'd be up for some training or coaching in some format.
I'm building a ranged Inquisitor to submit. I'd like to do something really tied into Magnimar so I'm looking at the Empyreal Lords as possible divine patrons, maybe Bharnarol, maybe Arshae.
Arshae is very cool. Bharnarol has a thing about keeping dangerous inventions out of the wrong hands. That could be a great motivator for my character in this case.
@SmooshieBanana: All the campaign traits are designed to connect characters to one of four major NPCs (more like demi-DMPCs) in one way or another. For example, it looks like you chose the Friend of the Family campaign trait for Sona. That one connects her Koya Mvashti.
If you haven't read the Player's Guide, it would help you to decide which of the four you would prefer to connect with since there are quick bios of all four: Ameiko Kaijitsu, Shalelu Andosana, Koya Mvashti, and Sandru Vhiski. You can choose a trait (most of the main NPCs have multiple options) that connects you to the one you prefer.
I'm assuming you're talking about the traits... If you meant the family of Sona herself that's different and I'm sorry!
The book is a very particular kind, a Soul Tome. They are produced by outsiders called Scrivenites. As they drain the intelligence of a creature, its mind is converted into text in a book that appears. Reading a soul tome is literally mind reading. If the person who's INT was drained fully reads the book, they regain the memories and knowledge lost. If someone else reads it, they don't absorb the information, except in this case something went wrong. Ludivine is a possessed oracle after all.
No matter who reads the book in full, after it has happened the book crumbles into dust.
I have the details of it all worked out, but would rather reveal the whole story over time as she learns what is going on herself.
Yeah, just about any scenario that gets the book into her hands works. I'm not picky.
So Mioki, the siblings or similar thing.
With the Investigator option on my end and a Slayer on yours, it's easy as can be. They're the outdoorsy, woodsy family that does things together. You're more the hunter, I'm more the explorer. They're like chocolate and peanut butter, two great tastes that taste great together. I'm not settled on a campaign trait for this one, but probably something generic and easy like Rostlander or Pioneer.
With the Oracle things get a little more complicated. She's not always well, and doesn't always have it together mentally. Although I expect her prognosis to be one of improvement over time, you character would need to be something of a caretaker for her. This option requires more of you if you want to be related. I'm also thinking about the Noble Born (Medvyed) trait for her. It goes a long way toward explaining how she got ahold of such an odd book, and the benefits mesh well with her character.
Of course if you've got something of your own cooking that doesn't work well with these, we can drop the idea.
So... Now it looks like 3 of the 5 of us are fairly set with their choices. With a Paladin, Warpriest, and Slayer on the roster, I'm thinking I won't need to be very concerned about throwing in with weapons during combat. It's also possible to look at skills in a more fine grained way.
Most physical skills are already covered so it's mostly a matter of having an encyclopedia rather than a generic skills character.
With a 20 point buy I might still run a Cartographer/Natural Philosopher Investigator. They're the supreme knowledge class and get alchemy thrown in as well. Nice package. I'd only do this with a 20 point buy though, probably as follows: 14/13/14/15/10/10. I might dip a level in fighter or similar at some point to improve armor choices in compensation for that low dex.
If I went half-elf I might bump Strength a point so I could use my beloved broken-back seax. Probably I'll do something more reasonable though and just use a stupid long spear to help out in fights.
I do have a new idea I'm liking though, a Lore Oracle with the Possessed and Spirit Guide archetypes and Haunted Curse. Y'all are probably saying WTF? to yourselves right now because we already have a Warpriest, but hear me out. A Warpriest needs their spells mostly for combat self-buffing; they burn through spells like crazy. Paladins can heal, but again they're better at self healing. Both often resort to next day care for more serious needs like Restoration, whether by spell or mercy.
An Oracle can heal as well, but also isn't great at it unless the Life Mystery is involved. My oracle would be a caster oracle focusing on the areas Warpriests usually can't, like group buffs, some debuffing, and battlefield control. We'll have multiple divine casters, but each will be using different aspects of the spell list. Also Lore Oracles are great with knowledge skills, and have them all in class, unlike Alchemists and Witches, which tend to have skill points to use, but spotty in class Knowledges. Between Possessed and Spirit Guide, she'll have a good spell flexibility for a spontaneous caster. Healing is well covered by three characters who are kind okay at it, making them very good combined.
I have a backstory I'm liking as well. She read a Soul Tome all the way through to the end. Unlike the usual outcome, where the book crumbles away with no further effect on the 3rd party reader, things went sideways and there was a very significant effect. If I go this direction I'll give some more details, but I'd like to unspool her situation over time through the AP. The whole story will come out, but only as she learns it herself.
This would also work with either a 15 or 20 point buy. If it 15, I'll just invest minimally in physical stats and stay out of the fight. If it's 20 points I'll put the extra in strength and help out some in combat:
15 Points: 10/10/14/13/10/17
20 Points: 14/10/14/13/10/17
Of course all this depends on what Vexas decides. I'm assuming he'll go with an arcane caster. But if he doesn't, I would so we have the coverage.
Glad the Slayer turned out to be a good fit for what you're looking for Mioki!
If Slayer doesn't get Disable Device like Ranger under the home rules, you can always get it and Trapfinding with a Slayer talent. If you're still thinking about going with archery you might want to consider taking the Sniper archetype. It helps nicely with ranged sneak attacks, which might be possible more often in an outdoor settling. All you lose for it is Track, which is just a skill point boost to tracking, not painful to trade away.
Mioki: Yeah, an archer Ranger fits very well. It's probably more thematic in this particular case, but you might also want to look a Slayer if you're not familiar with it. It gets most of the fundamental parts of the Ranger class, but (I think at least) the Studied Target system for Slayer is nicer than the Favored Enemy system of the Ranger. The bonuses for Studied Target are smaller, but they can always be applied. You don't have worry about choosing a favored enemy type that doesn't really pan out. Still Ranger is a good class, better than many give it credit for.
Also if Ranger, etc. are getting disable device as a class skill in this game, you're our Rogue as far as that goes. No need to worry about that anymore.
Siblings, relatives, or not, in some ways I'd rather you go ahead and make your choice for what you'd like to play first. I can always work around it. You've been in games much less (if at all?) as a player. I've played plenty of characters using plenty of classes. You should do whatever appeals to you most and you think would be the most fun.
That said, backgrounds are a thing one just makes up. If you're a Ranger, a sibling of most any class works as long as the story is told right.
A couple of broad ideas for backgrounds I thought of but probably won't be using of anyone's interested.
This is for a Transporter Archetype Ranger I was thinking about, but could be repurposed. They used to smuggle political refugees out of Galt into the River Kingdoms, but eventually it began to draw too much attention. They decided to head to Restov for a while until things cooled off.
For anyone wanting a link to the Aldori Swordlords. Mivon is basically a little Sword Lords River Kingdom directly south of the Stolen Lands, run by the Houses in Exile from Brevoy. Maybe someone from there is ambitious enough to try to claim it as a step in pushing back against Brevoy?