Growing Up in Sandpoint


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


I'm tossing around the idea of running the "Rise of the Runelords" AP with a "warmup" campaign where the characters go off to an "adventuring college" to learn the ropes. Think Hogwarts rip-off.

Basically, the characters are 0th level and stripped down to basic stats. They'll start out with a stereotype or two (fat kid, cool kid, gimpy, etc) to help develop personality and overcome adversity. As the 6 year college goes on, they gain Ability Score bumps, Skill Points, Feats, and Powers (yes, I'm converting it). They'll also learn their class features, gain Healing Surges, basically what makes them thier character at 1st level.

There will be mini-adventures along the way, "Skill tests" as exams at the end of the year (maybe even a midterm), some random events along the way, and an American Gladiators Eliminator tie in!).

Anyway, I'm trying to incorperate the 7 sins into the adventures and need some help coming up with some ideas of how to taunt/tempt them. This will give me a gauge of how the players would react for the AP when the time comes.

How would you incorperate the 7 sins? Also, how would you do the 7 virtues to even things out? There's plenty of options for both, just trying to get a bunch of ideas and mix them in.


tdewitt274 wrote:

I'm tossing around the idea of running the "Rise of the Runelords" AP with a "warmup" campaign where the characters go off to an "adventuring college" to learn the ropes. Think Hogwarts rip-off.

Basically, the characters are 0th level and stripped down to basic stats. They'll start out with a stereotype or two (fat kid, cool kid, gimpy, etc) to help develop personality and overcome adversity. As the 6 year college goes on, they gain Ability Score bumps, Skill Points, Feats, and Powers (yes, I'm converting it). They'll also learn their class features, gain Healing Surges, basically what makes them thier character at 1st level.

There will be mini-adventures along the way, "Skill tests" as exams at the end of the year (maybe even a midterm), some random events along the way, and an American Gladiators Eliminator tie in!).

Anyway, I'm trying to incorperate the 7 sins into the adventures and need some help coming up with some ideas of how to taunt/tempt them. This will give me a gauge of how the players would react for the AP when the time comes.

How would you incorperate the 7 sins? Also, how would you do the 7 virtues to even things out? There's plenty of options for both, just trying to get a bunch of ideas and mix them in.

Maybe intelligent items to lure them into sin? Their community service teacher could teach virtues!


Warlock4Hire wrote:


Maybe intelligent items to lure them into sin? Their community service teacher could teach virtues!

Not a bad idea, I could probably do this for the later year, but insert it into an earlier year to "gain momentum".

After some thinking, I want to make them subtle. Something that a teenager would come upon.

Greed: Like leaving a coinpurse in an offbeat area. What would they do with it? Turn it in? Keep it for themselves?

Wrath: Constantly picking on the PC. Will they finally snap? How do they react after?

Envy: Having someone steal their ideas regularly and giving them the credit.

Sloth: Having a younger dorm-mate always wanting to help out with the little things. Will they always let them?

Lust: The "tease" always giving flirting looks, only to pretend they would never be interested.

Just some off the top of my head.

Liberty's Edge

This is a thrilling idea. I believe though that you should try your utmost to have them succumb to temptation on each and every sin and see how they react to having succumbed. Make them go mad with the sin and observe their behaviour. This would be a very enlightening situation and give their characters an awesome depth.

And for the PC who resists your unmitigated efforts at temptation, well, this also says a lot about his personality.

The question then becomes how to entice people to the heights of each Cardinal Sin.

I believe it helps to envision someone devoured by the Sin and see how you can change their PCs into that someone. How low will they sink ?

tdewitt274 wrote:


Greed: Like leaving a coinpurse in an offbeat area. What would they do with it? Turn it in? Keep it for themselves?

Good one. Gaining something for free is always a tempting proposition.

You can even spice it up by having them get into trouble because they do not have enough money (not able to meet the tuition fees, to go out partying with friends, to purchase the proper scholarly furniture ...) and them slip them the temptation. If they succumb, test the limits of the depths to which they would sink to get more and more money. If they resist, maybe you can balance the Sin with a virtue (but make the Sin bigger), like finding a handsome amount of money while not being able to pay for the costly healing spells required by their ailing little sister.

Good intentions and all ...

tdewitt274 wrote:
Wrath: Constantly picking on the PC. Will they finally snap? How do they react after?

Nice one too. Goad them into sinning !!!

It could also be having a fairly inoffensive NPC constantly bothering them, ruining their plans, preventing them from working ..., in short ruining their fun not because of any evilness, but sheer stupidity.

tdewitt274 wrote:
Envy: Having someone steal their ideas regularly and giving them the credit.

The stealing idea makes this too close to wrath in my opinion. But have someone outshine them and beat them to the finish in everything (especially romance, teachers' recognition ...) despite their best efforts. And if they don't think of it by themselves, start the ugly rumors about that guy cheating, bribing, making a pact with the Lower Planes ...

Will they pursue these or accept their repeated failures with good graces and humility ?

Make the winner really hateable too : handsome, popular, arrogant. Everything they are not. And let them stew in it. Most of all, do not reward virtue for its sake (and that goes for every sin).

tdewitt274 wrote:
Sloth: Having a younger dorm-mate always wanting to help out with the little things. Will they always let them?

Good one too. Like Greed, the "Something for nothing" theme works great here. Give them the opportunity to cheat and get excellent grades without the work. Of course, you do not want them to be caught, for Sin, to be really tempting, must appear as being without cost nor punishment.

tdewitt274 wrote:
Lust: The "tease" always giving flirting looks, only to pretend they would never be interested.

Good one too. The idea, as for all Sin, is to tempt them further and further. What about a beautiful teacher asking them for relations and bribing them with good results ? Or threatening them with bad ones if the attempt at seduction fails ?

In short, make their school years hell. As they were, as they are, as they should be.

Truly endless possibilities arise from your premise. Well done.

Liberty's Edge

tdewitt274 wrote:
Wrath: Constantly picking on the PC. Will they finally snap? How do they react after?

Do not hesitate to hurt them deep. Have the "bad guys" hurt their loved ones, especially despite the PCs' best efforts. Nothing like guilt to ignite a good ol' wrath.

In fact you could even have their loved ones twist the knife in the wound by demonstrating how much they hate the PCs for being unable to prevent what happened, or push them to get sweet, sweet revenge.

Alternately, having someone steal what you feel rightly belongs to you (much like your original take on Envy) can work wonders.

Also, do not forget to goad the PCs into hurting innocent but suspicious-looking NPCs. Work up the paranoia. After all, it is so much easier to lash out at the world when you feel it is unfairly arrayed against you.

As a sidenote, my own enthusiasm and creativity for this topic is getting scary :P


Sorry, lost this thread. Dang IE anyway.

Thanks for the feedback, it's a lot of help.

In the mean time, I've been looking at other aspects of the schooling. My gaming group (myself included) go back as far as 2e. As a result, we don't know the meaning of "retreat." This has proven difficult in 4e as it seems that this is always an option.

I've been looking at the DMG and PH to find "lessons" for the Players to learn from as well. Aid Another, combat formations, knowing when you've "had enough," Retraining, Feat Optimization, Power Optimization, Skill use, and basic combat options.

I want to kind of integrate the features of the character into the training. As older versions of D&D suggested to emphasize a feature of the character in the adventure so that they feel the choice was a good one and that it's not "wasted."

In the way I have the school set up, it will require combat training each year. Every year I'll add another "lesson" so that they know there's more options than just using Powers/Basic Attacks. PCs will also have "solo" lessons where they have a solo encounter that they can use the power/skill/feat to get the hang of how it works.

At the end of each year, there is a challenge that the group must face to become the MVP of the school. This could be puzzles, encounters, or a mix of the two.

Again, thanks for the ideas!


So, what you're trying to create here seems to be the adventuring school of hard knocks; with the seven sins being the traps and pitfalls they are apt to fall into.
Twisted, but I understand that. Don't forget you'll need rewards for overcoming those traps and pitfalls; or do you plan to turn them into champions of vice from the start? Anti-heroes?
As I understood it; the purpose of role-playing gaming was entertainment; not a Jerry Springer (how depraved can we show these people that they really are?) show.
Yes I know, we routinely attempt to trick, trap, and slaughter them with abandon; but unless you're trying for a TPC (Total Party Conversion) to evil; these are supposed to be students.
If this is a Hogwart's rip-off, there need to be good teachers as well as bad ones.
I don't mean they should dominate the school, but a mixture of 25% helpful & supportive to 25% harmful & destructive with 40% just-doing-there-jobs, and 10% drifting along on tenure not doing much but taking up space; you know, like a real school!
Try factoring in the traits (Pathfinder® Character Traits available as a free download) as part of their school time! Combat, Faith, Magic, and Social are all Basic Traits that can help add character to their character.

I guess what I'm saying, is that if all they take away from this school is that it was hell and they're glad to be out of it, then you missed a great opportunity. Growing characters need a sense of wonder to be proper heroes, and it's our job to give it to them. Wonder begats hope, and hope keeps us going!


Good point. I think the overall goal of this is how the PCs deal with these types of obstacles. It's been awhile since I've read the Runelords AP, but I believe Volume 2 focused on this type of concept, without giving spoilers.

My goal isn't to currupt them, only to see how they react. They're being watched, but they're also able to watch over themselves. The coin purse could be a test of their abilities (rogue) or a test of character. Does the rogue give it back, hesitate, or flat out return it? Is it planted by the Teachers, or by a classmate that wants to get them in trouble.

Overall, they're good people when they go into the school. How the player plays the character is what I want to see...

If I get a chance, I'll write up something more concrete as to what I want to see out of it. It's kind of an experiment with 4e and the AP at this point.


Here are my notes on the Adventurer's College. The setup is based on 4e but could easily be modified to 3.x with some changes.

They rules are a pretty rough outline, but you'll get the idea.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks!

Spoiler:

The school is located in a forested region not too far from a large city or village. This ensures that the school is in a safe, yet sequestered location. They will come to the Adventuring College from whatever means and will be grouped into a color coded dorm. It is up to the characters to come up with a name for their group.

The school is made up of a Headmaster, Quartermaster, Groundskeeper, and Teachers. The Headmaster is in charge of the day to day runnings of the school. The Quartermaster is in charge of keeping the students fed and healthy. The Groundskeeper is in charge of security and general landscape. The Teachers each have a dorm that they are responsible for, offering guidance in addition to their teaching responsibilities.

Each character will start off with two "stereotypes" (cool kid, loner, etc). The first can be either self inflicted or random. The second "disadvantage stereotype" will be keyed to the low ability score assigned by the player (ex, CHA of 8 could be the "ugly duckling"). Characters start off their CON (10 or 8) in HP and CON Modifier (0, no negatives) in Healing Surges.

The first year, there will be a small grouping of the PCs and 3 or 4 other dorms. The next year will incorporate a few more, but also expanding the existing groups beyond the original threshold. It will be the responsibility of the senior students to watch over the younger students. As each year passes, additional students will fill the halls.

At the end of the first year, the players pick what class they want to play. The end of the Third year is when they choose the kind of Build they want to be. At this time, they can change out At-Will powers to fit the build, or keep what they have.

Armor and Weapons are a little different. These are "classes" that everyone takes. So, Wizards, Sorcerers and the like only have to focus on the items that they're able to use. If they want to take the feat they gain in the 5th year, they can use it to pick up a different proficiency and learn it in the 5th or 6th year. They don't gain their Proficiency Bonus until they finish the double course (ex, Dagger at the end of Year 2).

Classes that use Implements must pick what implement at the end of the second year. The 2nd year is basically a proving ground of what they want to use for an implement.

Characters will train on the general abilities of all skills in the first year. In the second year, they will choose which Skills they want Trained. Starting at the end of Year 2, each character gains a +1 at the end of the year and they have to complete a 5 year course study on the skill to become trained. If they do not finish the course study, they lose the +1 and the Skill is not Trained.

Classes
Years 1-2, Physical Training, World History, Social Studies, General Academia, Class Training (not at 1st)
Years 3-6, Adv Class Training, Advanced levels (based on Skills)

Adv General Academia: Heal, Insight, Perception, Streetwise
Adv World History: History, Religion
Adv Physical Training: Acrobatics, Athletics, Endurance, Stealth
Adv Social Studies: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate
Adv Class Training: Thievery, Arcana, Dungeoneering, Nature
Adv Physical Training: Martial and Superior weapons, Shields, Armors (Hide or greater)

Abilities: All scores are 10, except one that will be an 8.
HP: Start at CON and then add 1/6th for each year completed.
Healing Surges: Start with Con Mod and then add 1/6th for each year completed (at the end of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and at Graduation).
Skills: +1 per year starting at the end of the 2nd year, must complete 5 years before they are Trained and lose all bonus if they do not complete the course.
Feat: 5th Year (one at 3rd year if they gain a bonus Feat due to Race).
Def Bonus: If 1 or two Def adjustments, 2nd and 6th (if 1, the second +1 added). Otherwise, +1 at 2/4/6.
Features: 1 per year unless they have more than 6, then add 1 to each year (starting with the lowest).
Armor Proficiency: Cloth, Leather, Hide, Chainmail, Scale, Plate (in order). Offerred on the year, but can be taken at any time after the assigned year.
Shield Proficiency: Light (3rd), Heavy (6th), can be taken at any time after the assigned year.
Weapon Proficiency: 1-2 Simple, 3-4, Martial, 5-6 Superior (must take Feat if required).
Implement: Assigned at 2nd as appropriate.
Powers: 1st Racial, 2nd At-Will, 3rd At-Will, 5th Encounter, 6th Daily
Build: Must decide what Class at the end of 1st Year. Must decide path (if any) at the end of 3rd level.
Stat Boost: Given the number of points at the begining of the year.

Adventure Options
Each year should have some amount of activity. They should flesh out their personalities in the encounters that they have with other students, elders, and the occasional outsider. For example, friendly rivalries between dorms, lessons in their classes, and "finals."

Finals will be a summary of what the characters have learned through the year. This may be brought into an adventuring context, such as having the characters go into a cave with limited supplies and obtain a goal. As the characters are quite weak in HP and abilities, the encounters should be on the extremely light side so that they are challenged but not killed. Puzzles, riddles, and basic combat is encouraged.

Another piece that I want to include in Physical Training would be options that may not be used all the time. Other lessons, like knowing when to retreat, should also be taught.


After reading some of the sidebars in Arcane Power, I've come up with an idea for two of the "finals". In "Goblet of Fire" and "A Knight's Tale" fashion, there will be a tournament every 3 years at the end of the year.

Every three years, all students Year 2 and above are invited to join in an "Adventurer's Challenge". There are two divisions for the Challenge, "Apprentice" and "Master". Apprentice is for Year 2-4 and Master from 5-7. Year 1 students may watch, but cannot participate. This will give the students a glimpse of what their potential. At the end of the Challenge, the person with the most points is declared the school Apprentice and Master "Champions".

Each class of character, designated as "Arcane", "Martial", "Divine", and "Primal" will have a set of events that they can participate in to be "the best of the school". Event themes will focus around the Class Roles ("Controller", "Defender", "Leader", "Striker"). One event from each round will focus on a particular class role, resulting in each class getting an option to shine.

There are a total of 4 events and should be spaced over time to give the participants a chance to rest. The events can be of any nature, with likely candidates being Combat, Skills, Teamwork and Morals. One event or another should lean more toward a type of class or role. This will give each class or role a chance to shine, as well as challenge others.

Points are awarded to each student based on how they finish. For example, a "Martial" challenge may be a gladiatorial combat where a tree is established and all entrants fight for a place. If there are 8 entries, first will receive 8 points and last 1 point.

Allowing characters from lower and higher years gives the opportunity for classmates to show how they fare versus their peers and can be used for role-playing hooks. Statistics are relatively close and there are not too many differences in powers except at Year 7 (gaining a Daily power). The major differences are in the classes themselves.

The Champion is usually given some kind of "token" for their achievement (a masterwork sword, an implement of their class, a financial award, etc). Second and third places can receive some type of lesser award (such as exemption from tasks, private tutor in a class of their choosing, tailored cloak, etc).

The award should also fit the Apprentice or Master level. While an Apprentice receives something that nobody else has (ex, no others have actual weapons, low quality implements, etc), a Master should have something that exceeds their station. For example, a magic weapon that has a Power or Property that has been made into a Encounter or Daily ability (Encounter changed to Daily, Daily has reduced effectiveness).

Any comments or suggestions are welcome!


I've posted PDFs of the above

Adventurer's College Overview - Overview of the College, as above.

Adventurer's College Classes - Breakout of abilities earned each year. Classes from the PH and PH2

Adventurer's College Courses - Breakout of what Skills belong to what Classes.

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