There is a well written site that has a thing called “GM Merits”, found here. My merits are as follows:
My game will tell an interesting story.
My game will be scary.
My game focuses on exploration and mystery.
Characters in my game are destined for greatness, not random death.
My game includes (very rarely) disturbing content.
My game focuses on player skill rather than character abilities.
I frequently tinker with the rules of the game (only if there is a problem or something just seams more realistic)
Tactics are an important part of my game.
Players in my game should be prepared to run when the odds are against them.
There will be player vs player combat allowed in my game (but you better have a good reason).
The GM is in charge in my game and “rule-zero” is in effect (but I am always open to discussion and questioning my rules/judgments. I will listen to you and carefully consider what you say)
Players characters death are not extremely likely in my game, but it can happen with bad luck or recklessness.
And now a little about what’s going on.
Andril is a busy nation, constantly developing and trying to remain on top. As the first millennium comes to a close, so does a five year war with their former trade partner and ally, the neighboring nation Xilres. A power hungry brother, Nuro, somehow stole the crown when the king to be mysteriously died, throwing Xilres into chaos as they tried to eradicate the barbarian tribes on the fringes of both countries by burning down the forests. Pame, queen of Andril, couldn't reason with Nuro and war broke out. Always the superior military force, Andril quickly gained ground and now stands at Xilres's capitol, about to siege and find Nuro, removing him from power and setting the nation back into balance. But there's more going on than a war and a greedy brother...how did the prince die? Why was Andril unable to reason with Xilres? Trust is thin, small groups are forming, and alliances are going to be tested...
It is the night before the first day of the siege, and everybody is tense.
Character Creation Rules
20 point buy
Flaws (drawbacks, problems, whatever other name) are allowed if I approve it
Standard wealth, standard amount of feats...when in question you're a pretty common level 1 character
All races allowed, although more powerful races such as drow or aasimar are likely to be nerfed to be on par with the other races. Do not pick a powerful race for the power, pick them for an RP reason.
Classes NOT allowed are as follows: Cavalier, inquisitor, magus, summoner, antipaladin, ninja, samurai. Notice I did leave alchemist and gunslinger open for play, read the next paragraph for more info.
Technology is starting to come into play. Primitive guns and light sources mostly, a few slightly more advanced siege weapons, some engineering designs. If somebody decides to take knowledge (engineering) and had some money they could make quite a few things
When I see a submitted character, I will not even look at their crunch until I am satisfied their background is sufficient. As I read through it, I want to feel like I have talked to your character. I want to feel their strife, know what they’ve experienced, understand their drive in the world.
Also, take the liberty of some creativity with my world. I do not have every detail of every corner of the world planned out, so feel free to create a few things to help flesh out your character.
Please note, I have edited the original version of this.
Wow, I am impressed by the fast responses. Cool!
Please note, I have edited the original post under both character creation spoilers. Also True Repentance has brought up a good point.
@Feral. If it exists in pathfinder, there is probably a place for it somewhere in the world. There are huge tribes of orcs in the southern forest, desert orcs in the east, frost ones in the north, giants of every kind in the wilderness throughout the world, etc. I have large pamphlet with most of this information, so give me a general area/race and I'll give you the specifics.
@True Repentance. At least 1/day, more if you can manage it. I like to keep things moving, and I have the option to check the boards several times per day. I understand that RL>games and people get busy, so if you are unavailable to post for one or several days it is fine as long as we're notified.
@Fomiel. You need to read through the original post. I specifically said I do not want a character that was a made for another game. I want you you to build one from the ground up, based in this world. If you need details on the world to help you, just ask.
@Ixos. Yes, sorry if that isn't clear. You are either in or working for or traveling with Andril's main force. Dwarves are some of the best engineers in the world, and the ones in Andril are prized. Dwarves are the second most common race (next to humans) and have flourished well under the emerging technology, most of which is their design.
Okay, lets see... bunch of questions...
It looks like your using the pathfinder gods, is that correct?
Is Colonel Geoffrey currently old or high ranking enough to have a squire or apprentice? (Another, younger paladin in training perhaps?)
How big is religion in this game? How big is it in Andril?
Why are inquisitors not allowed when they're kind of the spies of a church? Kinda seems to go along with the theme honestly. Don't get me wrong, personally I think they're a horribly underpowered and poorly thought out class. But the -idea- of them is actually pretty interesting.
You say simple guns are available, correct? I'm guessing that means early firearms.
One character I might want to play would be an inventor of sorts, trying to improve upon or even create early firearms. Not sure quit either engineering wise or alchemic. I love characters that are literally exploring things in their own fields that they aren't quite certain of. Particularly with campaigns that have progressive technology I love playing a character that's part of this brand new field. -nods-
How do you feel about supporting NPC's? Like a character with a wife back home he's sending money too? Or someone a character is trying to hunt down for reasons of revenge, justice or to save them?
I'm looking to getting into online campaigns again. What's your opinion on Dreamscarred Press-type psions? I tend to play jack-of-all-trades Shapers or Nomads. My character background could be "the first of his kind" found by the army of Andril against Xilres. In a "psionics are different than magic" campaign my character could show things that befuddle the mages, or in "magic-psionic transparency" he could just be a strange anomaly. Depending upon team dynamics my character would be extremely self-sufficient or similar to a conjuring sorcerer or buffing cleric.
Question about the game: are we a Special Forces team, or a squad of grunts marching along the road?
This is a knowledge filled post that is good for everybody to read.
@Marko. *Cracks knuckles* Game on curious George.
Pathfinder gods, yes.
Colonel Geoffrey is actually fairly young for his position, in his late 20's. However he is experienced enough to have squires and/or apprentices, yes.
Religion and gods will play a part in the campaign for sure. If you have a faith, it will come into play.
*Minor Spoiler Alert* The idea of inquisitors actually becomes an important thing. However, as you say, I simply do not like the class, for various reasons.
Early firearms, correct.
That could certainly be interesting, once the party has sufficient funds and time you could create about anything you could imagine and manage with the technology.
I heavily encourage supporting NPC's, they help to flesh out your character. Also they give me ammunition so I can do more evil things to you, muahahahaha.
I'm making the assumption, given what you said about the military hierarchy and the growth of technology, that Andril is an absolutist monarchy, which in Europe (France in specific) led to the consolidation of power and legitimate violence in the nascent nation state and its monarch and away from traditional forms of organizing power through feudal nobility and the clergy. Is this a reasonable assumption? Totally off base?
Clan and family are traditionally considered important for dwarven civil society; has the consolidation of a strong state altered that? For example has the notion of citizenship usurped the allegiance to a clan as the primary locus of civil identity among dwarves? If so, what kind of push back has this created? If not, how are these traditional form of authority integrated into the state structure of Andril?
Is there any dwarf specific information that I would need to account for in a backstory? Is there a Craft (Technology) skill to go along with Knowledge (Engineering)?
Do people worship the standard Pathfinder gods?
Is it theoretically possible to create a magic chainsaw to punish my enemies? (Obviously, not a 1st level concern.)
Sorry if these questions seem weird. Academic here. :-)
Changing the nature of the question, how are arcane spellcasters treated by the army? Worst-case, all characters start off as Fig1/Wiz1 or Fig1/Rog1, or best-case, the army has an arcane school to rival the private universities, just specializing in battle-magic? Once again, going for the jack-of-all-trades Sorcerer conjurer, but I would need to know team dynamics before finalizing a character.
Hmm... how are Aasimars and tielfings viewed in your game? Is it the typical, with the former being blessed and the latter being cursed?
What kind of man is Colonel Geoffrey as far as we know? What would a squire of him know? How much crime is there in Andril?
To clarify, if I made a character with engineering, are we talking things only in the pathfinder book, or will you be allowing things the game never thought for? There are plenty of things I can imagine that are not in the pathfinder books that would be conceivable, nay, even easy with magic and tech available together and the right mind to see it.
Are there any academies in Andril for the sciences? For magic?
Another clarification, this one of my own. I realize that the whole point of a supporting character is to add to the story, but I've seen some DM's just use em for a shock value body count. I, personally, think that if I'm making a wife or a best friend for my character that yes, the Dm has the choice to kill one of em off or really torture them, but he should make it as effective as possible. I don't mind em being captured or held hostage now and again, perhaps even targeted by an enemy, but I've seen support characters I've made wasted for shock value, a brief moment of anger, and then had characters completely lifeless after instead of given new goals or reasons to continue moving.
So, if I make them, will you treat those characters with the same respect that I do? I'm not asking you to promise not to kill em off or do your worst, I just want it to truly mean something to my character and offer an opportunity or a new goal or something. And, if I had a particular direction for something evil to happen to them, would you be willing to work with me on that?
Mechanically I don't mind a lot of the games written fluff, but if I worked it out with you, would we be able to re-fluff a class to better fit a character concept?
Technically it is an absolutist monarchy, but the queen has a number of advisers (her 'council') that are experts in different areas and help her make decisions. She ultimately decides what happens, but they help to keep her as informed as possible.
99% of all dwarves are still loyal to a clan and/or family, even with how much they have prospered and spread. However, due to how far they've spread, sometimes they cannot be as directly involved as they'd like to be.
Standard Pathfinder Gods.
Technically yes, but you better put some research into it ;)
Don't feel weird, I like quesitons
@jhspace1. Spellcasters are valued somewhat above grunts, as they can be more useful than swinging a sword if applied properly. People often refer to different divisions of casters in the army by their school of specialization, which often dictates their job. Conjurers manipulate the battlfield to their advantage. Illusionists are called in for stealth and subterfuge. Transmuters are used if a small group has an important job and needs buffs. Etc, etc. You would probably dress and be recognized as a spellcaster and have certain responsibilities. A jack of all trades would be used for just that, some officer would request some magical backup and you'd be on the list.
@Marko. They are treated slightly more neutral due to many years of dealing with them, but old habits die hard.
Colonel Geoffrey the kind of leader people are glad to have. He leads by example, would never ask you to do something he wouldn't do himself, always acts for the greater good, tries to be as wise as he can but always admits when he doesn't know something and will take advice. He's not perfect, but he tries to make the world a better place. A squire would know these things as well as he's a hard worker and a relentless teacher. Crime in Andril is low, but there are organizations that the city is aware of that mostly keep their power struggle underground and away from the masses.
Yes, and yes. They are the most advanced city you know of, striving to intellectually better the world.
I do not kill characters just to go "Muahahaha I killed them." I'm not going to rule out the possibility of an NPC you know dying, but if it were to happen it would have a major plot value.
Absolutely. It helps flesh out the world to seem more realistic. Tell me what you have in mind.
Probably, what do you have in mind?
@Marko. Yenrick has open slave trade. Much of their mining is done by slaves, most notably minotaurs. Andril abhors it, most other nations disagree with it but don't say much.
@True Repentance. Drow are inherently born evil and haven't changed their ways. However one thing is different, mostly due to Gesthil's influence. A Drow who severs themselves from their community and undergoes a brief test (similar to a citizenship test but easier) they are given all the same rights and respects of any other race if they decide to live in civilization. Obviously they are still often treated with derision, but some people are starting to learn that not all drow are evil. Needless to say, the rest of the drow are rather upset about this and often attack on site.
Okay, I have two character concepts and I might run with either one honestly.
The second is...
For years he learned beneath the greatest minds in Andril, his magical prowess, alchemic prowess and engineering skills steadily growing with his knowledge. But then tragedy struck at home. Half of his village was taken by a plague, including the healer. Giving up his chance at earning his degree and the free ride he had been given, the youth returned home to do what he could. In the end, he lost his family. But he gained a new one. He fell in love and married. But always he had the thirst to learn and discover more. One opportunity was lost, but another showed itself in this war. With the full support of his wife (and the promise that he returned home once every three months to visit, as well as write every week), the youth joined the army to learn beneath the healers and alchemist and engineers as a page. He runs between, studying what he can when the army is at rest and learning what he can from the tasks he is given. He is determined now, to find better ways of healing, ways to improve a person so that magic is not even required.
Now of course each character has more to them and a broader supporting cast. Why settle for just one after all? The tiefling has a friend and perhaps more, a cleric from a church of Shelyn in Xilres. She has always seen a beauty in his odd, chaotic features. A fellow squire of another paladin in the army, a human who originally thought the tiefling evil, but has since reconciled with the character and become best friends. He still wears the manacles he once wore as a servant, a reminder that such cruel bonds cannot hold him.
The human a bit less so. A friend from the academy now fighting in the army, I think. As well as his wife of course. His journey is more focused on his path of knowledge and of balancing it with someone important in his life.
I'm honestly leaning toward the tiefling at the moment, but that might change depending on anything you might say. Opinions? Comments? Concerns? Suggestions? I'll likely have more questions for you, or perhaps I might end up making up the town he is from, but for the moment I'd just like to hear your thoughts on the two characters.
A quick note I failed to mention. Both characters are subject to slight revisions if I think of a way to make their stories flow a bit better. I'm already thinking of a couple for the tiefling now that I've turned my mind to it. As... another note I guess. XD The intention with the tiefling character was to cause certain issues with him. By and large tieflings might be looked at with less offended eyes, but certainly one saying he's looking for a crazy, murderous Aasimar is likely to get some weird looks, no? I have an idea for that Aasimar too, but if you want to make him up yourself instead I understand!
@Marko. I liked the tiefling story more as well. A good town to begin your story in is Hielra (pronounced heel-ra). It is a large town in southeaster Xilres. There are two reasons for this, one is that it was directly in the path of the advancing army. Another is it has always been a town of locked doors and ruled with an iron fist. Imagine Cheliax somewhat, where people are afraid to go out at night and the nobility rule harshly.
One question: What class were you thinking of for him? My guess is paladin, which will raise quite a few odd looks. Some people might even be quite offended at a tiefling paladin. Or a fighter?
So in my opinion, go with the tiefling. Get deep into him, expand and flesh him out, and flesh out the NPC's affiliated with him as well. As far as rival NPC's go, give me his outline. Give me some general guidelines and suggestions, and I'll create the character, relaying back what you know and keeping what you don't know to myself.
|Walter das Sombras|
Full human. Going for Jack-of-all-trades; Celestial bloodline? Self-sufficient feat? Glass cannon with utility secondary spells?
Magic being as random as talent, a blacksmith's third son had no expectations of becoming a mage. Indeed, his skills seemed more suited to a rich patron's library or a dusty university than a battlefield, and was often the recipient of his stronger siblings' bullying. But when a country is at war, no one is spared. Drafted by a lien against his town's peasantry, and eagerly given up to protect his older brothers from the army, this young boy was given standard magical testing - and showed unusual promise.
Colonel Geoffrey happened to be at the mustering day when the boy was tested, and just so happened to be in front of the youth when his first spell went off - causing a dog to appear out of nowhere, bowling the Colonel down in the courtyard of the barracks. Several spontaneous misunderstandings later, the youth was brought before the Colonel for punishment, and given a heartfelt talk about his future instead.
Maybe the Colonel just wanted a spellcaster not dulled by rigorous army training. Maybe the youth would be expendable - his family would not miss him, and neither did he have any lasting ties. War is merciless that way. But maybe, just maybe, the Colonel saw a diamond in the rough, or a tool to be sharpened.
Not that it matters much, but I'm usually the craftbot for an adventuring team. Not that I'm going to craft, unless it proves wildly possible, but what's this world's magic shop rules like? Military issue only, turn in all loot to be reorganized by the military, or keep what you kill?
On characters I tend to use Pazio's boards combined with Google spreadsheets for the equipment, advancement, etc. I'm pretty particular about encumbrance, as in I count every ounce. And yes, I do like on a "high magic" type world where you can get Bags of Holding, Handy Haversacks, masterwork continuous flame lanterns, wands of _____, etc.
@Walter. Last one before I go to bed. Xilres burned a great deal of forest, but the southern forest is all encompassing of the southern border. There is a HUGE amount of uncharted forested area. The capitol of Xilres is far northwest, about a days ride from the coast. There is a smaller patch of forest just southwest of it, large enough to get into trouble but not large enough to get lost in.
That sounds perfect! And yes, I am absolutely going paladin. And to really turn heads, he does not worship the same deity Geoffrey does, despite being the mans squire. Though he absolutely respects Abadar and even pays homage to the deity, he worships Iomedae personally, believing his own set of morals favors a more active approach, a protector rather then a judge. While he sees the importance of both roles he believes his own to be the former.
Hmm... yes... I shall bring more to you tomorrow! I should have time to write up a full background once I finish getting groceries.
@jhspace1. Last post, I swear.
Background is very shallow, I can't get any feel for your character. However, keep the first sentence in your last paragraph. I can see an interesting twist from that.
Keep what you kill, but turn in anything magical (which may or may not be given back to you). You can craft items, but the requirements for them won't just happen to be in the local shop. It will need to make sense how you made it.
I'm not an encumbrance Nazi, but if we have a halfling with 8 strength I'll cast an eye on him once in a while. Typically the party happens upon or buys a bag of holding before they get too much loot.
About standard level of magic items. I'm pretty good about examining the players and listening to what they want.
Ever since I read your first post I have had an image of a dwarven paladin wielding a chainsaw stuck in my head. I see that Marko is also leaning towards Paladin, but I'm not too worried because Stonelords are quite different from your regular Paladin. If this story sparks your interest, I can polish it up and whip up a character sheet for Tomarin Gearsmith.
Tomarin is a dwarf bedeviled by a political situation that is beyond his control and, he fears, his ability to understand. What is the most dutiful way for a dwarf to navigate multiple loyalties? What happens if one's begin obligations to conflict? Can a dwarf honor his allies while using them to advance his own interests?
He remembers the day he was assigned to Colonel Geoffery's staff as a "secret liaison" by the Voices in the Stone, the council of dwarven clan elders who in effect constitute a dwarven shadow government in Andril, with almost painful clarity. He had been so proud to be called before the assembled elders. It was proof that he was not the failure he knew his father believed him to be.
There had been nine elders present in that council chamber carved deep into the bedrock. The Gearsmith clan boasted two council members that day -- an impressive feat for a clan founded by his great-grandfather. Most of the Voices in the Stone were from clans that could trace their clan histories for thousands not hundreds of years. Further proof in Tomarin's mind of the importance of the new technology.
His grandmother, Yanna, was the first of the elders to speak. "We have heard from your fellow Stonelords that you have completed your training and accounted yourself a veritable paragon of dwarven virtue. For what could be greater than communion with stone?"
Tomarin's father, Alavar, the second Gearsmith Voice in the Stone, harrumphed loudly.
Tomarin flushed with embarrassment. His father had been so proud of him when he had quickly picked up the basic principles of the theory and the craft of the new technology. His father had been so disappointed with him when it became clear that Tomarin was completely unsuited to learn the prayers that formed the synthesis of magic and technology that had catapulted the Gearsmith clan to greatness and had incidentally aided in the Andril rise in power. Who would believe that the son of the dwarf who had constructed the first cannon golem couldn't even recite a basic orison? Tomarin knew that he was his father's not-so-secret shame. Where once the dwarf had been eager to share new magico-technological theories with his son, he could now barely stand to look at him.
When his father abandoned him to his own devices, his grandmother had put him to work and set him on the path to honor. "Not every one can be a great priest of Torag. Before my father made his discoveries, his ancestors were holy warriors bound to stone. You are in their image, my boy." With her connections, she had him accepted by an elite order of dwarven paladins called the Stonelords.
As Tomarin blushed, Yanna continued, pointedly ignoring the interaction between father and son. "Yes, your accomplishments honor our clan, but they are only the beginning of a much greater service to both clan Gearsmith and your people at large. We would like you to join the staff of one Colonel Geoffery. Our divinations suggest that it is at his side that you can be of most use to us. Watch our allies closely and be sure to accrue every advantage you can for your people."
Finally finding his voice, Tomarin spoke, "I am grateful to the council for their trust in my capacities, but I am confused by the assignment. You want me to spy on Andril? Aren't we Andrilin?"
Yanna frowned at this question, but it was a different elder who replied. "Do not be confused, young paladin. Although we support a strong government -- for humans -- and obey their laws which are sensible and righteous, do not mistake the dwarves for humans. We dwarves have had a unified government from time immemorial. Do you see dwarven nations fighting each other? No. Humans do that. Andril has been a useful ally and they have begun to unify the surface --praise Torag -- but the humans are centuries behind dwarven law, culture, and governance. Do not think of it as spying as much as learning how best we can encourage Andril's development while retarding their inevitable human excesses. One day human and dwarf maybe united under one law and one custom, but that day is not today. Unfortunately, they are far too uncivilized, despite our best efforts."
Not wanting to appear obstinate, Tomarin had quickly agreed to the assignment. His confusion and unease has only increased since taking his place in Colonel Geoffery's staff. Geoffery is everything a human should be in Tomarin's mind, and he thinks how much easier Geoffery's efforts would be if he had unrestricted access to dwarven magi-tech and guidance and not just the slow and steady trickle permitted by the council coupled with whatever the humans could cobble together on their own.
In the privacy of his own mind, Tomarin is willing to admit that his desire to unify dwarven and human engineers is not entirely altruistic. Humans are so innovative; if they had access to centuries of dwarven data and craft, then, who knows what they could accomplish together. Tomarin dreams of technological advances that do not rely on magical power. Certainly, he thinks, there must be alternative power sources of efficient energy. In the meanwhile, Tomarin aids Geoffery to the best of his ability and watches his charge on behalf of the Voices in the Stone.
I am very interested in this idea of being in an army laying siege to a walled city. Here is my character submission for consideration by you.
A human ranger (falconer and trapper archetypes). If you like what you read, I will create the statblock for the character.
(I have left out most specific names in case you have already created such people or places in your world. I am happy to create my own names or work with you to create such names if you have not done so already.)
Alleran <insert family name> comes from the vaunted family of the same name. He is a bastard, his mother having been seduced her very first season in Taryin; Alleran has never known his father. Raised in the steeped traditions of the ancient bloodline, he was taught to recognize his place and accept the duty that is his calling. A distant cousin to Ingrid <insert family name>, commander of the <insert regiment name> Regiment, his assignment to her regiment was mainly coincidence; a twist of fate due to his talents.
Alleran's upbringing was a sheltered life on a reclusive country estate in the <insert forested area's name>; nestled in the hills east of <insert local town's name>. There he was left largely to his own devices. He spent most of his time with the gamekeeper, Trwryn. There he learned about nature; hunting, tracking and geography. The older man also gave Alleran his first taste of animal husbandry. He introduced the boy to the estate's falcons, teaching him their proper handling and care. The boy immediately took to the raptors, feeling a kinship towards the majestic creatures. His world became one of endless hunting, with axe, bow and bird.
It was during his hunting that he stumbled upon a tribe of kobolds. He was following his falcon as it roamed the skies when he quite literally fell into one of their pit traps. It was deep enough to be troublesome to climb back out of and as he was slowly making his way out, several of the beasts arrived, checking on their trap. They were pleased at the young manling they had caught and were set to kill him when the falcon swooped in, clawing at the leader. The raptor pressed it's attack, distracting the reptilians long enough for Alleran to make his out of the pit. Brandishing his axe, he made to charge into the midst of the melee. The kobolds, seeing that the the little human and the terrorizing bird were working together, threw themselves upon the ground to curl up into small defensive balls of scale.
Alleran stopped his attack and knelt beside the little lizard-like men. He tried to talk to them and in broken, halting Common they explained to him that he were afraid he was the spirit of Avoral, master of birds. They feared death from such a creature and begged to live. Alleran swore to spare them and let them be on their way if they likewise promised not to eat any humans they trapped, instead letting them go. The deal struck, the boy and his erstwhile trappers started a tentative nonaggression pact which slowly formed into a true friendship.
Throughout his childhood, Alleran was taught his place, often forcibly. When other family members came to the estate, he was ignored by the adults and the children followed their parents lead... unless they were alone. When there was no adult supervision, he was treated cruelly by his cousins. They taunted him and call him names. He was always stuck in the role of the pitiful reptilian rogue in their games of Capture the Kobold. His knowledge of the diminutive tunnelers served him well. He was being taught the their ways of trapping and he put the skills into practice as he began building traps to embarrass and sting his relations. Over time they realized that the abuse had turned around and they left him alone.
When deemed old enough to be a man, his mother saw fit to send her son to <insert local army headquarters> with letters to be delivered to several officers of the army. He arrived and in delivering the letters discovered that they were introductions for himself to those officers who may show an inclination to respect the <insert family name> family name and take him under their wings. One of the officers, a Major <insert name>, saw the falcon Alleran brought with him and recognizing his aptitude with birds of prey, agreed to take him on and see to his proper training in the army.
The basic training was rigorous and many of the boys from the large cities such as, Taryin or Hielra, found the outdoor living to be overwhelming. Alleran made several friends very quickly through his survival skills and friendly disposition. In turn, they were helpful in training the woodsman in using his axe to good effect and even how to wield a smaller axe in his other hand as an odd main gauche.
Upon completion of training, Alleran found himself back before Major <insert name>. The officer explained that he was being sent back to the <insert name of forested area> for further training. He would be assigned to the <insert regimental name> Regiment assigned to <insert lake name> Lake and <insert name of forested area>. There he would present himself to his new commander, Ingrid <insert family name>, and deliver his instructions to her. His instructions were to find the <insert noble family name> estate and deliver another letter, arranging for his advanced training in falconry from the famed family of instructors.
Arriving at the headquarters of the <insert regiment name> Regiment, he attempted to see his cousin, as per his orders. He was put off for two days until an ensign finally received the letter and begrudgingly forwarded him on to the <insert noble family name>. Once at their estate, his letter was accepted and the orders recognized. He was assigned to the youngest of their instructors, Daedra <insert noble family name>. She was only a year older than Alleran, himself.
Alleran spent the next six months training under the tutelage of Daedra. As they spent many hours together each day, they naturally formed a close working relationship. Over the months, his attraction for her grew until he could no longer deny it. The final month found them doing more than just falconry. When his training was finished, Alleran seriously considered leaving the army to stay with Daedra, however; he realized that in leaving the army he would not be able to stay in Andril and that exile would be worse than reassignment. They agreed to maintain their affair as best they could, knowing that he could be sent away at a moment's notice.
Reporting back to the <insert regiment name> Regiment, Alleran presented himself to the commander's office. This time he was received; after being made to wait for seven hours. Commander <insert family name> was an imposing woman. Middle age was finding difficult footing in it's advance upon her person. She regarded her young distant relation very coolly before advising him that there were no special treatments in the <insert regiment name> Regiment. The men and woman of the unit were as hard as their namesake and he would be no exception. His survival skills as well as his knack for building and disassembling traps (yes, the army was aware of his association with kobolds) were necessary skill sets for the regiment and he would remain here despite her usual rules against nepotism. He was assigned to work with an irregular squad. Her adjunct would explain the details.
Dismissed and fully aware of the import of the commander's warning, he made his way to the adjunct for his orders. Once there, Lieutenant <insert name>, a kindly middle aged man, explained that Alleran was to join up with the column marching out in the morning. They were replacements for the regiment's losses in the siege of <insert city name here>, capitol of Xilres.
Shallow, eh? And here I was trying to escape the wall o' text. Let's try again:
In one of the smaller towns far from the war, the war still touched the citizenry. Darien was the third son of seven children by the town's blacksmith. His father's pride was the two older sons, both strong as oxen and handsome as angels; Darien, by comparison, was ordinary and weak. His mother did not care, because Darien's four younger sisters fulfilled her life. Bullied by his brothers, ignored by his sisters, Darien would much rather read a book (when he could find one) than roughhouse or spend back-breaking time in the smithy. So Darien grew up forgotten, pushed aside, when a more formal education would have let him show his true worth. At best the youth was a poor blacksmith, at worst he was a dreamer, and dreamers have no place in a struggling town on the edge of civilization. Darien could fish and trap rabbits and knew how to take care of himself, but that was about it in the woods. He always preferred the town to the wilderness. Darien wanted to scribe for a rich man, or to learn in a library, a university. But he could never afford that.
That changed when the war with Xilres reached their tiny town in Andril in the form of a mustering day. The local Baron had a lien by the Queen to provide more troops for the army, so each town was required to send a certain number of men. The blacksmith's family was selected by lot, and the parents were devastated. Lose one of their precious sons to the war that only the nobles cared about? When the barbarians coming out of the woods were a larger threat? Ah, but they had a son they would not miss, not as much. Darien had no idea why his father took him to the army's building in town that day, nor why his two brothers were not with them. But he was literally handed over to the sergeants to look disbelieving at his father's back as the man walked away.
The next few weeks went by in a blur to the young man. Told where to sleep. Where to eat, and when, and how much. Strength tests, archery tests, knowledge tests, riding tests, most of which Darien scored poorly if at all. Marching along a dusty road to the capital, where more tests awaited Darien. Didn't they need a scribe, a courier? No, he was told. The army needed bodies to haul equipment and arms, to fight.
Then came a day Darien would never forget. Instead of burly sergeants and aloof officers, other men came to the barracks. Darien didn't know the higher officers who were also visiting that day, to judge the worth of the newest troops - he hardly knew anyone. All but the sharpest-eyed people tended to ignore him. Not these new people. Men and women who tested the soldiers in a different way, using new words, new examples. When Darien was tested, the unexpected happened - a dog appeared out of nowhere! The dog ran around the courtyard and entered the officers' building, where several shouts of alarm were heard. Darien did it again, and chaos erupted as the sergeants had to deal with a horse appearing out of thin air, bucking and showing his hooves.
Darien, as when he was usually in trouble, ran. But the sergeants were having none of that. Darien's hands started spouting little balls of acid everywhere, even when he fled inside and outside the buildings, the angry soldiers following. People who got in Darien's way got knocked over, and it wasn't until Darien crashed into a stack of pots and pans in the kitchen that the chase ended.
Darien awoke to find himself in a lot of trouble. Nobody had any injures, but there were other problems. The first person the conjured dog had run into was the visiting Colonel. A Colonel Geoffrey. The base commander was ready to flog Darien and put him into the stockade, but the Colonel intervened, taking the youth to an unused room and setting him down. Colonel Geoffrey didn't interrogate the young man, but asked Darien what his life story was. It took a little pulling on the officer's part, but Darien eventually told him. Colonel Geoffrey responded with a heartfelt talk about his role in the war, what the invasion of Xilres was really about. How the army could use burly men but also needed spellcasters who did more. Darien's brothers would have been just foot soldiers, pikemen. So Colonel Geoffrey asked Darien if he wanted to skip the usual six months of soldier training and immediately come work for him.
Maybe the Colonel just wanted a spellcaster not dulled by rigorous army training. Darien leaped at the chance - he was told spellcasters read books - and Colonel Geoffrey handed him over to the testers for arcane training. It would be six weeks, not six months, but the new people Darien was given to knew words Darien had not heard before, words that made sense what he had done in the barracks courtyard. Words like conjuring and summoning and sorcery. But he had a goal now, to get ready for what Colonel Geoffrey wanted of him.
Conjuring Summoner. Celestial bloodline is obvious. Summon Monster I is a given, I was thinking Mage Armor as well. Other spells chosen to fill holes in the party. Low STR, average WIS, high CHA, high DEX, high CON. Traits will be to maximize conjuring or UMD. Self-sufficient feat for Survival and Healing, not sure otherwise, because I'm guessing Varisian Tattoo from Rise of the Runelords is out.
What's our sourcebooks limited to? Core/APG only? Core/APG/Ultimate Equipment?
Starting gold - do we have an "army package" of equipment? Ultimate Equipment has stuff like tents, cots, folding chairs, etc. I can see saving up my character's gp for a Ring of Sustenance and a Handy Haversack before getting a magical weapon.
Hello there I have an Idea for this. I will have to work the background a little to be a better fit
the current one is extremely generic and may not tie in smoothly.
I approached the backstory with a different approach.
I modeled the backstory as "a page in the life of..." it is more of a peek into the character's head instead of an historical accounting of his/her past.
many parts definately fit in, but others will be a difficult fit.
If interested in the read as is:
Valterra hates her life. Her parents are nobles and so she must behave as such. She dosen't openly rebel knowing that she won't be able to practice her magic if she does soemthing that displeases her parents. So she wears the dresses and her fake life as gracefully as she can with out erupting. She plans to run away one day whee she can forever be free of her stupid parent rules.
she goes by the nickname Terra
Valterra is respectful on the outside but on the inside she wants to rip off people heads. Her only vent for her anger is using her oracle abilities. It's the only way she's allowed to destroy things.
In the following story I inserted a character for interaction but intentionally left parts unfilled to added later. this is the place to provide a connection to another player. the other person's profession, name, etc are really just left blank to allow a tie-in.
I sighed and simply said, “Yes Mother.” I stared down at my pillow while my mother continued.
“You cannot go running around every time you feel like it. You must act like a proper general’s daughter and stop acting like such a wimp!”
I tightened my hands into fists but continued to look down at the pillow my hair making a curtain over my face. “Yes Mother.” I whispered this time in a tighter voice.
I felt her hand grab my chin and jerk my head up. My hair fell away and I was looking into her dark brown eyes. I didn’t blink as she coldly said, “You’ll do as your told or trust me you’ll find that this recent punishment is nothing.”
I couldn’t stop my mouth. My stupid filter less mouth. “Like being in this hell hole isn’t punishment enough.” I mumbled.
I felt the sting on my cheek before my brain had registered what had happened. Have you ever watched tar trying to go down a hill? Even if it’s a really steep hill it takes awhile. That’s how my brain was. It took a minute to register the slap. I had been slapped before of course. Usually once or twice a week ever since I started roaming the streets at night. Something about this slap was different though. It felt as if there was some finality about it.
I closed my eyes deeply and felt my fists begin to shake. The pots in my ever so beautifully disgusting room started to quiver and I took a deep breath.
I opened my eyes to look into my smug mother’s face. She quickly humped and left through my door.
My mother had no idea the damage she was causing. each slap each punch to the face, I lost more and more of my vision. was it the punishment or the fact that I was going blind what got me angry, did I even care.
I felt a tear escaping from one of my eyes and quickly wiped it away. I went to the bathroom and changed out of the elaborate dress I had been wearing into loose pants and a matching loose shirt. I grabbed a cord from one of my drawers and put up my hair out of my face.
I moved my stuff out of my way then stood in the middle of my bedroom. I got into my fighting stance, the same stance I had been tuaght since I was old enough to walk and started breathing in and out very slowly. Suddenly I made all the pots in my room come flying toward me. I closed my eyes and shatered them all together while I ducked. The shards flew everywhere in my room and I made the pieces avoid hitting me. Next I looked at the wall in front of me and yelling in anger I hurled a block of stone ripped from the floor and blew it out. A servant outside stared at me wide eyed and scurried away down the hall. I slammed another stone block into the next wall. Now my room had shards all over the floor and two of my walls were condensed to rubble. I then screamed as the shards around me exploded in every direction impailing themselves in the remaining walls and shattering everything around me that I didn't destroy yet.
I pulled the cord out of my hair and let it fall around me. I grabbed a bag and stuck a few pairs of cloths in there. I walked out of my non-existent wall into a new room down the hall.
My room would be cleaned in a day or two. New walls pots and cloths included. Sadly I did this frequently. I flopped on the bed of the new room, and stared up at the ceiling. Suddenly I had the urge to runaway again. So what if my mother said I can’t. I-I just want to leave. Go someplace. Maybe even to the Lower districts this time. I quickly packed my clothes and some money into a backpack and changed into some used cloths that didn’t look as expensive. I left my room through the window and landed in the rose bush that sat under it. I winced as my face and arms got cut but moved around the bush.
I avoided the guards around the house and climbed over the high wall that surrounded my family’s house. I landed barefoot on the pavement. There were people all around me and some looked at me oddly as I jumped over the wall but then ignored me. I walked quickly not even noticing where I was going.
Hopefully Mother didn’t realize I was gone or at least I hope she won’t find out any time soon.
Okay I read this again and realized how much she sounded like Toph >< However awesome that would be no... she isn't like Toph. I don't know how to explain it really but it's diffrent.... she's more.... I don't know.... tame I guess. Inside she's terrified of the world and she's afraid someone will find out so she hides it by being destructive. Any lets continue...
Lots of people started glancing at a person behind me. I tried not to look back hoping whoever it was wasn’t one of the big body guard people my mom regularly sent to find me when I ran off. I heard a voice behind me and turned around.
"This is going to sound really weird, but shouldn't you be, you know...home? It's getting late and you look pretty young. I could take you back to your house if you want.”
I flinched at the sound and I recognized the face. Famous local kid. Hot attractive, had fan girls running after him frantically all the time.
Oh look I DON’T CARE!!!!!
Now I was really irritated. Apparently I still looked to rich or what ever it was that had made this boy (I couldn’t remember his name) offer to walk me home. I crouched down before I answered him and got as much dirt on my hands as possible then rubbed it roughly onto my face.
I now looked like I had rolled in mud.
Now, turning to the boy I glared fiercely at him. “First off, I don’t want to go home.” I held up one finger. “Second, I can take care of my self.” I ticked off another finger. “Third and last, buzz off.” I now held up three of my fingers and smirked at the boy in irritation. “Got it macho?”
"I'm not actually deaf," he replied, "and despite the fact that you seem to think I'm an idiot, I can understand what you're saying." he glared back at me fiercely, not willing to back down to any opponent, no matter that he wasn't in an arena or on some stage surrounded by thousands of fans.
I sighed and said, "I never said that I thought you were stupid. You wouldn't be so good at whatever it is that you do if you were." I took a deep breath trying to calm myself down. I tended to have some problems with filters. My mother had gotten mad at me allot. I hope she didn't get mad at me when I got home.....
I was shocked. I realized then that I wasn't going to go home. I wouldn't. I hadn't realized until now that that was what I was planing. I had just been trying to get away from them. Away from everything that my family imposed on me. A small smile lit my face up.
I started saying softly, "I'm not going back. I'm never going back." I was in complete and utter awe. The fact that I would make such a choice. I looked back up at the boy, I had completely forgotten about him.
"I-I..." I smiled at him and said, "Today is the happiest day of my life! Thank you so much! I'm never going home! Never again!" I started laughing hysterically and when water started coming out of the sky I tilted my head back to feel it on my face.
I had never been allowed to stand in the rain before, my mother had said 'It was bad for my hair.' Or something like that. I laughed again and started spinning in circles splashing through the small puddles that were all ready accumulating.
"I'm not going back. I'm not going back." I stated singing happily. I think this is how kids were supposed to feel.
Officially the BEST moment of my life!
My original question was he the TYPE of character you want to see. One might think his background is overdeveloped.
Also the alignment and motivations put him straddling the fence in the fight of good vs evil. But, he is an infernal sorcerer that summons evil creatures and realizes that evil cannot be allowed to win in the long run.
@Ixos. I am very impressed by the background, and you show insight into dwarven culture that I like. I like your goals, your wordly clutch, and I can imagine your character. However, there is a small problem, which I am going to make clear to everybody
THIS IS THE 3RD PALADIN THAT HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP
Those of you that have submitted paladins please work with each other. I do not plan to have team LG running around dropping 8 smite evils every turn. There is slim chance I will take more than one of any class unless they are built so differently they don't clash. I prize backstory more than anything, and the paladins I have seen have impressed me, but my games also get deadly serious and the party needs to be well rounded in order to survive.
@Drayen. I feel like I don't understand your characters motivations. If I threw a social situation at him, I would have no idea how he would react. I don't know what drives him in life. It seems like he was pressed into the army and now just follows orders. Also no reference to Colonel Geoffrey.
@jhspace1. Now THAT'S what I'm talking about, I was actually smiling as I read about the summoned animals wreaking havoc. Also, I have the perfect mentor for you to be turned over to. A Tiasar Auvrelth, elven conjurer (wizard) who is one of Geoffrey's consultants on magical matters.
If it's paizo, it's probably allowed. The only exceptions I have made are certain classes, as per the original post. Anything too out there just ask me and I'll approve it or not.
@Edward Sobel. Similar problem to Drayen, except I understand your character a little better. What drives her in life now? What is her purpose? Also you completely left off how she got into or with the military and how she met Colonel Geoffrey.
@Fomiel. I believe you're on the right track. Get me something solid and I'll have more comments.
THIS IS NOW THE SECOND SUMMONING FOCUSED SORCERER THAT HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP. PLEASE TAKE A BRIEF GLANCE AT OTHER SUBMISSIONS SO I DON'T END UP WITH 8 PALADINS AND 6 SORCERERS.
like I said it was not complete I just present the original un-editted back story. more will be needed of course.
BTW the character is most likely and Oracle (stone mystery) with a few level dip in fighter to enhance combat cpability.
I was hoping to work on the back stroy with some of your input to ensure in meshes with your setting.
@Edward. Understood, feel free to ask any and all questions. I deemed not to type out my entire pamphlet on the world, since the wall of text itself would probably turn most people away.
Also, if you decide to dip, make sure there's a good RP reason. Dips can be extremely powerful if done well, and I don't want people doing it just to create an overpowered character. That also brings up a point I forgot to mention
IF YOUR CHARACTER IS PURPOSELY MIN/MAXED AND/OR MADE JUST TO POWERGAME, YOU WILL BE LOOKED OVER.
Not that I'm saying you are Edward, just something I forgot to mention
Speaking of things I forgot to say in the original post, I never included how I do location hits.
Called shots can be tactical in my game. What's that wizard going to do when you break his jaw? How about the barbarian who's right arm you removed? And that rogue has a hell of a time sneaking around when only one foot works.
Whenever somebody lands a hit in combat, I roll a d12 to see where they hit (if it wasn't a called shot). If you manage to crit or roll extremely high damage (or both), you can possibly disable a portion of their body and give them some penalties. Spells are included in this if it's targeted spells. For example, a fireball wouldn't cause anything out of the ordinary, but a targeted shocking grasp that rolled high on damage and hit their neck might cause them to be stunned for a turn. In small scale, and especially large scale fighting, it's not always about skill. Random luck and chance can kill even the most hardened warrior.
Paladins (Stonelord) are a dwarven archetype found here:
Stonelord (Scroll down to the archetype section; it's the last one.)
Since they don't smite evil, cast spells, do mercies, mounts, divine grace, or really most of the iconic Paladin stuff, I feel like he would be easy to distinguish from a regular Paladin. The only true overlap I feel is that both types of Paladins are Lawful Good. Is it different enough to make a distinction? Do I have your blessing to submit a character?
THIS IS THE 3RD PALADIN THAT HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP
Those of you that have submitted paladins please work with each other. I do not plan to have team LG running around dropping 8 smite evils every turn.
THIS IS NOW THE SECOND SUMMONING FOCUSED SORCERER THAT HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP. PLEASE TAKE A BRIEF GLANCE AT OTHER...
About to say...leave Smite Evil for the Celestial-aligned summoned creatures to do. ;)
Oh, to be able to fill a room with Celestial doggies, each Smiting Evil on the bad guy...
@Toramin. Arguably true. Personally I've had some great experiences with Stalwart defender. Level 12 dwarf, over 40 AC, CMD so high a dragon couldn't move me (about 70), well over 200HP, and on top of it all I had the ability to soak attacks directed at allies. Meanwhile right next to me was our 24 strength barbarian that was untouchable because of that annoying dwarf who leaped in front of every attack directed at her.
You can never go wrong with sticking with a base class though. It is easy to stray off and get underpowered, but normally if you qualify for a prestige as quickly as possible and then stick with it there's not an issue. IMHO anyways, others may disagree with me.
Here's your LG Conjuring Sorcerer, with the Celestial Bloodline for healing. If I don't see a Wizard I may have this character take a single Wizard level for the Scribe Scroll and spellbooks, since it fits in with his backstory of loving books. If we go magic-poor I can also start grabbing Craft Wand and Craft Wondrous Item at higher levels. With paladins I know we won't be healer-light but I love having all skills possible.
@Fomiel. I haven't heard of the eleven race. Sounds interesting.
By all means start throwing something in the ring, I'm not very familiar with alchemists and normally don't allow them, but in this setting they simply fit too well. Have a good background ready for me.
@Darien. A wand of cure light wounds is an easy and early investment.
So this is what we have so far.
jhspace1-Darien Smith-LG Human Conjuring Sorcerer
Ixos-Toramin Gearsmith-LG Dwarven Stonelord Paladin
Fomiel-Some sort of alchemist
Edward Sobel-Velterra-CG Human Oracle of Stone
Drayen-Alleran-?? Human Falconer Trapper Ranger
Marko-?-LG Tiefling Paladin
Walter das Sombras-?-?? ? Druid (probably)
Feral-?-?? Half-Minotaur Sorcerer (will wade into melee)
If there is a question mark in the row with your name, please tell me the information necessary to fill it in.
If I missed you, please tell me so I can include you.
We only have two paladins applied so far, the third was a misunderstanding on my part. I like to keep a well rounded party, so if you were still wanting to submit a character or alter an existing one, covering areas that are not yet covered will increase your chances.
Another thing to think about. Even though the start of the game is open large scale warfare, there will be a great deal of stealth and subterfuge. Some of your most difficult obstacles will be a social situation. You will be asked to do everything from take down a dragon to sway a king's decision. If there is an aspect of your class, there will most likely be a time and a place for it to shine.