[AP] The Shackled City by GM Rutseg - Gate Discussion

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Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Welcome to the Shackled City AP!

In this final phase the 7 players that will finally become part of the game will be decided.

The idea is to create a party that is both mechanically and personally balanced and well tied together on reasons to cooperate with themselves and Cauldron. In addition, the process will give me extra insight on how good each of you will be able to work together in order to have a fun and fulfilling game experience.

The creation rules are as follows:
Setting: Golarion (the Greyhawk deities will be alternate names of the Golarion ones in the region as per the Player’s Guide)
Starting level: Level 1
Starting wealth: Average for the chosen class.
Ability generation system: 20 point buy
Hit point generation system: PFS-style (maximum at level 1, half the hit dice plus one afterwards).
Alignment restrictions: Only neutral and good characters allowed. Lawful Evil might be acceptable if character motivations ensure cooperation with the party and the city.
Race restrictions: Only 1 character per party will be allowed a race outside of the Core in order to keep those races rare (if more than one person is interested, it is up to you on how to deal with the situation)
Number / type of traits allowed: 2 traits allowed, one of which should be a community campaign trait from the Shackled City Player’s Guide. Drawbacks will be not allowed, but a character might choose one Shackled City original campaign trait with its correspondent drawback without that extra trait counting to the trait limit (this might end up providing you two campaign traits, one from the original AP and another community provided trait).
Animal companions: No companions allowed. You have to pick an alternate option for this kind of class features, every player will be allowed control of only one character.
Summoning: No feats or other options that improve summoning are allowed.
Reach builds: You are warned I do not like these builds on PbP due to the difficulties of immediate feedback and extra complexity of turn interruptions.
Spells: Only access to Core spells is granted at the start of the game.
Hero points: The hero points subsystem will be used. You will begin play with 1 hero point and another one will be granted at each level. Remember you cannot have more than 3 at any time. Due to forum dice mechanics the pre-roll bonus will be not applicable (only after die bonus will be legal). Hero points spells and items will not be available. Hero points feats are legal though.
Background skills: Players are allowed 2 extra skill ranks per level as per the background skills option from Unchained. You are allowed to use those rules.
Source material restrictions: Core + Advanced Player’s Guide + Advanced Race Guide + Bestiaries + Ultimate Magic + Ultimate Combat + Ultimate Campaign + Inner Sea Guide. Unchained variant classes are allowed as if they were an archetype.

The limited sources are both to give balance to the game (this is an old AP), and keep things a bit simpler as there will be enough complexity on rules with a large group in an epic high level adventure during the late game. But it is also an invitation to look for new concepts that make your character different and interesting to play story-wise, rather than stats-wise.

When choosing the stats and options of your character, please, take into account how easy it will be to play it on PbP. If it requires immediate feedback from other players, adds complex rules or exceptions or forces other players or the GM to remember about plenty of modifications and exceptions, it will probably be a bad option, painful to take to reality. Likewise, consider if those options will be still interesting for you and the rest of the players after years of play. If your character will be casting the same spell or using the same maneuver in most combats during years, you might lose the interest on your character after some months playing, which is not good.

Similarly, when choosing your background and personality, take into account it should make things easier rather than difficult for your party and keep the character fresh after years of play. That usually means your character has room to evolve during the adventure and has reasons to collaborate and not insult or otherwise antagonise with other characters.

Your characters are expected to be Cauldron locals, but if that is not the case, think of a strong reason to stay on Cauldron during years and eventually become one of its defenders to the last breath. You might choose to know some of the other members of the party, perhaps by face or name, or you can even be friends or have stronger relationships. You can also be unknown to each other. The first AP event does not assume you start the game together, and will set yourself in a position to cooperate and create an improvised adventuring party. Thus, you will need to think of a reason why you have a break on your daily responsibilities and perform a small investigation for the city.

This is an urban campaign. Although ultimately any class can work fine, I think it is fair to provide a list with the classes I think the tone of the Shackled City campaign fits the best:

  • Bard
  • Cleric
  • Fighter
  • Magus
  • Monk
  • Oracle
  • Paladin
  • Rogue
  • Sorcerer
  • Wizard

A list of classes that might fit in the Campaign with small effort:
  • Barbarian
  • Gunslinger
  • Inquisitor
  • Ranger
  • Witch

Take into consideration there are chapters that assume the party has access to high level spells. Early levels will also see plenty of mechanical and magical traps, and as the campaign advances ability to influence other characters will become more and more relevant. Combat capacity will remain important through all the campaign.

I hope you help each other to attain a group of characters that are both interesting and balanced on background, personality and stats. I think the most you talk and interchange suggestions, the best will be the result. I will also be around adding my own advice and knowledge of the campaign.

The community Shackled City AP Player’s Guide is a convenient source to get an insight of both Cauldron and the campaign, and can help you to prepare interesting background hooks. I do not expect you to read it at full, but skimming through and reading the relevant parts for your character will probably improve the enjoyment of the adventure.

I hope you have fun during this collaborative creation process, and good luck to everybody!

Male Human; last time I checked, anyway

Hi All!

Glad to make it this far!
Thanks, GM Rusteg!

I'll get to work on creating an alias for Sajuk, the half-orc sorcerer I had in mind.

This should be a good one!

Thanks & Congratulations all round!

Hello all I sent PM's to Black Dow, CharlesJ, and Hayato Ken since the Tower discussion is full. So we need to create a party with good synergy and with characters we will enjoy playing for 20 levels.

We can go about this in several different ways. I'd like to hear you ideas and look forward to the process.

Male Hairy Highlander Halfbreed Barbarian 9/King O' The North 5/Staffy Dad 7

Greetings All.

Posted in the Tower discussion and also following Gaming Ranger's PM here as well.

Not sure how the two OOCs will shake up as it might be more prudent to work out the balance of the two groups en masse rather than "first come first served" basis?

With regards to character classes/preferences I'm pretty easy - I normally play meat shields but have been hankering to play an Alchemist for some time. Know this is not on Rutseg's list, but think I could fashion a someone who brings distinct qualities to their respective party.

Half Elf or Human Alchemist (not sure of an archetype as yet) - working toward Master Chymist. Ultimately a two-for-one character :)

Would likely be a pupil of Vortimax Weer who the old man reluctantly allowed to develop some promise in the alchemical arts.

Think we can fashion a pretty balanced, but like Ranger says are characters we'll enjoy taking on the 20 level journey.

EDIT: Just read that Rutseg's not a huge fan of alchemists, so might reconsider.

I do have a Dwarven Wizard (Spellslinger) that I've been looking to run. Might provide an interesting counterpoint to Sajuk the Sorcerer?

I agree with the idea of a more balanced approach between the two groups but the other group had five people already and seemed pretty set on it. We can approach them with the idea of switching things up but I think we should wait and see what everyone here wants to play first.

While think balance is important I really think the PC has to be something you are excited about. When I first read the players guide I started thinking about a bard pretty versatile and fun class with different archetypes or an Urban Ranger ( can fill frontline or ranged, and rouge [traps/stealth/and maybe face] rolls). Anyway I pretty easy as to what I play and I have found that in urban adventures skills are pretty important.

Those are just some of my thoughts.

Male Hairy Highlander Halfbreed Barbarian 9/King O' The North 5/Staffy Dad 7

Aye - we'll forge ahead and see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together on this side of the fence.

As for character concepts I'm not set on anything - more than happy to fill the required roll.

Evening all, congrats on making it this far.

I am one of the less experienced prospects Rusteg picked. I am looking forward to the process and the learning I will get to do along the way, as well as getting to know another great group of players.

First thoughts ran to a magus with the city scoundrel trait. A little melee, a little magic, the city scoundrel trait brings in disable device as a class skill. Able to do a little of everything. However all that said, like Dow I don't have my heart dead set on it; and will gladly take advice on ways to build up a group that synergizes well.

So far if you look at my aliases I have played as a bard, a rogue who had to step into the meat shield position, never a good thing :-) , a ranger, hunter, and war priest. The war priest is out, per rules above; but I'm open to suggestion.

Liberty's Edge

Hey guys, just wanted to come across from the other table and say hi, wish you all congratulations and say I'm really looking forward to seeing all the awesome concepts everyone comes up with.

If it is possible I think it would be great if we can collaborate a little between tables - offering eachother advice and build ideas and so on, I certainly wouldn't want it to be an 'us and you' kind of thing because I think everyone that has been picked is a really strong player and between us all I think we can work together to contribute to a great game!

Thanks JamZilla, looking forward to working with all of you as well.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

*peeks in*

Just thought I'd come over here and say hi as well and offer my agreement about some cross-table collaboration! I don't always express my thoughts as well as I'd like (especially when I'm in a hurry or super excited about something heh), so I hope I didn't make it sound like I wanted the Tower table to close ranks or anything. Like I said over there, I think all of the preselects would be great fun to play with no matter where we end up :)

Looking forward to working with everyone and seeing what we all come up with!

Thanks for inviting me here! Looking forward to a possible long, deep, interesting and epic campaign^^

The addition of unchained classes to the sources makes me very happy too!

I´m not sure if i understand what the "Tower discussion" is atm.
Will there be 2 groups?

I think an open discussion and joint planning on group dynamics is good, because that way everyone should get her niche and role.

I´m very interested in playing:
-Unchained Monk (perhaps with a cleric level)
-Unchained Rogue
-Unchained Barbarian
-totally fine with core races

For those classes i have character concepts ready and their play comes naturaly to me.

Will there be maps? I read what is said about AoO´s, but positioning and flanking are kinda important for ranged combat, flanking and rogues especially. I remember something about google slides?
I´ll read up on the Players Guide to get a bette feeling on the campaign, i have no info about it so far.

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So here is what we got so far:

Xunal - Sorcerer [Half-orc]
Black Dow - Alchemist (Spellslinger) [Dwarf]
CharlesJ - Magus (Open) [race?]
Hayato Ken - Unchained Monk (Unch. Rogue, Unch. Barbarian, or Bard)[race?]
Gaming Ranger - Bard, (Urban Ranger) [race?]

At first blush this is pretty arcane heavy (All but the monk), Little healing (Bard some, Alchemist some), It has a face (bard), scout (monk), Trap finder(Magus/bard?/Monk?). Thoughts?

Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

You can expect maps to be available for most combat encounters. Although I might wave them out for some skirmishes, I like the tactical side of the game as much as the roleplaying one. Thus expect cover, ranged penalties, flanking, difficult terrain, concealment, all those things to come around.

The system will be indeed Google Slides, over a slightly modified version of the original AP maps.

Also, take into account a considerable amount of combats will be with little space to move around given a 7 characters party. You would find situations where only a couple of characters will be able to engage the enemy in melee.

Welcome Hayato, the two groups are to form 2 independent groups, atm, who will work together to create a PC group capable of accomplishing the things the GM has mentioned, as well as stay together for 20 levels to see this AP through to the end.

As I understand, the GM will will choose one of our two groups for his campaign and then from the other group pull in 2 additional PC's to complete his 7 for the AP. Building the groups will allow the GM to see how we work together and our group dynamics in responding to adversity, the I didn't get the character concept I want or can you swap that planned trait/skill/feat to cover an area our group is lacking in, kinds of adversity. How we respond to those and other issues creating our party will help him make his final decision.

Joint work between the two groups will be a good thing as well, for we all should get to know each other, so that the 2 who are chosen later will be a known quantity coming to the new party

So far on this side we have possibly ...
a sorcerer
dwarven spellslinger
bard/urban ranger
monk/bard/barbarian/bard again.

Magic looking well covered at first look, healing a bit light, and front liner questionable

edit***and my slow typing bites me again Ranger and Rutseg already answered my comments :)

Seeing the heavy lean toward magic between the sorcerer and wizard I had backed off of the magus as I don't think it's the best front line option, especially early on, perhaps one of the cleric/cleric archetypes, to assist with the healing and tank a bit???

@ Ken there are two groups (tower & gate)that are building a party for the AP. Only one group is going to be selected to play the AP. 2 people from the group that is not selected will also be chosen to participate in the AP the other 3 are out. So we nee to work together to make a compelling party.

There are a couple of ways to do this: We could link backgrounds, use classes with good synergy/tactics (Hammer, Anvil, Arm), use teamwork feats ect, complementary skills.

An example from my experience, I played in a home-brew with my son. He played a Bloodrager and I played a Skald. He was the damage dealer and I was the buffer. I was also his shield brother so I would use my actions keeping things from hitting him (with feats and traits and aid another). It was really fun. Anyway I think ideas like this will give us an advantage in the selection process. And even if we don't get selected we will have good characters to use some other time.

Ninja'd partially

Charles, Cleric is a good idea, you also might want to look at the Oracle for a little more versatility. (I personally like the oracle archetype for elves from the advanced race guide. There are a lot of different ways you can go with an oracle)

I will also change from bard and build a front liner Urban Ranger[human],or Paladin [probably human or I might go Dwarf and play the stone lord Archetype] (I've never played a paladin and think they get a bad wrap.)

Thanks I'll take a look at it, have glanced at them before but not read up on the class.

Lol. That sounds a bit like a social experiment^^

I´m open to cooperation ideas!
Friends and me once had a homebrew campaign situated in Cheliax where i played the halfling ninja servant of a friend playing a noble inquisitor of iomedae opposed to the government. Was pretty cool.

From the campaign guide a local bard noble looking to become a diva sounds enticing.
If i were to convert to a divine class, oracle or inquisitor would be more of my choice since i think i could play those better than cleric.
Or perhaps a paladin.

How would you proceed with planning that stuff? Someone has probably to start^^
Also do we get to look on the other thread too? Should we just sneak in there?

Xunal - Sorcerer [Half-orc]
Black Dow - (Spellslinger) [Dwarf] or (Alchemist)
CharlesJ - Cleric or (Open) [race?]
Hayato Ken - Unchained Monk (Unch. Rogue, Unch. Barbarian, or Bard)[race?]
Gaming Ranger - Urban Ranger [human] or Paladin [Human or Dwarf]

Looking a lot more balanced Arcane (Sorcerer & Spell slinger), Divine (Cleric & a little from the ranger or paladin), face (Sorcerer or Paladin), scout (monk & ranger [others depending on build], Trap finder(Ranger or Monk?). Thoughts?

The guide says a rogue or someone who can deal with traps might also be very good. Urban ranger can do that though, already good.

Xunal: half orc sorcerer
Black Dow: Dwarven Wizard (Spellslinger)
CharlesJ: Cleric? Oracle?
GamingRanger: Urban Ranger or Paladin, human or dwarf.
HayatoKen: UC Monk, UC Barbarian or bard.

Monk probably human or halfling. Halfing can get really defensive with Crane Style and Cautious Fighter. Might be aquainted with a cleric or paladin.
Barbarian could be a half-orc, kind of a bodyguard of someone?

@Ken I think bard is a great choice for this AP and is a little more versatile then the Monk or a paladin will also work well. I think over the next two days we should be solid on what we want to play (or at least what role we would like to fill) (I'll decide last and fill in the gaps if needed, but for now I start looking at the urban ranger/paladin)

I think it would be easy to work the monk, paladin and cleric into knowing each other.

Can´t disarm traps with a monk or barbarian really^^ Only find them.
So either Gaming Ranger playing Urban Ranger or me UC rogue could take care of that.

With the monk i could take a level of cleric too.
That provides several benefits:
-tie in with a local church
-aid further with minor healing
-flurry with a local weapon used by the deity with crusaders flurry
It´s only an option though.

Party looks indeed a lot more balanced!

Yup yup we can work on that.
I´m very fine with any of those 3 classes.
There´s also the possibility of combining UC rogue with either monk or barbarian. Both makes sense and offers fun opportunities for roleplay as well as a solution for the trapfinding.
I´m happy to adapt there.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

@Hayato - By all means, feel free to peek at the Tower thread if you like. As you can see we're not quite as decided on what everyone wants to play yet but we're getting there :)

For quick reference, so far it looks like Tower is looking at possibly:

Gnome flame oracle
Dwarven ratcatcher...so maybe a rogue type or some sort of ranger?
Probably a bard of some sort...though inquisitor/cleric or wizard are also possible from this player

Last two (which includes myself) aren't quite sure yet. Like Black Dow I'd thought about an alchemist but I'll probably come up with something else. I'd also thought about maybe a paladin or a monk...but we'll see :)

Liberty's Edge

Evening! A tip of the hat to you all as we move forward on both sides of the coin. Really cool to see the creative process in action. Considering the two-week window, it should be really fun to see the discussions unfold!

Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map
Hayato Ken wrote:
Lol. That sounds a bit like a social experiment^^

I kind of felt I wanted to try a different method of creating a party after seeing how many games fail to engage its members with each other and the campaign. So yeah, this is much of an experiment. It would be great to summarize its pros and cons at some point so we can share our experience with the rest of the forum users.

It was important for me to see how do you deal taking decisions as a group. I really have no idea on what are the better options on how to manage the party creation, but so far I feel you are dealing with it satisfactory.

Let's see what do we get from all this :)

@ CharlesJ here is a link to an Oracle Guide that migh help.

@Xunal what direction are you taking your sorcerer? how are you going to work half-orc into your background?

@Rutseg: I can see where you are coming from there.
The party creation process for PbP is a pain mostly i think.
Everyone applying with a set PC and story, then a day or two later someone else comes in with a similar PC and story, only a bit better and tailored to accomodate some other PC a bit. It´s often essentially idea stealing and overbidding with cheap tie-ins in my eyes^^
Then sometimes it plays a role who already knows whom, so that is a factor too, since then people will often cooperate in private with stories etc, what not everybody else might do.
Might be good for a GM, but kinda bad to a lot of other players then.
Taking a look at decision making is a good notion though as well as creating the characters together. I like that idea.

For oracle heavens mystery might be good, provides plenty of options.
Desna seems to lend herself well there as a connection.

Serpentine was always one of my favorite sorcerer bloodlines^^
That way it´s possible to get some controll spells, some blasting and buffing.

Only ideas though!

As of cool items, if playing a monk i have 3 ideas there, all of them really nice and coming in one by one later.
The first would apply to the sorcerer/wizard/arcane caster and involve buying him a runestone of power and if needed a page of spell knowledge for mage armor. It´s more expensive than a wand, but eventually makes that tap once an hour unnecessary.
The other two cost less but i keep them to myself yet^^

@Lady Ladile: Hi! Thanks for linking, i´ll says hello and take a look.

Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Regarding divine casters

There are good opportunities for clerics of Abadar, Serenrae, Gorum and Pharasma to tie up with Cauldron society (have a look at the Cauldron at a glance section for each of those churches). The church will be involved in some of the events of the book. Also the capacity to prepare divinations and other non combat spells will come handy during down-time when interaction with other citizens and research will be relevant.

If you decide to go instead for oracle, you will find better roleplaying opportunities through the campaign if you follow the line of the 'dream hunted' or 'scarred soul' traits, or even the 'touched in the head'. If interested on things related to the Heaven or the Abyss I can also help you set a good background that will relate to the campaign.

I´ll also add that the monk monk can be a very decent switch hitter with shurikens that only gets better at later levels.
I see that two people in the tower discussion are taking up on monk and barbarian ideas though.

Regarding campaign traits, i´m contemplating them.
With the monk, i would be interested in taking a level of cleric, so that might be a good join in too. I don´t necessarily see the monk as an asian flavored class there either.
Abadar, Sarenrae, Gorum and Pharasma make all good sense for that i think.

Ken I like the switch hitter point you made roll with it! A dip in cleric could be useful.

Male Hairy Highlander Halfbreed Barbarian 9/King O' The North 5/Staffy Dad 7

I'm still musing on my character pitches. I've pretty much swerved the alchemist (I'll leave that for another time) and am humming and heying over The dwarven spellslinger.

Like the wizard in notion - but not "feeling" the class as it were. Last wizard I played was a cannibalistic bloat mage who skinned folk for scroll materials. That's typically my type of wizard lol.

Fighter (Drill Sergeant) also has potential - would be taking the City Guard campaign trait.

(know I'm not covering myself in glory here re: ideas, but I'm waiting for that lightbulb inspiration moment...)

Ha just PM'd you. Drill sergeant is an excellent choice but i think it is from the melee tactics tool box and isn't on the approved list. So the GM would have to approve it.

Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Powder and firearms

They will be something extremely rare on the setting. My idea is this technological development will be something new the gnomes and dwarves of the area have developed in the last decades. Gnomes would have developed the powder creation, while dwarves had got access to the minerals and the forges needed to smith muskets and similar firearms (the technology available would be the kind you find in 'The Three Musketeers' rather than westerns with pistols, revolvers, rifles...)

If you chose 'dwarf' you could have been born and grown in the Malachite Fortress. A dwarven stronghold were dwarfs would have been easily in contact with gnome experiments. That might be a good fit for your character to get in contact with the technology. Later on, he could have left the dwarven caverns to study magic in the Bluecrater Academy or with some mentor of your interest. The reason to combine powder and magic I am sure it comes natural by plenty of different reasons.

I hope you can find inspiration on these lines.

Following along with the discussion unfortunately work 'prohibits' Paizo site for the gaming tag on it. Will chime in better this evening.

Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 1 / Sorcerer 8 (Crossblooded) (CL 10) | HP: 56/56 | AC: 20 (14 Tch, 18 Fl) | CMB: +7, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +5, W: +7 | Init: +2 | Perc: +13, SM: +6 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 6/6 | Spells: 1st 6/6, 2nd 4/4, 3rd 2/2 | Active conditions: Sickened, Hero Points: 1

Hi, All.

It are I, "Xunal" again. A.K.A. Junaal, the Half-Orc Crossblooded sorcerer. With the Black Draconic and Shaitan bloodlines. Just to make things interesting. With the ambition of becoming particularly good at being a caustic (acid energy damage) blasty type in future

Haven't quite got everything in the profile done. But I have finished the number crunching bits. Hopefully without errors; using Hero Lab to help keep track of my characters.

Looking forward to seeing how things go!

Rutseg wrote:

Regarding divine casters

There are good opportunities for clerics of Abadar, Serenrae, Gorum and Pharasma to tie up with Cauldron society (have a look at the Cauldron at a glance section for each of those churches). The church will be involved in some of the events of the book. Also the capacity to prepare divinations and other non combat spells will come handy during down-time when interaction with other citizens and research will be relevant.

If you decide to go instead for oracle, you will find better roleplaying opportunities through the campaign if you follow the line of the 'dream hunted' or 'scarred soul' traits, or even the 'touched in the head'. If interested on things related to the Heaven or the Abyss I can also help you set a good background that will relate to the campaign.

Thank you reviewing both right now.

With Ken looking at a dip in cleric will that present any future problems group wise if I go straight up cleric? Looking to be a bit of both between the frontline and the ranged spell casters; more battle cleric than heal bot.

Ranger what are you leaning towards more the Paladin or Urban Ranger?

I don´t foresee any problems there unless potentially having different deities and serving different churches will cause in campaign problems at some point.

Should i take that level of cleric, it´s also likely to be of the crusader archetype and either 1 or 4 levels.

Most probably it´s more like a chance to tie characters together i think.

So with the monk i´m looking at two options right now:

-one with high AC from the start which will need several levels of multiclass to mage decent melee damage, will have a good ranged hit but less damage probably. Later very high AC. Cleric level unlikely.

-the other with less AC but right from the start decent damage. Needs several levels to get good with ranged hitting but also higher damage there.

Nearly the same can be done with a barbarian.

It looks like Dow is leaning towards a frontliner so I am going for the versatility of a bard played as a front liner. Here is what I have so far for background, Appearance, and personality. I will start on a build once Dow is solid. Alternatively I could still use this background if I need to change to a fighter or Urban Ranger. I also am taking the city guard trait.

This is still rough but I wanted to get it out there so you give me some input as my weekend will be taken up with family. (going winter camping with my son)

Anyway thoughts? Ideas?

Name: Valkor
Class: Bard (not sure if I am going with an archetype yet)
Race: Human


It is a little after noon inside Orak’s Bathhouse as Valkor soaks in the stout wooden tub relaxing, the warm water soothing the knots in his back. Another long patrol, he reflects as he begins to drift off, his mind wandering and reflecting on his life.

Valkor is a native of Cauldron and was raised by his parents Jymos and Mara and spent his youth running around the streets of the city. He had a largely normal childhood, his father was a Corporal in the Town Guard while his mother was servant who cleaned the floors of the Blue Crater Academy. With his father working nights Valkor spent many hours sitting in the library of the Academy reading a books while his mother cleaned the floors.

His life was forever changed nine years ago when his father was assassinated by a traitor named Triel. His family struggled along and a few years ago Valkor followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the town guard.

Awakened by the cooling water Valkor admonishes himself, pay attention you don't want to drown. He starts humming as he begins scrubbing his weary feet. Over the next several minutes Valkor quietly finishes his ablutions and gets out of the cooling tub. He stands their naked for a few seconds and lets the water run off his well-muscled body onto the cold stone floor before he grabs a towel to dry himself off with.


When Valkor finishes dressing he observes himself in the dusty mirror of the bathhouse and smiles at his likeness. It is a contagious grin that made it hard for people to be angry at him. Valkor mused that while he was 20 years old his reflection looked younger and carefree. You would never guess I just spent the last twelve hours patrolling the town, Valkor thinks to himself. He stands a little over 6 feet tall and was well muscled like a race horse, broad in the shoulders and narrow at the waist, and he carried himself with an air of confidence and the swagger of a veteran.

As Valkor continued looking at his reflection he notices his eyes, they are the same color as an emerald, but it is more than their color that draws his attention, his gaze appears dancing and alive. His eyes are set in a well-proportioned and lightly tanned face which is framed by wild flowing hair, the color of a fawn’s hide, with a small strip of hair the same color sitting below his lower lip.

Valkor finishes getting dressed by pulling on his chain shirt, strapping on his sword and picking up his shield. Perhaps I’ll stop by the Tipped Tankard before turning in, he considers as he makes his way out of the bathhouse.
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 210lbs
Eyes: Green
Hair: light brown
Age: 20
Occupation: Guardsman
Residence: Town Guard Barracks (Area 6)
Appearance: Valkor stands a little over six feet tall with a lean but well-muscled build, he looks younger than his years and carries himself with carefree manner. He is good looking and lightly tanned with green eyes, which sparkle with mischief and shoulder length light brown hair that always looks askew. His face is clean shaven with a small patch of hair under his lower lip. Valkor is usually clad in a well-made chain shirt with a sword strapped to his side and a shield within easy reach.


Valkor walks into the common room of the Tipped Tankard and sees the familiar faces of several guardsmen scattered around the room. There is a tangible feeling of weariness that fills the room. Must be the disappearances and the extra shifts getting to everyone, Valkor concludes.

He orders an ale and takes a seat with several of the guards. “Howdy mates,” he greets his compatriots as they nod sullenly back at him. He takes a sip of his ale and offers, “All we saw is that damnable rat-catcher skulking about. We couldn’t even catch a cold tonight.”

“We aint had any luck either,” replies a guardsman who is missing his two front teeth.

“Maybe it’s the Morkoth taken all the people,” Valkor says as he winks at one of his tablemates.

There are a couple of muffled laughs but one of the guards interjects, “Ain’t you got no respect,”

Valkor smiles at the man and then replies, “Now friend you might think my brashness is a sign of disrespect but the way I look at is that we are all still alive and should enjoy it while it lasts.” he stands up and raises his mug while he toasts, “To those that are missing, they are not forgotten. We the valent few will not give up hope, we will never relent.” A little louder he concludes, “we will find them!”

A cheer goes up and before you know it there is a jug being passed around as a bawdy song is being sung throughout the tavern.

Valkor is friendly, outgoing, and gregarious by nature. He would rather make a friend then an enemy, however he his quick to defend his friends. He is quick of wit and inquisitive, always looking for the why of everything. Unfortunately his mouth is equally as quick as his wit, which has gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion.

So looking at the tower thread, it seems our ideas here were good inspirations for them and there is plenty of copying going on.
That of course raises some questions and makes one reluctant to communicate more good ideas here directly.
I´m not sure how that should be related to solving problems, but sometimes problems need to be named and that is one.
There´s also the additional effect that if most things get copied, good characters here might not even find a place when to will be pulled over.

I also hope that some members here will become a bit more active so we can have a good planning on synergies and backgrounds!

Gaming Ranger - bard (arcane + support + secondary front line + face)
HayatoKen - UC Monk (melee, ranged, tanky, some skills)
CharlesJ - Cleric (healing, divine, secondary frontline)
Xunal - Sorcerer (arcane + blasting)
Black Dow - Spellslinger wizard or fighter

Xunal, looking over your stuff, you seem to play a lot of sorcerers.
That´s good on the one hand, since you surely have a lot of experience.
On the other hand, the GM said something about diversion.
It could also be very good for our party if you would consider spells and maybe even a bloodline that would give you some diversion and more options than blasting.

BlackDow, i think the wizard spellslinger idea is a good one, especially with the dwarf. Fits perfect into the background it seems. You also had the idea first and a wizard adds more versality.

The only thing we are missing right now is trapfinding and perhaps a bit more ranged. At least ranged can be covered by spells.
Trapfinding is more of a thing probably.
This could be either covered by the bard, what would make us loose a lot, or someone taking a level of rogue, what is probably preferable.

I already have a very flavorfull idea for another character i would also play, in case Black Dow would go with the fighter and take the frontline role. That would be a switchhitter as well^^

So far the character concept is coming along, however the numbers game is driving me a bit crazy.
14 - 13 - 14 - 10 - 16 - 13
Standard order s/d/c/i/w/ch

I have a strong aversion to single digit ability numbers and the negatives they bring ;-).

Took selective channeling which necessitated the 13 Charisma.

As a human I get another feat, suggestions?

With multiple front liners would seem to be a need for a buff style of cleric more than battle cleric. So was thinking the extra channeling feat to bump that a bit more freeing up spell slots for group buffs.

Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Juraan/Xunal I answer here about your wyrm blooded sorcerer post

Wyrm blooded
Perhaps your grandmother had your parent (father or mather) alone after meeting with a charming stranger. You might have had a pleasant life in an accommodated family or perhaps a rough one among the poorest in Cauldron, but at some point during your adolescence your temper became difficult to temper. You loved and tried to help with passion but ultimately became frustrated with ease upon failure. Your powers might have showed upon the emotions of one of that failures, perhaps you were rejected by someone you were in love, refused training, or the townguard refused your help on some business.

Either Jenya Urikas (second hand at Abadar temple), Gretchyn Tashykk (headmistress of the Lantern Street Orphanage) or other caring figure might have taken care of your impulses as a mentor, helping you to sooth your temper.

Your hook for the adventure might be you have been looking for the opportunity to demonstrate your powers can be useful for Cauldron.

About the crossblooded mechanics:

Although I see were are you trying to go to obtain a better damage output, the crossblooded is a very strong toll. Sorcerers already lack flexibility due to the reduced number of known spells they have. Taking one less per spell level tends to reduce your role to combat. That might be fine in a dungeon crawl, but in this campaign you might find plenty of events where your character abilities might have little to offer then. I do not know if you are already ok with that, but here I have some optional ideas you might like to consider:

- Perhaps you can avoid the need of the Shaitan bloodline and thus the crossblooded archetype by using elemental rods (the lesser one are 3000gp and allows you 3 blasts per day) or the Elemental Spell feat itself (perhaps combined by the magical linage trait?) to cast acid spells.

- Another option is to go for red dragon instead (as there are more fire spells) and profit the synergy of the half-orc favoured class option (Add +1/2 point of fire damage to spells that deal fire damage cast by the sorcerer). Although the bonus is not brilliant.

- If you really want the crossbloded idea, I would suggest then to go human instead of half-orc, because you can add extra known spells at each level, which compensates for the crossbloded reduction. That and some Page of Spell Knowledge and use of other magical objects might bring you enough flexibility to better support the party on broader situations and enjoy your character.

Yet you might already have considered all this and you feel ok with the focus on combat. Sorry in that case, just wanting to help for you to enjoy the character through all the AP :)

Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

I am conscious you have not written about background and motivations yet but because you have been talking about monk for a time I will post this here even if it was Lady Ladile who touched this string

Order of the Silver Dream
This order is composed of lawful-good monks. It was created centuries ago by an elf in an attempt to fight against the spawning numbers of undeads serving a necromancer named Kyuss. After the menace was gone, the order saw its decline, and has reached to nowadays more as a legend than real history. You might take this as history and facts or legend and myth, or you might know little to no word about the order history.

You might be one of the last monks ordered by the Silver Dream to come to the Cauldron on the watch for undead and ever since lost contact or interest due to the lack of undead to combat so far. Or perhaps it is your mentor who was send here, you might follow him out based on faith of his words or just listen to him without paying much attention to the crazy chattering and old legend tales of the old man/woman, instead just interested on his teachings for your pursue of combat power or just because the oldy took you from a poverty or solitary life and offered you some dignity and a way of living.

Hey all just checking in, I have responded to the PM's everyone has sent Great ideas! Thanks for the build advice. I gave dow a couple of suggestions for brainstorming. Hopefully it helps him get some traction.

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Male Hairy Highlander Halfbreed Barbarian 9/King O' The North 5/Staffy Dad 7

+1 on the PMs - real help :)

Hi All - at work and busy organising oilfield shenanigans so time is limited.

I'm not 100% sold on either the spellslinger or a front liner. Front liners are typically my default, but wanted to run with something different - hence the spellslinger.

Aw hell - let's get this portion of our party started!

Put me down for the wizard since its garnering quite a bit of support from both GM and fellow Gateites :)

Will give Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven and True Grit a watch for inspiration :)

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