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

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Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; 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!

Liberty's Edge

Hi everyone!

Firstly, I just wanted to say congratulations to everyone who made it through to this stage. I knew several of those who registered their interest and checked out the aliases of a good deal more and it seems without exception everyone was a strong roleplayer and frequent poster so I think we have all done really well getting to this point.

Thanks as well to Rutseg for this unique means of recruitment and the opportunity to play in what promises to be an exceptional game.

That said, the next stage has only just begun so I thought I would get the ball rolling by posting here in Tower simply to start some of the picks going.

I have sent a few PM's asking if others would like to join me so I hope to see you all here and we can start throwing some concepts around.

Hey everyone,

Checking in on Tower. I'd like to echo Jams words, Thanking Rutseg(really appreciate vote of confidence) and congratulating everyone who made it through.

Now comes the exciting part forming groups and getting a party ready, I sent a few PM's out also seeing how interested everyone is.

I look forward to building a team and having a lots of discussions!

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

*peeks in*

Got the memo and I'm checking in! Like JZ and Ictoo have said, thank you very much for the selection and congratulations to everyone else! I'm looking forward to working with everyone to create a great team :)

Liberty's Edge

Hello, all! Glad to see several folks already sniffing around. I'm sure we're all eager to create together, so I'll rest my hat on this side of the fence, if you'll have me. One more, eh...?

Female human Druid (worldwalker)

Hi all. Neat to be here. I'm frankly a little humbled by the post count a lot of you have. Well, that goes for many of those who applied.

Looks like we have our group, nice to have you all aboard!

We have two weeks, that should give us plenty of time to talk out how we would like to see the party and add on all the fun bits in how we know each other and spice it all up.

How about we all post a few concepts or even just classes/race combos you would like to play? try and get the ball rolling.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

*waves to Gov & Aer* Hi, welcome aboard!

Regarding character concepts, I've kicked around a couple but I'm fairly flexible depending on whether or not anyone else has a concept or a class that they're dying to play. Or not play, as the case may be.

For my part, I tend to gravitate towards caster classes but I've also made it a bit of a personal goal to at least try every class eventually so if other people have a pretty good idea or two on what they'd like to play, I'm happy to fill in the gaps if need be.

Something to keep in mind is that even though the final group will have two PCs added to their ranks, we should still try to plan as though it were just us five forever and always...which means we'd probably want a healer, a trapfinder, some arcane power, etc.

Female human Druid (worldwalker)

This post is a bit of a train of thought.. so don't expect it to be terribly consistent!

It'll be a large group, so on mechanical basis support classes will get more use than normal. Making Bard a good option.

At the moment I'm re-reading the AP guide and looking through the city traits. The Taint of Heaven one kind of jumps out at me, but I also like roguish characters so City Scoundrel is whispering to me too.

Another way I'm thinking is some type of oracle - maybe Flames given the volcanic region. Actually that sounds kind of cool. It could go well with a misted vision curse (seeing smoke everywhere).

Time to go back and look at those community traits again.

Question for our esteemed GM: Assimar, acceptable race? What about the sub races, in particular either angelkin or emberkin?

Liberty's Edge

I get what you're saying about post count, Aer - but I think we all have something unique to bring to the table whether we have posted 10k times or 1k. Speaking for myself and having had a little time to go through some of the posts and aliases you guys have, I am really happy with this group :)

Echoing what Ictoo has brought up, does anyone have any concepts that immediately came to mind for this game?

EDIT: Aer got in before I submitted this post with a cool concept of a flames oracle. I also fully agree with what you say about support classes - especially given that we won't be summoning very much if at all.

Liberty's Edge

I share Lady Ladile's personal goal of spreading my character classes out. I'm flexible as well. I'd like to process the Player's Guide a little more, then chirp about character concepts and possible intertwining backstories. More in a bit :)

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Well, some random ideas I'd kicked around earlier:

Halfling Oracle, may or may not have the Life mystery with a tie to the Lantern Street Orphange, possibly with the Community Guardian archetype.

Human Monk, maybe an amalgamation of the Drunken Master & Sensei archetypes. Definitely a bit of a comedic angle to this one though she'd have her serious moments too.

Half-Elf Alchemist, maybe with the Bramble Brewer & Chirurgeon archetypes that acts as a backup healer and skill/control support. Possibly tied to the Striders somehow?

Gnome Bard, possibly with the Street Performer archetype. All the face skills for days with that one.

Maybe a paladin, though I'd have to do a lot more thinking on that since I haven't played one before.

I've already got two inquisitors, a ranger, and a witch active in other games as well as a PFS cleric so I'll probably shy away from using any of those classes unless we need one. (Inquisitors and witches are definitely awesome though).

I could probably come up with a concept for a sorcerer or wizard too.

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

Greetings All. Apologies if I'm late to the party - just in from work here in Bonnie Scotland, so may be out of synch on the global clock with any US based members of our lucky few.

Governable reached out through PM (much appreciated by the way :) and I'm looking forward to crafting first a Grade-A group of characters and adding colour and flavour to Rutseg's game.

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.

One of the great opportunities which Governayle touches on is to potentially explore connected or linked backgrounds/histories of characters, and conversely through open discussion avoid us all being "demon-touched loner orphans" etc.

Looking forward to discussing and creating with all of you :)

EDIT: Hahah. Post Ninja'ing strikes already - in the time it took me to compose my post Lady Ladile beat me to the Alchemist punch... Great minds and all that :)

Liberty's Edge

Afternoon/Evening Black Dow!

As quickly as the announcement was made, arrangements came together quickly, and I think we've hit our max capacity in the Tower for all the planning purposes in the next two weeks.

I love your enthusiasm! I think keeping in touch on both sides of the tables is going to be key to assembling 'the seven'.

It appears that the Tower occupants are: Ictoo, Jamzilla, Lady Ladile, Aer, and Governayle

and the Gate occupants to be: Black Dow, Xunal, Gaming Ranger, CharlesJ, and Hayato Ken.

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Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

*waves at Black Dow*

I'm afraid Gov is right, I think we're already at max capacity on this side of things :(

On the other hand, you don't have to worry about trying to decide which of us might get to play an alchemist? ;)

Seriously though, I think it'd be great to play with any of the folks selected and I'll probably peek in on the Gate thread too just to see what people come up with!

Though that does bring up an interesting question. Once the two PCs are chosen to join the group of five, will they also get some time to possibly plan and adjust characters if needed? Mainly thinking in the event that you end up with two PCs with very similar characters in the final batch; not so much background similarities but more mechanical ones in this case.

Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

I will allow small readjustments once the final 7 are chosen ;)

Although I do not forbid them and you might succeed to convince me you have something cool that fits well the campaign, I think it is fair that you know I do not specially like the alchemist class. Mainly because of the bombs feature and capacity to become melee aberrations. But yet I might be influenced with the fact people in my city that play this class and those I have shared PbP have a style of playing I do not like.

I think it is not because of the 'powder' idea itself, because I find gunslingers very iconic. Perhaps because I like westerns. Who knows ^_^

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

No probs GM Rutseg - its more Alchemists are a class I've not played, but will muse my options... over in the Gate ;)

Liberty's Edge

Hey Black Dow, awesome to hear from the Gate table. We are just starting to kick around some ideas over here but it's likely to be a collaborative process across both for us to fill all 7 slots.

Really like the alchemist idea and I have found they can be excellent meat shields and strikers if built toward that although it sounds like Rutseg will need some convincing!

I'm pretty easy on concepts for myself. I rarely play melee guys but absolutely not opposed to that although I don't care much for fighters, I prefer the options that spellcasting brings so even when building a melee warrior I gravitate toward 3/4 BAB classes like Inquisitor (although never played one).

At the moment I am feeling Bard quite strongly but whether that's a standard, arcane duelist for a little more combat ability or an archaeologist for excellent trapfinding and knowledges I'm not sure. On the other hand, I love wizards - they have always been my favourite class and I haven't played one for a while.

So in terms of classes those are my top picks; Inquisitor/Cleric, Bard or Wizard.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Fair enough! Admittedly alchemist is a class I have yet to play and would like to try out at some point, but it's not a concept that I'm married to either. Truth be told, I do like the bomb aspect since the discoveries allow you some leeway on the sort of damage you do as well as allow you to create condition effects like entanglement or fog cloud. On the other hand, I've never had much interest in the 'Hulk out and be a melee beatstick' aspect that I see some alchemists follow using their mutagens.

In any case, I'll put that on the back burner for now until more folks have a chance to post their ideas :)

Liberty's Edge

I'm gravitating towards a dwarven ratcatcher, and all that implies.

Aer i really like your oracle of flames idea, fits very well as you said because of where Cauldron is situated.

I share the same sentiment with you too Lady, we should build our five to be a well rounded group and if two join us we'll fine covered no matter.

I'm still digesting the player's guide. While i really love the Slayer class it bring skills and track finding, we don't have access it it so i may go rogue for trapfinding but there's also the bard archetype. At the end i'm happy to fill in what we need, tomorrow in work i'll play around with a few character concepts.

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

Fair enough! Admittedly alchemist is a class I have yet to play and would like to try out at some point, but it's not a concept that I'm married to either. Truth be told, I do like the bomb aspect since the discoveries allow you some leeway on the sort of damage you do as well as allow you to create condition effects like entanglement or fog cloud. On the other hand, I've never had much interest in the 'Hulk out and be a melee beatstick' aspect that I see some alchemists follow using their mutagens.

In any case, I'll put that on the back burner for now until more folks have a chance to post their ideas :)

Interesting - the bombs element of the alchemist isn't one that really excites, but have always been quite intrigued by the psycho-theatre of Jekyll and Hyde, Banner and Hulk etc... However might not be the game to explore those themes...

Have also got a dwarven wizard (spell-slinger) turning the cogs.

See you all on the other side :)

Appears it was a bad day to be understaffed at work. Congrats all on your selection. Sounds as if you have several good ideas brewing already, off to see what we are coming up with.

Governayle, thanks for reaching out earlier today.

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Hey all just dropping by from the gate to say hi and good luck. (Gov. can't wait to see the rat catcher!)

Female human Druid (worldwalker)

Thinking a bit more about the flames oracle, I'm thinking more about gnomes mostly because they seem quite central to the town and often they are over looked. So this is a chance to be a gnome and actually fit in well.

That would lead towards the Local Gnome trait.
He, She.. hmm.. we'll find out more later.. may be a church member, but I'm seeing them as more of an independent servant of the volcano.

ohh... just checked out alternate racial features, pyromaniac for a gnome - that would be fitting. I might swap out for gift of tongues too, then he can also act as a face for the party.

I also love your idea of a rat catcher, I played a ranger with favored enemy (vermin) in a survival game on another site. He was a blast.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Both the gnome flame oracle and the dwarven ratcatcher sound cool! Looking forward to seeing more :)

Female human Druid (worldwalker)

Checking things out a bit. Depending on how the rat-catcher goes (ranger or rogue) we may be short on disable device skill. There is an archetype (seeker) that replaces the oracles bonus skills from their mystery with the ability to disable devices as a rogue.

If we have the ability to find and disable traps without it, then that would be best, but I'd be happy to take it on if we are short of trap finding without it.

@GM - this is from the PFS Field Guide, not one of your listed allowable sources. A tinkering gnome has been pretty cannon since Kryn :-) Of course with seven characters the chance that nobody has a rogue or someone with a legal archtype that lets you find/disable traps is probably low.

Seeker Oracle Archetype.

Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

I would prefer to keep Sources consistent, but I am open to discuss this once the final 7 party is selected. If we see some feature like trapfinding is still missing I will certainly be open to this kind of solutions.

The other way around also. If we find two people have chosen archetypes to get trapfinding, we can rethink that decision.

Liberty's Edge

Without swaying my fellow Tower folk on their class decisions too much, I'm picturing the ratcatcher as a front-liner, so he'll be neither ranger, nor rogue, at least not to start. Multiclassing is wonderful skeleton for deeper characters, so I'd be looking down this long, long road with the possibility of dipping into other classes for some polish.

Liberty's Edge

A few concepts are stirring away as I sit here on the bus home from work! More to follow once I get home although I'm liking the sound of this rat catcher more and more

Long day in work... Didn't get any time to think this over.

Thought i'd just update us all a little on what we have so far.

Aer - Oracle of flames
Gov - dwarven ratcatcher(Frontliner)
Jam - Inquisitor/Cleric, Bard or Wizard.
Lady - undecided?
Me - I'm still undecided, we might need alittle more power upfront so an unchained barbarian(Gov might have this covered now?) Although i have been leaning towards archer. Rutseg how do you feel about the hybrid classes? More as to just the slayer in general?

I'd love to see what people think so far, if we're lacking anything i'm happy to try and cover.

If we get our classes locked down we can all start on the fun part of bringing them to life and figuring out if we know each other. I have some interesting ideas for this.

Ninja... never write posts while also working.

Liberty's Edge

So I've had a couple of concepts rattling around. Here is the first one, I'd be really glad to have your input because I'm really just going to scribble this down quickly as I think about it;

Inquisitor or Cleric

Melee front-liner. As a 3/4 class, this character would likely be a secondary front-liner until judgements/domain powers/spells came online.

I am thinking Dwarf. This is largely because I would like this character to have lived through and been a contributor in some of the significant events in Cauldron's recent history.

He would have been an acolyte in the Church of Abadar 32 years ago when the Floods came and the Flood Festival began. Since then he will have been a trained paladin of Abadar; an unshakeable, unquestioning warrior of the God of Wisdom, Truth and Law.

Basically for his entire adult life he was a faithful servant of Abadar, helping to care for the sick, deal with the bodies and so on during the Plague 7 years ago.

However, within the last year something will have happened to completely shatter his faith in Abadar. I think the most interesting thing might be his personal involvement in the arrest of a villain only for them to escape/be released on a technicality and then return to cause great harm to this character - likely murdering a loved one.

Despite having given his entire adult life to the God of Law, in the one moment where fairness and justice mattered most to him he felt abandoned and too weak to defend the person he lost. Overnight his faith was shattered and he realised it is only in the raw strength and call to action that Gorum preaches that he could find a way again. He abandoned his calling as a paladin and instead has become an Inquisitor/Cleric of Gorum.

He will be bitter; but determined to visit a more 'decisive' form of justice on the villains in Cauldron and have a hateful relationship with the Church of Abadar.

Cauldron faithful seems like the most fitting campaign trait for this character.

Roleplaying options

This guy will be angry and resentful about what has happened. But the perpetrator is still out there (and it might be a great hook if that person was an NPC villain from later in the book). He is determined and forthright and although he is on the surface intimidating and prone to growling anger I don't want him to be one-dimensional. I can imagine quite clearly scenes where he becomes emotional at the sight of things/places/people that were dear to his loved one.

I thought it would be interesting that someone else had been affected by the plague 7 years ago, maybe my character was a beacon of hope for them at that point - prayed with them, supported them and so on and now if they meet him again years later and see the dark, gloomy individual he has become it might serve for some nice RP scenes. Maybe he can find peace again? Maybe he can find justice for his loved one?


So that's my first thoughts. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can make this guy a little more layered or interesting or anything else I haven't thought of?

I like that a lot Jam, I've always like the idea of say a fighter pretending to play a paladin as if he just wasn't good enough~(or even fell).

I've been reading through the player's guide, still thinking over a few ideas. But one i have is a ranger(archer-slayer is out) the guide talks about the players getting involved in a series of disappearances. I was going loosely with my son having been one of the first to disappear putting a strain on my wife and I. Leading us to split up.. with it being me cheating on her/her on me or something big that would end it and my all consuming need to find out what happened to him(all this could link me to another PC).

The ranger would take the Urban ranger archetype, that would give us trapfinding and take me away from the whole nature aspect of a ranger. I'd have to look up my options at getting rid of my animal companion.


I have a few others but i want to tweak them a bit first before showing them.

Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Church of Abadar
It can be overcome with a bit of good will from everybody, but making your character a hater of St. Cuthbert (Abadar) might be problematic during the initial adventures.

Being a dwarf, you can build up your lose around Zenith's Splintershield crazy crusade against the Darklands. You could be deceived by your church when they did not support the dwarven hero in his crusade and ultimately disappeared. Or you can blame him for the lost of a loved one that left following the ideas of the dwarf.

You could have had the faith crisis when your church did not support the anti-flood program and your loved one was claimed by the waters (or perhaps you trust in the legend there is a monster in the lake that claimed your relative). This works best if you come to Abadar rather than hate it, because they are the only ones really placing resources to overcome the floods.

Other crisis might be denial of attending a war against goblin raids that claimed the life of your one (Gorum), denial to resurrect an assassinated loved one by a campaign villain (Pharasma) or denial to heal him/her (Serenrae).

I can try to look for more inspirational ideas if none of these ones bring anything striking to your appeal.

Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

It seems an interesting idea. You can be related to the town watch (urban archetype fits well there), or be a shop keeper/artisan (perhaps a fletcher to relate to the archer side), perhaps even a civil servant as a postman, trash collector or any other profession that gives great knowledge of the city territory. If you do not get into the town watch, you can explain your weapon training by being a member of an informal city militia, or part of your past life as a soldier or family training.

It will fit very well for you to start the AP looking for your child, only thing is the disappearances have happened just since 7 days ago or so (although you would only know about the one of your child). Thus, the relationship break with your wife might be still not that advanced.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Looks like good ideas from both JZ and Ictoo!

I'd kicked around ideas for both a monk and a gunslinger, but it's sounding like we might actually need some sort of arcane in the group, yes? The Gate group looks like it'll have a sorcerer but so far that seems to be about it.

*edit* I'll be thinking about a sorcerer or wizard, though I'm leaning sorcerer since I prefer spontaneous casters to prepared ones. Or maybe a bard as a pseudo-arcane, hehe.

Liberty's Edge

Lady Ladille, what is your preference? I thought you had a Life Oracle you has been looking to play for a while? Or did I get that wrong?

I fully agree on the lack of arcane and I'm working on a wizard to help with that. I think at this stage if people have multiple concepts it's worth exploring them as a group and coming up with something cohesive together

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Sorry, this is where analysis paralysis comes into play - even with the sources more limited than they would normally be, haha! You're right that I've had a Life Oracle in mind that I wouldn't mind playing, same for a couple of other concepts. Maybe it would just be easier if I fleshed out a few of them here for everyone and we figure out what works best? I can do that :)

Liberty's Edge

Ratcatcher's a slightly-in-the-dark paladin. He revels in his trade, lowering the vermin population with gusto. It allows him to meet many, different people of the city without the affectation of holier-than-thou. He's starting to come together quite nicely between my ears.

Depending on the circles to which Aer's Oracle keeps, I can easily see overlap by the divines here.

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Thanks for the advice Rutseg still combing over the player's guide. I was leaning to something of an artisan, i like that idea and my involvement in the militia.

I didn't realise it was only 7 days but that's fine, Having the wife in the picture could be too much baggage that could keep me away from the group, so i'll fiddle with that.

Very interesting Gov didn't see him as a paladin at all but can't wait to see what you show us. Does that mean I shouldn't go ratfolk :P

Just dropping in to say hello^^

Lots of interesting ideas floating around here as well.

Female human Druid (worldwalker)

I'm not totally sold on the flame oracle, especially if LL would like to play a life oracle (which are real fun!).

It sounds like Jam may want to play a cleric anyway, in which case while flame oracle is a bit of a blaster, there would be better alternatives for party balance.

To recap where folk are:
Aer -possible flame oracle
Gov - dwarven paladin/rat catcher
Jam - Cleric ? or maybe bard
Lady - spontaneous caster, either sorcerer or oracle
Ictoo - ranger

Ictoo could easily cover the stealth side, so if either Jam wanted to play a cleric, or Lady an oracle I could swap over to either a bard (tavern singer type, again social focus probably) or a pure wizard. On the pure damage dealing front, even a rogue would fit the bill, but maybe overlap a little too much with the ranger.

The players guide has an academy that she could have been a student at.

On the flames front, I've put a skeleton character together on this alias, but as noted am not 100% sold on it yet. Just because I posted 'oracle' first doesn't mean nobody else should get a chance at being one.

Concept two
Of course having a firm alternative is much more helpful, so let me introduce to you 'Concept two' - Who I'll call JJ for the moment.

JJ grew up in the Lantern Street orphanage. He's always felt a little... different. In spire of the care that Gretchyn Tashykk took of him he never really settled into life there. He was the one who would sneak out the window and walk the streets. If someone had been stealing apples from the neighbors backyard, it was JJ.

He was always polite, and generally when confronted with his crimes would own up and take his punishment. But it never stopped him doing them.

Aside from petty larceny he has a kind heart, always looking out for the other orphans and stray animals. He often finds hurt animals and cares for them, nursing them back to health with remarkable ease.. a gift he has used on injured orphans more than once as well.

Once he was too old to stay (perhaps very recently) he has found 'work' as a mime for the laugh, but doesn't really like their more brutal approach to thievery. He's been thinking of setting himself up as a second story man, but now he is come of age is a little worried about what might happen if he gets caught without the protection of the orphanage.

- Class Rogue - at least initially
- Trait - I'm looking at Heavens Taint, but there are a few other options open.
- Role - Scout, stealth, maybe contacts into the less desirable side of cauldron.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Okay, here are some various concepts I've come up with. I tried to at least give each some idea on personality/motivation, and ideas on how they'd fit into Cauldron. Spoilered largely for length and listed in no particular order of preference...

The Oracle:
A halfling oracle who lost her entire family (parents, grandparents, and a younger brother) to the filth fever plague 7 years ago. She survived but this was when her strange powers manifested themselves. Neither she nor anyone else has an idea of why or where they came from. She's lived in the Lantern Street Orphanage ever since and therefore would know Gretchen Tashykk.

I could see her either taking the Life mystery or the Ancestors mystery. If she goes Life, she'd probably be a Community Guardian with the Scarred Soul trait and Clouded Vision curse. A good-natured healer, but very jumpy and nervous. She'd prefer to avoid fighting whenever possible.

If she went Ancestors, then she'd probably be a little more cuckoo with the Possessed Oracle archetype (possessed by her dead family/ancestors, perhaps?). She'd have to either have the Haunted or Tongues curse and she'd definitely take the Touched in the Head trait, hehe. Still a good person, but slightly unhinged by losing her family.

The Monk:
A human monk from the Order of the Silver Dream, sent to Cauldron to keep watch on the area. Although surprisingly wise for her age, she doesn’t have a lot of use for the stuffiness and quiet of her home monastery, preferring to live in the world and learn from it. This and her taste for strong drink are a large part of why she’s in Cauldron – the Silver Dream basically wanted to get rid of her.

Though I’m not entirely sure of what this would produce from a mechanical standpoint, I see her being sort of a Kwai Chang Caine sort. She’s wise and more than happy to share her insights and observations to help others (Sensei archetype) but she also enjoys her drink and is willing to kick some tail when push comes to shove (Drunken Master archetype). It seems like either the City Beggar or Lucky Monkey Employee traits would suit this character best. Monk or no, she has to eat and she would prefer to mingle among the average citizen because you can learn a lot about the lay of the land and the pulse of a city that way.

The Alchemist:
A half-elven alchemist who has an interest in studying ways that alchemy can be used to the benefit of the town guards as a means to aid them in battle and subdue criminals and other enemies without necessarily killing them outright (and causing a lot of property damage in the process).

I’m thinking either the Town Guard or Bluecrater Student traits would be appropriate here. The Bluecrater Student would be fitting for obvious reasons considering that I see this character engaging in a lot of alchemical research, but the Town Guard trait could provide a little more insight into the character; perhaps a human parent or relative (or relatives) are part of the town guard and her research is largely done in an effort to make their lives easier and less dangerous. Possibly friend of Terseon Skellerang or one of the assassinated guards?

Personality…hmm. Once again, basically a good person but I actually see this character having some degree of mixed feelings regarding more ‘traditional’ magic and faith-based healing. Although she recognizes that true wizardry and the power of the gods have their places and can be incredibly useful things, they can often be out of reach of the average person. Alchemy is easier to teach and doesn’t necessarily require any innate talent or years of study and can be put to use in situations where it’s not possible or practical to have a wizard or a cleric on hand to help out.

The Gunslinger…or is it Wizard?:
I was thinking of gunslinger on my own, but I admittedly like the idea from the Gate thread that someone had for a Spellslinger wizard and might snag the basic idea as a concept if they decide to go with something else (and with their permission). Originally thinking a half-elf but a gnome would actually work very well for this considering that they’ve apparently partnered up with dwarves as co-creators of firearm technology. Probably a little stereotypical, but a basically a gnome with a gun. Possibly a gun that shoots magic.

If a gnome, she’d likely opt for either the Local Gnome trait or the Child of Jzadirune trait. The Child of Jzadirune trait would be interesting for roleplay purposes as it would basically represent and encompass the character’s one biggest fear – to fade away and be forgotten. This could be why she’s so interested in firearms tech and/or merging wizardry and firearms as a means to make a name for herself so she won’t be forgotten, even in a figurative sense. Such fears might also drive her to be something of a gloryhound in terms of personality.

The Sorcerer:
A young human sorcerer with the Void-Touched bloodline whose ancestors peered too deeply into the darkness between the stars. Obviously would have the Dream Haunted trait as she often dreams of the bizarre landscapes and creatures that inhabit the stars and the places on the other side of the sky. Though tortured dreams would normally be the realm of Fharlanghn (Desna), she’s either unable to unwilling to travel to one of the nearby settlements to seek treatment, instead opting to seek assistance from the clergy of Pelor (Sarenrae) at the local temple. Unable to offer monetary payment for the assistance, she instead does what she can to help Kristof Jurgensen. She does her best to keep her strange, growing magical powers a secret though she suspects that Kristof might already know or have his suspicions.

This character might need a little assistance or some additional suggestions on a good way to tie in with other characters and/or have a reason to help investigate the local disappearances. Personality wise, I see her as being both shy and eternally feeling as though she were out of place in the world, like she belongs somewhere else. On the other hand, she’s deeply afraid of turning into one of the monsters that she often dreams about. Considers her sorcerer powers largely a curse but can be influenced by others to put them to a good use.

Most of those suggestions are some sort of caster, support, or ranged with really the monk probably being the 'fightiest' of the ideas. Also had a brief idea for a magus of some sort that might either belong to the town guard, work as a bodyguard for someone, or be tied to one of the local churches. Any thoughts or comments on which of these might work best or that you'd like to see in action? :)

@Aer - I'm definitely not set on the oracle idea either, it's more that it's a character I've had in my head for awhile in one form or another :)

Liberty's Edge

Okay, perhaps I went a bit too grim and foreboding with my first concept (although that fallen-Paladin-becomes-Inquisitor is locked in for a game somewhere) so here is my second character, especially given that we have nothing in the way of arcane at the moment. I'm calling this guy Tom for now.

Bard - Arcane Duelist

Secondary frontliner, party face and arcane support/buffs. As with all bards he is a little bit of a jack-of-all-trades although the Arcane Duelist trades out a lot of the knowledge side of Bards for more combat prowess.

This guy is the Quintessential Loveable Rogue. Tom was raised in the Lantern Street Orphanage.

Tom is very protective of his history, he shares the details of his early life with very few people and even then who knows if all the details are true or just another game? Because of this, no one yet knows the fact that he was old enough to remember the night his parents were killed (reasons to be decided) and that he was there to see it happen. All he remembers about that night however is [vague detail to be determined with the help of the GM - possibly tying in with an NPC villain?]

He owes Gretchin Tashykk a great deal from his time at the orphanage, and though he has grown into a fun-loving decadent, he has never forgotten the principles of right and wrong that she helped shape in him - sometimes he just chooses to ignore them when it suits him. Nevertheless he has a weak spot for children and anonymously donates as much money as he can from his gambling winnings back to the orphanage. Although outwardly he might seem like he is out for number 1, the recent spate of disappearances has troubled him greatly since he knows what it is like to grow up without parents and sparing even one child that fate by finding some of those who have disappeared would be a strong motivator for him - not that he would freely admit that.

His experiences have taught him that life is short and precious and that every moment should be lived to it's fullest and that only that vice is just another word for freedom. Who knows when the good times or his luck might run out? Tom is always working on his next scheme to get rich, his next romantic conquest or his next night at the gambling tables. He tongue and wit are sharper than his intellect but he is just as like to talk himself into trouble as out of it.

Roleplay hooks
-As mentioned, potential for longer term rivalry with an enemy NPC?
-Spends a lot of time in the taverns of Cauldron, as likely to be a regular at the Coy Nixie as he is the Slippery Eel just depending on how his dice are holding up.
-Has he had an affair with Ictoo's wife? It would be fun if this character knew who Ictoo was but not the other way around.
-Grew up in the orphanage with Aer's rogue?

I tend to RP this kind of character better than a GRRR-AAARRRGGG warrior type. It's late here so I'll leave it at that but as always, your input is appreciated.

Female human Druid (worldwalker)

There is a spellslinger archtype somewhere that does some meshing of magic and firearms. I can't remember the details though.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

^Yeah, that's what I meant hehe. That character idea could either be just a Gunslinger or they could be a Spellslinger Wizard depending on how I wanted to run with it :)

So let's think. Our potential party and simplified roles might be;

JZ - Bard (arcane + support + secondary front line) or Inquisitor (Frontline + secondary divine casting)
Gov - Paladin (front line + secondary healing)
Ictoo - Ranger (Skills + archery)
Aer - Rogue (skills + stealth damage) or Flames oracle (Blasting)
LL - Oracle (healing + support) Monk (Support + secondary front line), Alchemist (skills + ranged damage + control), Wizard (Arcane + ranged damage) or Sorceror (Blasting?)

Based on his earlier post, LL, I think Rutseg might need some convincing on the alchemist and between a ranger, bard or rogue, a lot of that class' skills might be overlapping. What do you think?

Personally I like your concepts for the oracle, monk and a gun-toting gnome best :)

In regards to the Oracle, or Aer's for that matter, I think it would be interesting whether the established church views these spontaneous casters with a little bit of suspicion since they do not pay homage to the gods in the same way as a cleric. Or, if they are just accepted as being touched by the divine.

Female human Druid (worldwalker)

Auldissia (my gnomish oracle concept) is not really religious as such. She is more into flames and volcano and the concept of heat than the formal worship side. While she might attend the odd worship service of Pelor (Sun is hot and like fire) she'd regard Pelor as a specific manifestation of the greater concept of flame, than flame being part of part of the portfolio of Pelor.

The more I think about JJ, the easier I can see him fitting into the group, especially if there were others from the orphanage. I see him as possibly multiclassing a bit later on.

Sometimes I go into a character knowing how I want them to turn out. And sometimes I go with them wanting to find out how they turn out. E.G. The character is way impressed with the priest so joins their church. The wizard is helpful at pointing some stuff out so they try and learn some spells. JJ is definitely more that type of character.

I actually like your Life Oracle concept better than mine, I think it fits into the specifics of the background better.

I'm generally cautious about stacking archetypes. They sometimes get applied more for mechanical benefits than because they fit the character concept and that ends up making a sort of mish-mash character that can be hard to settle into.

Been reading the original campaign traits and the Scion of Surabar one might tie in nicely with the Heavens Taint here and provide a lead into why he is in the orphanage.

His parents (Rolard and Hurlira) lived just outside of Cauldron proper. Stonemasons, but proud ones and ones who carried the name Surabar still. JJ has not been told the details, but what he has learned was that they were slain by a demon. He was saved by a younger Alek Tercival who dispatched the demon and took the boy into Cauldron a decade ago.

JJ looks upon Alek as a bit of a father figure (one who is disappointed by JJ's ongoing difficulty with accepting authority). One day JJ wants to become a great wizard and slay demons. But before that he wants to visit his family's old home and quarry. Alek however rarely leaves the temple these days and nobody else seems to know where the old family holding is. Sooner or later he's going to want to go looking for it himself.

Some of his larceny is directed towards saving enough money to join the Bluecrater academy and learning the details of magic. But that is a long way in the future. For the moment just having enough money to put food on his table is a big ask.

Venture-Agent, Play-by-Post

Yeah, I'd thought maybe I could build an alchemist largely focused on controlling (taking bomb discoveries that alter/diminish damage in exchange for some other effect) and being a backup healer but with potentially any combo of ranger, rogue, and bard also in the party I'm happy to shelve that one so there's not so much skill overlap.

Thanks for the endorsement on the oracle, monk, and the gunslinger though! Those are probably my more 'thought out' concepts anyway, hehe. They're obviously flexible on exact build, too.

*edit* Keep getting ninjaed!

It's sounding like my oracle idea may work the best based on the way the group composition seems to be forming, especially since being in the orphanage offers a good potential tie-in to some of the other characters. The gunslinger would be fun, but would also probably be a bit redundant since they're basically ranged damage + skill, which we'd already have with Ictoo's ranger. The monk would probably be a lot of fun from an RP standpoint and if I were to play her, I'd drop the Sensei archetype since we'd likely have a bard and based on Aer's observation/concerns regarding stacking archetypes. I could still RP her as being a dispenser of folk wisdom just the same, hehe.

Regarding building a character, it kinda varies for me. Sometimes I want to play a class or an archetype and so I'll make a character that I could see being that particular class or archetype. Other times I get the idea for the character personality or concept first and then look to see what classes would best fit what I'm thinking of. Either way, I enjoy making characters and have come up with all sorts of character ideas for potential future use :3

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