In The Darkest Corners


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To whom it may concern,

I've come to understand that you are one of a particular skillset that many would believe useless in the modern world. One way or another, you have come to learn that there are things lurking in the shadows, unknown horrors and creatures beyond death that plague this world beyond what most are willing to believe. Too many deaths in this world have been labeled a mystery by a town guard out of their depth, where the horrible truth would lead to a dark cult or something nobody could even name. Convincing those whose lives have not been tragically torn asunder by this knowledge is folly, but the greater folly still is in letting darkness run rampant through the world. I have come to suspect certain things that I cannot say in a letter, lest it find its way into the wrong hands, but ill omens have forced my hand, and I can no longer sit idly by and let the darkness deepen and proliferate.

You have been sought out with painstaking effort, word of your deeds coming to me through every channel and connection I have. I understand this is an odd request and an unconventional manner of delivery, but if I am correct, then the things I have alluded to above will strike a chord with you, and that you not only believe me, but understand what I am asking. I have a great need of your abilities, because threats linger on the horizon that will surely spell doom if there is no united front to stand against them.

If you are willing to help, please make haste to The Gilded Unicorn in Absalom. Within this, envelope you will find the key to a room that has already been paid for through the next month. Lay low there and await further correspondence. Discretion is vital.


The Darkest Corners is a gothic horror/urban fantasy-styled adventure of my own design and several years' labour of love. A year ago, I ran this game until my apartment's roof caved in and then mold got discovered in our walls, and my living situation spiraled madly out of control from there (kind of hard to DM a game while couch surfing), but now I'm looking to hit this hard again, especially now that Occult Adventures is out and there is so much more goodness involved. Oddly enough and entirely by coincidence, the recruitment thread for the last one was posted a year to the day, which was extra eerie--spooky, almost--and after realizing that, I can't not go for this again.

The setting is, for all intents and purposes, Golarion, centered mainly out of Absalom, but with a few "updates". Nothing you need to worry about as far as understanding the setting goes, but consider this to take place within an unspecified number of years into the future, when Absalom has swelled far beyond its 'current' size and population, and become significantly more Victorian in aesthetic, to better fit the genres I'm going for. Gothic horror by gaslight, essentially. Within the shadows of Absalom hide secret cults and undead power players easily kept secret within the sprawling and bustling city, but whose crimes and manipulations have hard-hitting and very dire consequences.

You, the player, are somebody who knows that some things are not only problems in Ustalav. The veil has been lifted for you, in one way or another, and you are not only acutely aware of what lurks in the shadows, but you're in one way or another capable of stopping it. How this manifests is entirely up to you, but I have a thing about characters and their being on-theme and very neatly tied into a lot of the genres and ideas on display here. I'll explain this in greater detail with the character guidelines, but know that I will only be considering characters who have strong ties to the themes and sorts of enemies you'll b facing. Your character is someone hand-picked by a secret benefactor and asked to come and fight these things, and so your character should be someone who is in one way or another an asset to such a fight. More on that below.

Despite being the best at what you do, you'll still be facing difficult challenges, fighting powerful undead beings, secretive and deadly cults, mages who have mastered vile and forbidden forms of magic, and strange beasts who may not be undead but certainly fall deep into the category of "the unknown". I like to challenge my players, and so even though you'll b facing lowly ghouls and even common street thugs for one reason or another, the dangers lurking in the shadows will be sinister, and you will sometimes find yourself ekeing out a victory by the skin of your teeth. Otherwise, where's the horror?

Structurally, the campaign will have heavy investigative and intrigue bends to it, given the secretive nature of your mission and the need to investigate strange crimes and clues to hunt down the monsters in question. While "hunting" definitely accurately describes the fact you're going to be putting down plenty of monsters, characters built for out-of-combat purposes will have more than their fair chance to shine, and in fact characters specced to do nothing but hurt stuff may find themselves the ones forced to sit situations out. The game will take place largely in Absalom, with any travel to other locales being a currently very distant prospect.

Character Creation:
-5th level, to reflect your character's previous experiences and competency in their areas of expertise.
-25 point buy
-Max HP per level
-10,500 starting gold, per WBL
-Any non-evil alignment.
--Neutral clerics may not worship Evil-aligned deities. For all divine classes, I would suggest choosing a deity who has a clearly explainable link to connect why you are acting in their name on the specific goal in mind. Some, like Sarenrae, Iomedade, and obviously Pharasma, are easier sells than others, but if you have something in mind and you're not 100% sure, we can talk out how to spin that.
-Material from all official Paizo books is allowed, whereas no third-party material will be.
-All classes are allowed, as well as all Archetypes except for Synthesist Summoner. For Unchained classes, it's your choice on which versions to use, as per your tastes.
--Due to the Victorian setting of the game, Firearms are not only allowed, but will be using the Commonplace Firearms rules, which are as follows. "While still expensive and tricky to wield, early firearms are readily available. Instead of requiring the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat, all firearms are martial weapons. Early firearms and their ammunition cost 25% of the amounts listed in this book, but advanced firearms and their ammunition are still rare and cost the full price to purchase or craft."
--It's not by any means a must, but there are a lot of archetypes for classes that deal with very specific focuses on the undead and such. While for your average, regular game it's not an entirely smart choice to take, for this game, these archetypes provide both a palpable advantage and some interesting flavour for your character, so I would advise taking a look at those and seeing if any catch your fancy. Occult Adventures in particular has a whole bunch, and they're really neat.
--For the purposes of class features like Favored Enemy, some very strong choices would be Undead, Humanoid (Human), and Outsider (Evil).
-All Core, Featured, and Uncommon races are allowed, except for Drow and Svirfneblin.
--Tieflings do not need the Fiendish Heritage feat to access their variants. Both Aasimar and Tiefling may choose as many aesthetic effects from the table as they wish to diversify their character instead of rolling, if they wish. From the variant abilities table, they may choose any ability that does not provide +2 to an ability score, though if they choose to roll for the ability in-thread and get one, they may take it. If you choose to roll, you may make three rolls and choose your favorite of the three.
-Two traits, with the option to gain a third by taking a drawback. In addition, I will be writing a trait for each chosen player based on their backstory. The more vivid the backstory, the more likely I'll be able to find a good focus, so this is your mechanics-driven sweetener to go deep and detailed.
-A quick rundown of what your character can offer to a party in terms of their abilities, as well as a rough plan for where you see them developing, mechanically; will they be multiclassing or delving into any prestige classes, or staying the course?

-A written backstory, obviously, detailing your character's history, what their specialty is, and why they do it.
--For your 'hook', as I'm going to conveniently refer to it, you have a lot of freedom. It by no means has to be some manner of revenge story, although that's always a nice one. You could just as easily be a scholar studying in cults or seeking knowledge that should not be possessed by humans. A holy warrior who has found themselves tasked by their god with quelling the undead scourge. An alchemist who studies the undead in the pursuit of eternal life. There's so many different ways to go, but make sure that whatever it is, you have a strong and fully developed one, with some good backstory justification and a clear area of expertise you can point to.
--Weave a plot hook or five into your backstory, if at all possible, that can be explored and weaved into the game as we go.
--Separate to any plot hooks, state a goal for your character. Something they want to work toward or achieve that is within the scope of what one person in a city truly can. Your typical "vampires murdered my family" warrior obviously wants to kill vampires, but should also have a palpable, personal want for their life. Show me that. Give me a motivation to play on.
-A description of your character's physical appearance, as well as their personality.
-This is very weird and highly specific, probably won't actually mess with anybody's plans, but characters cannot have connections to the Pathfinder Society. This will all make sense in time.

Under no circumstances should your character be someone that you could just as easily slip into a game that has nothing to do with the undead. By all means, reclaim an alias or rework a topical Carrion Crown character or something if you've got one, but this should really be something where you're probably starting on a new character and building something meant for this game. I know it sucks to make something and fall for it only for it not to be picked up for a game, but I'm not going to be accepting characters that I feel aren't strongly tied to the themes. I know what I want, and am trying to be as up front as possible about that want so that you know what I am looking for before you start on anything, and hopefully this is fair enough warning. I will try and call tell you if your character is feeling weak in that department or if you're outright not actually giving what I'm asking for, but know that one of the main factors for party selection is going to be based on backstory strength, both in quality and in the thematic ties I'm seeking,

For house rules:
-I don't use a map, we are going 100% theater of the mind for this one. I'm not fond of fiddling with pieces, especially online, and I feel that there is more atmosphere to be had in being descriptive. I will convey everything necessary about an area and answer any questions, but maybe don't build something centered around AOOs or piece placement, because that will not work here.
-Encumbrance doesn't exist, so feel free to carry as much as you want to, up to some semblance of reason, and in that regard a size 1 Bag of Holding/Handy Haversack is all you would theoretically need. More pertinent is that you actually have a container to put stuff into.
-Due to the urban setting, you will not need to keep track of food and lodging unless you're traveling out of the city, in which case you will know about it and have time to amass resources as needed.
-I use group initiative, which I'll explain for those who don't know the workings of when the game gets going, but basically any single round of combat should be able to finish within 24 hours, speeding things up considerably from working in proper initiative order.
-In the interest of making certain enemies unique, I may flub/houserule/homebrew up elements exclusive to that enemy, like merging incompatible archetypes or changing spell lists. Certain players may not be fond of this decision and others may be weirded out when they see something that they know isn't right, so I feel it's fair to warn about this in advance.

I'm looking for people who can make one post per day and at least one on weekends. How long this thread stays open depends on sustained interest; if it peters out and everyone is finished their characters, I'll likely close earlier. If it gets sustained interest and people need time to finish their characters, I'll see about keeping it open longer. Let's say that for right now, Sunday February 7th is likely the close date, and anything earlier or even later will be announced 48 hours in advance of that.

Hnmm. I'd have loved to do an undead-focused stalker, but alas no third party.

Instead, I shall look into doing something with guns. Or Undead? I bet I could create a very nice blaster cleric.

This sounds incredibly cool. Count me for at least trying out a character concept.

Initial thoughts:

-Spirtualist who has his brother's ghost attached to him. Is conflicted on whether he wants to let his brother rest or not.

-Grave Warden Slayer whose family has been slaying the undead for generations. (Yes basically a Belmont).

-Alchemist raised by his Hedge Witch mother and taught to cleanse the world of the undead.

@TwelvePointFivePercent: Yeah, a cleric could get some interesting 'blasting' use out of a game like this.

@The Pale King: Nothing wrong with the tried-and-true method of "basically X", especially since this whole idea is derivative as hell, and has way too many influences on it. Feel no shame about going taking inspiration from shit here.

Wow, so interesting!
I'm so willing to play this, especially since I only recently finished season 2 of Penny Dreadful (so I'm in the mood) :)
Just let me have a look at what will be a nice PC, and I'll tell you (though I'm thinking about Investigator or similar).

What do you think about a shabti spirit master monk who repents his new found life and now lives to end the suffering of the undead.

Silver Crusade

I have had a hankering to play a life oracle dedicated to pharasma...Have to think on this one

@Mottied: Shabti are, while kinda neat, not an allowable choice; they're under Advanced Races.

Spooky GM wrote:
@Mottied: Shabti are, while kinda neat, not an allowable choice; they're under Advanced Races.

hmmm I must have overlooked that. A sin-eater inquisitor seems like fun as well or maybe i'll change my monks race to samsaran.

@The Pale King: Will you please let me know when you have your mind set on which thought you're going to develop? If you're not using the Spiritualist, I might be willing to.
Meanwhile, I'm working on a Paladin (in case you stick to the Spiritualist), probably Ghost Hunter.

I'm tempted to toss my hat in the ring. Right now I'm considering an occultist. The flavor seems good for an urban game (investigator of the odd and occult) and with some potential flavoring as a detective or something similar. I'll have to keep working on the concept though.

Do you have any problems with an Unchained Monk taking archetypes?

I like the prompting so far. How would you feel about a sort of Sherlock Holmes type investigator, using the empiricist archetype? Horribly antisocial, and yet carrying on an internal monologue at all times, displaying his vast sociopathic intellect for all beyond the fourth wall to see! Perhaps with a lost love, who perhaps never really understood him, and was lost to the very cults he now sells his talents to hunt down...

For aasimar/tiefling, do you mean we either roll OR pick? Or can I roll and still pick if I like? Going to roll in any case, as I kind of like using the table generated abilities for those races. Better to plan for eventualities than make a second post I always say!

Random Abilities, Just In Case: 3d100 ⇒ (55, 61, 15) = 131

Interested in maybe a Spirit Walker Mesmerist, although I'm a little concerned that it might get caught up in controlling undead than actually killing them.

This is...I just...yes. Very yes. Dotting so hard.

I have a slightly bendy question for you, before I put invest too much of my heart in this concept.

My current concept is Ta'lyringephxlyj (or Lyj to most mortals - his true name is in Infernal), a Tiefling Arcanist with an interest in creating and controlling new monsters. Specifically, with the pseudo-science/thaumaturgical theory behind such doings. A slight variation on a character I ran through Carrion Crown with in the past, he's the type who is obsessed with knowledge and its acquisition, sort of a mad scientist but a little quieter about it than your usual mua-ha-ha types. I think he could fit in pretty well with your themes and bring some nice utility and arcane power to the game.

The thing is, he's sort of evil. Well, maybe a little more than sort of - he's Lawful Evil and deserving of the capital letters. I know you said No Evil in your initial post, but bear with me. I believe that Lyj is evil because he's utterly selfish. He has very little in the way of regular emotion, and doesn't care in the slightest whether anyone else lives or dies, let alone their emotional well-being. However, he is also hyper-intelligent (20 Int right off the bat), and has come to the conclusion that living in and cooperating with society is the best way to advance his own knowledge and power. When the community thrives, there is more available for everyone, and everyone includes him. The support system that is society has more to offer than secluding one's self in a remote tower and building a Frankenstein to pillage the countryside, in his considered opinion.

There are plenty of such people who would gladly lie, cheat, or steal as soon as they're sure they're not being watched, but Lyj isn't one of them. To him, it's much less complicated and less likely to come back and bite him (thus disrupting his studies) if he simply plays along with all of society's rules. To that end, he has set himself up as an investigator for hire, putting his analytical skills and vast array of knowledge to good use for the community while occasionally freelancing adventuring work as necessary - putting one's skills to practical use is the only way to perform proper testing, after all. Setting himself up as a valuable member of society is important to his goals, as he has never been particularly capable (or interested) when it comes to making 'friends'.

Anyway, the point is, he's not a good person, but he acts like one in nearly every measurable way. From time to time, he might disagree with some parties about what the appropriate course of action is, especially when it comes to mercenary action, but he would acquiesce to the group's wishes, as he understands his emotional limitations.

My nutshell description is: He's not Good, he's just done the math.
Do you think he might be acceptable?

I can always re-flavor him slightly to make him Lawful Neutral if necessary (that's pretty much the way he plays, anyway) - I just like the way he comes out in my head.

Just for giggles, let's see what variant abilities I might come up with if Lyj is acceptable.

Tiefling powers: 3d100 ⇒ (46, 63, 94) = 203
...Well! That there further +2 Int is damn tempting. Here's hoping you're cool with my crazy idea!

Silver Crusade

Would it be permissable to take this feat as a worshiper of Pharasma instead of Milani.

I am working on a spirit guide life oracle

Since this is set slightly in the future, maybe we have some creative freedom in regards to the state of affairs in Golarion?

My first thought is to play a character I designed for a Council of Thieves game that died. He's an investigator (steel hound) with a deep fascination of the occult. He is also a liberal socialist and wants to bring guns to the people, at a profit, of course. Originally from Ustalav where he graduated from Lepidstadt university, he decided to move to Absalom for his business to flourish, and now runs the store "Steel Panacea" where he sells guns and alchemical creations. I imagine his efforts may have had an influence on the change in gun availability and pricing.

My second idea is a Dhampir (or maybe an oread) from Galt. He would have been an executioner – a Gray Gardener – that had to leave when the gray gardeners were no longer entitled their anonymity; OR because he believed the anonymity of the gray gardeners was a risk to a healthy devolpment of Galt, and was branded a traitor. Not quite set on this. I'm also thinking he used to be ignorant of the true horrors of the world, having seen only the monstrous acts of humans, and the other core races, but who had a rude awakening after a close-encounter with some undead or other horror from the dark. Maybe and Urdefhan believing him to be a vampire or something.

Also, a mechanical question: Would the investigator be able to take the alchemist discovery "Promethean Disciple"? He would like to craft homunculi, but there is no good way for an investigator to do so.

@Johnnycat93: I guess it depends on whether you take an archetype that would heavily interfere with the changes to Unchained Monk. I'd have to go case-by-case on approval for the specific archetype. Potentially with revisions/houseruling on the exact replacements/levels if I think it could work with a bit of tweaking.

@Sidewinder: I don't mind it, but if there does become an over-abundance of antisocial folk and loners there might be a bit of additional narrowness as I add that factor to choosing a well-rounded party. And you can roll or pick; with three options, I'd kind of prefer you take one of the rolled optiosn rather than decide you don't like any of them, which kinda defeats the point of rolling.

@Viscount K: It's kind of complicated, due to certain things about your pitch that I can't really go into now, but which may kind of lead down to the line to certain antagonists' goals actually perhaps seeming a bit more appealing to him than they perhaps should for a PC. There's no easy way to explain it without giving away massive chunks of story, but it is a pretty distressing concern, actually. It's neat, and I rather dig it, but in this situation it may in fact be a bit better to move up a step to LN, if not to effect his general disposition and motivation, then at least to maybe dial up a general sense for the innate value of life.

@Tin Foil Yamakah: I will allow it, if only because I can see the justification in Pharasma's healing being invigorating.

@Runge: Sure, that wouldn't be a problem. Time advancement is meant more so that I can make certain changes to things, update the city's aesthetic, and just be able to make shit up as far as names and locations go. As for the discovery, that looks like it should all be fine, so sure.

Great! I'll set to writing then. Is there a character format you prefer on the profiles?

No, just do your thing, long as it's understandable i'm fine with however you do it.

TFY here submitting Amarantha, she is a healer, condition removal and channeler extrordinaire. I do not have any plans to multi-class or PrC(though I thought long and Hard about the Mystery Cultist.

Monkey see, monkey do!
Shove Ajit in vat of goo,
Make him drink your witch's brew,
Freeze him 'till his toes turn blue

They beat Ajit 'till his head spin
They think Ajit could never win
But Ajit think and Ajit plot
As he lay upon his humble cot

Aha, thinks he! He can escape
This dreary, dreadful, awful place
He'll punch them while their backs are turned
They hurt Ajit, and Ajit learned

Down with the master! Ajit shall kill
The man whose tests make Ajit ill
He shall escape this forsaken place
Push master smack down on his face

They said Ajit a dumb baboon
But his victory would be sung of soon
Monkey saw, and monkey do
Ajit triumph over all of you!

Ajit is a vanaran monk who was raised from birth to be a cult's test subject and eventual sacrifice in a laboratory hidden deep under Absolam. His only hope for a better life came from the bits and pieces of conversations he picked up from members of the cult as they went through with their daily business. When he first heard that there was a world above the laboratory, he made it his goal in life to make it up to the world above the ground.


I'll have to submit my full profile on Tuesday because I stupidly saved the document to a computer that I only have access to every so often. Ajit's profile has already exceeded 2 1/2 pages in length, and I'd rather not like it to all go to waste. The basic gist of the story was that Ajit fought his way out of the cultists' laboratory using unarmed combat techniques that he learned by observing the cultists themselves, only to find himself in the scary 'overworld' of Absolam. He ended up being taken under the wing of a band of petty thieves, specifically the second in command, an elf named Rathaal. Ajit is fiercely loyal not only to Rathaal, but to any who show kindness to him in the world. This trusting nature leads him to get into problems on the occasion. He won't question the motives of those who show him even the slightest bit of affection, as he went years without ever feeling the sensation of kindness and now craves it with all of his heart.

Ajit is a lawful neutral unchained monk. He's not good or bad, (despite his learned kleptomania) more just clingy to kind people. His rigid moral code is not his own, but he accepts the words of those who are friendly as law. Betrayal is the cardinal sin in his book. He would never, ever even think about raising a fist toward his trusted allies.

Just be aware of it coming down the pipeline! I'd love to hear what you think.


Edit: I forgot to mention that Ajit doesn't even know that society thinks that stealing is bad. He has a habit of taking belongings from even his most trusted of friends, because he thinks that it's a fun game to play. If any of his friends question him about their lost items, he hands the goods back to them with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Social isolation for years tends to make a person blissfully unaware of social norms.

Yes, as I figured, too many Investigators (are you sure we're not playing Cthulhu? :P)

So, I'll stick to the Paladin. He's going to be a Sacred Shield, I think, and play a protector/tank role in combat, while probably being good socially and on some other skills out of combat.
He's probably connected to other PCs, and may be a bodyguard to one of them, or something.

Question: How much heavy is the game about Demons/Devils? Cause I think most people is going to be able to deal with Undead, so I might focus on something different.

Question2: Is Combat Stamina allowed?

Going to review the characters so far later tonight and get back to you guys, but right now I have a bunch of work to do before my day is 'done'.

Evil outsiders aren't going to be the most common enemy, but there's still going to be plenty of them, and it's definitely something you will get a lot of mileage out of building to fight, unless you somehow manage to do build yourself to be 100% useless in the face of anything else. And yeah, stamina is allowed.

Go for it, man.

reinventing my old character, I've brainstormed this thus far:

  • Daniel is born in Karcau, Ustalav.
  • His mother was an opera singer, and his father was a pharasmin priest.
  • He has a younger brother.
  • A clash between a cultist of the old gods, a scarzni werewolf and a vampire resulted in a heap of collateral damage: His brother was mentally addled by a failed attempt at possession, his mother was turned into a vampire, and he himself was afflicted with lycanthropy.
  • His brother has since been admitted to the asylum in Caliphas, his mother has disappeared, and his lycanthropy has been cured. However, his studies have revealed a way to call upon the curse through alchemy (Mutagen).
  • Daniel went to Lepidstadt university (Also where he was cured), where he studied mainly alchemy, engineering and medicine.

Daniel feels that in a world of magic, both divine and arcane, the common man without such should still have a means to protect and defend himself, and he believes firearms are the way to go. Thus, he is dedicated to spreading their use.

At his core, what drives him are 3 hopes: 1. To find a cure for whatever it is that ails his brother; 2. To arm the common man against the dark forces of the world and to cut out the corruption from within Ustalav (not the world, at current.), and; 3. To find and help his mother.

As an educated man with the title "doctor", he considers himself the surgeon that will cut out the taint and heal the land. As a hobby, he is creating a pair of homunculi to aid him.

There are a few incongruities and holes, but I believe I've got a good base :)

It looks I deleted my post as you were replying to it, GM. Ignore the PM. I'll have the updated submission for Raz up before too long.

Bit of potential backstory:


Three years ago huh? Has it really been that long?

My brother and I owned and ran the family business left to us by our father, our ailing mother didn't have the strength to do it herself. The business was an unusual one, we dealt in information and other more concrete aids for people who called themselves different things with the same meaning, for some 'monster hunter', for others 'hero', some even believed themselves to be chosen by the gods for such a task.

Unfortunately we did not have our father's experience and quickly found ourselves mixed up with a client's job. I watched my brother and our client torn apart by the undead. I watched our shop burned to the ground by the necromancer or whatever foul creature controlled the undead, all while our mother burned alive inside.

The day my remaining family died I felt something inside me shatter. What happened next I still do not entirely understand. I felt my brother's soul flow into me and fill the cracks. My brother is here with me at all times, I can feel him, I can even make him manifest. I don't want to let him go, but does not his soul deserve peace? This is the struggle I grapple with every day.

Since then I have taken on the career of our former clients. Perhaps for justice, perhaps for revenge, perhaps just to sort myself out and find a new place to feel right. I continue to manifests stranger and stranger powers as time goes on and I see no end to this rabbit hole that my life has become.

Jereru wrote:

Yes, as I figured, too many Investigators (are you sure we're not playing Cthulhu? :P)

So, I'll stick to the Paladin. He's going to be a Sacred Shield, I think, and play a protector/tank role in combat, while probably being good socially and on some other skills out of combat.
He's probably connected to other PCs, and may be a bodyguard to one of them, or something.

Question: How much heavy is the game about Demons/Devils? Cause I think most people is going to be able to deal with Undead, so I might focus on something different.

Question2: Is Combat Stamina allowed?

I would love to have a Paladin protecting little ole me. I have included Paladins in my backstory so you are welcome to join the family.

Spooky GM wrote:

@Viscount K: It's kind of complicated, due to certain things about your pitch that I can't really go into now, but which may kind of lead down to the line to certain antagonists' goals actually perhaps seeming a bit more appealing to him than they perhaps should for a PC. There's no easy way to explain it without giving away massive chunks of story, but it is a pretty distressing concern, actually. It's neat, and I rather dig it, but in this situation it may in fact be a bit better to move up a step to LN, if not to effect his general disposition and motivation, then at least to maybe dial up a general sense for the innate value of life.

Fair enough, plot needs of course trump all others. It saddens me slightly, as I really like the juxtaposition of playing an evil character in a good game. Still, I can bump his thought process up from psychopathic to dispassionate without too much alteration of his core.

He'll still be kind of a jerk, though. =p
I'll get to work on the writeup tonight, maybe tomorrow (it's a busy night).

Edit: Hah, just had a thought that amused me. The shift upward in alignment is much like going from playing Dexter to playing Data.

Interested. I'm thinking of gritty holy warrior that's not a Paladin. Maybe a Dhampir Kinslayer Inquisitor or a Eldritch Scion Magus. How would Dhampirs be looked on in this future?

Heck yes.

I just found this drawback called envy, which requires you to steal a few objects every day or face a penalty for not doing so. As soon as I read this, I immediately thought Ajit.

Reflavor this to kleptomania, and Ajit now literally has mechanical withdrawal symptoms to holding back his natural urge to 'borrow' things. I love this.

I'm already loving Ajit, and I didn't even get to meet him :)

Dotting for interest. I'll probably submit a ranger "priest" of Pharasma, role utility / hammer.

Alrighty, here we go. I made a few assumptions/creative liberties about your future Absalom, as well as adding a few plot hooks of my own that I'm totally open to changing, I just though they were fun. Presenting:

Lyj, the Demon of the Library

Names have been changed to protect souls of the innocent:

Absalom, the City at the Center of the World. For millennia, the city has stood as a bastion of trade, culture...and knowledge. Much of that knowledge, gathered and maintained meticulously, lies within the great library called Forae Logos. Housing the grandest collection of lore in all the Inner Sea region, perhaps even in the world, the Wise House is considered very nearly a religious pilgrimage for scholars from all over, housing many a rare tome and strange artifact within its storied walls.

For the last century, it has also become home to a new sort of rumor. The elder members of the district's Learned Guard tell their new recruits of a figure haunting the arcane sections of the Logos as they patrol the ancient halls. For decades, they say, the creature's red skin and glowing eyes have been glimpsed in the darkness, never carrying a light. They tell the story as they make their way slowly down the hallways of books piled high to the ceiling above, their sunrods only barely penetrating the gloom. They pause as they hear a shuffling from around the corner, and gesture to the recruit to stick close as they investigate. Coming to the end of the hall, they find hoofprints left behind in the dust and gesture towards them.

"The Demon," they whisper, "hunts in the darkness for the tome of the wizard that bound him here. He was bound to the lower vaults long ago, but he prowls the upper levels in search of his freedom...and there he is!"

Yelling, they point behind the startled recruit, who spins to see a tall, horned figure running a hand along the shelf as it moves towards them. Yelping, the recruit leaps back, crashing into their partner, who practically doubles over with laughter. The recruit, slumping to the floor, looks back and forth confusedly. The demon's robes rustle as reaches up to adjust the spectacles over his glowing eyes, saying in a wry monotone, "Still not tired of that, I see."

Eventually, the recruit calms down and the elder guard explains. Lyj has made the Library his home for the better part of the last century, since tieflings live far longer than most humans. He's a scholar like any other, although with a greater focus than most. He's spent his long life working on his theories regarding the nature of magic, most of it spent doing research withing these very halls. He's harmless..."As long as you don't let him startle you," they chuckle, slapping the recruit on the back and ushering him out of the stacks. The elder waves back at Lyj, who raises a hand back and watches them go, the yellow light of his eyes tracking them as the darkness returns.

"Harmless," he muses thoughtfully. "Perhaps."

Turning back to the row of books he was perusing, he pulls down the volume he had been looking for. Dusting off the cover, he reads the title, his demonic eyes needing no light to see what he found there. The Diver's Folios. As he had thought. This should not be here, in the public area - even an incomplete and poorly translated version of the Book of the Damned was too dangerous for a layperson. Too dangerous even for him, in fact. He wraps the book carefully in a fold of his robes, taking care not to let it fall open, and makes his way back to the entrance to the lower vaults, where he quietly leaves the offending volume with a surprised scrivener and turns to go.

This was no coincidence. Forbidden knowledge had been finding its way out into the Logos's general stacks for months now, and worse, out into the streets. Only last week, while divining into the murder of Lady Farren for Captain Sparks, he had come across the Library's copy of Viceroy in the hands of the common street thugs who had stabbed the Lady and made off with her purse and jewelry. He had bent their minds until they turned themselves in, of course, but it was easier than it should have been: The fools had been using the illusion work of Dardral the Lesser contained within the forbidden tome to pursue some sort of hallucinogenic high. As idiotic as that was, the damage could have been much worse had someone of actual intelligence come across the volume.

As reverent as Lyj was of all forms of knowledge, he recognized that there were certain forms of it that represented more danger than the potential for learning was worth. He had no proof of conspiracy or supernatural intervention, yet, but it was nevertheless becoming clear to him that something did not share his philosophy, and was trying to free the darkness imprisoned within Forae Logos.

Logic demanded that he look into the root of the problem and put an end to it before it encroached on his studies. He had worked too hard to establish a place within this particular society. Tiefling were not widely accepted anywhere, let alone taciturn reclusive ones with a talent for mind-affecting sorcery. According to his calculations, it would take approximately another century before his thesis on the Unified Theory of Magic was complete, and the maximum known lifespan of a being with his particular heritage only allowed for perhaps another century and a half - he could afford no further significant delays if he was to leave his mark on the arcane world.

No. Instead, he would find whoever or whatever was causing this disturbance, and show them the true Demon of the Library.


Ho-kay, so that kinda got away from me. Sorry about the wall of text.

Anyway, I think that all came together. What follows is a less flowery version, as well as a few other things I wanted to answer for you and/or I thought were interesting.

Nutshell Background/Personality:
In his early days, Lyj was forced to travel much of the time. His Varisian mother moved around constantly - partially due to her son's tiefling heritage. Human herself, she was ignorant of the true nature of tieflings, but loved her son despite his apparent deformity, and taught him that he could still find a place in the world. The child took that in and accepted it at face value, his brilliant mind analyzing the truth of it. He experienced much of the world as they traveled, and discovered a love of learning along the way, which naturally eventually brought him to Absalom once he reached adulthood.

He quickly earned himself a private room within Forae Logos, receiving special dispensation due to his personal contributions to the collection's sections on magical theory. He has found that people tend to be distrustful of his kind, and so in order to pursue his studies peacefully, he's found it's best to visibly prove to society at large that he is on their side. Lacking in the talent or desire to forge normal personal connections, the best way he's found of doing that is by hooking up with law enforcement. He's too engrossed in his own work to want to join up full time, but he has established himself as a useful consultant/freelance type, convincing the constabulary to come to him with cases they find too difficult or unusual to handle on their own. He is not the most effective investigator on his own (though no slouch), but when pointed to the evidence by the skilled detectives, he uses his combination of Divination magic and impressive level of knowledge on virtually every subject to lead the guards where they need to go, and his specialty of Enchantment to deal with the criminals when necessary.

Almost unbelievably intelligent and aware of it, he often comes off as condescending in his interactions with others, but it's not really malicious; he just has little patience for explaining things that he feels should be obvious.

Despite his focus on his studies, he doesn't believe in the tried-and-true method of locking one's self within a wizard's tower and performing magic in seclusion. Without real world practice, he believes that the mind becomes dulled and the magic stale, lacking any real flair. If there is creativity to be found in Lyj's soul, it manifests itself in his magic.

Plot hooks:
As of late, he has been noticing a disturbing trend within the Library, where he spends most of his time, and in the criminal element he is forced to interact with. Pieces of dark knowledge, supposedly locked safely away, have been surfacing and falling into unsavory hands. Anyone who wasn't as mired in both the worlds of lore and law as he is probably wouldn't notice the coincidences, but he is becoming convinced there is a singular will behind each incident. He has been doing his best to return these forbidden tomes to lock and key, but so far hasn't discovered the person or thing behind it all.

Lyj has established himself as a person of interest to the city watch. In particular, Captain Thedra Sparks of the Learned Guard (the guards of the Forae Logos district) is familiar with him, and they have a far friendlier relationship than he had with her predecessor before her. She doesn't care for him much, as his terse attitude gets on her nerves, but her professionalism and sense of duty forces her to acknowledge his usefulness. Her good word has also gotten him called in on one or two larger cases across the city.

The former captain of the Learned Guard, one Poe Barrick, also knows Lyj rather well, but is not nearly so pleased about it. Tossed out on his ear on charges of corruption, the now-elderly Barrick suspects (correctly) that Lyj supplied the higher-ups with proof of his back alley dealings. Lyj had made several attempts to establish himself with Barrick as he would later manage with Sparks, but was refused at every turn. Frustrated, Lyj had turned his efforts to understanding why the Captain refused his help, and in the process uncovered Barrick's deep connections to the city's smuggling rings. Today, the former guardsman still maintains those connections, as well as several surreptitious lines to the city's nobles, and delights in making whatever trouble he can for the Demon of the Library.


Standing just over six feet in height, Lyj's appearance is initially frightening to many. His skin is colored a deep blood red and small horns curl up from his forehead, and his eyes glow a pale yellow within the dark. Even stranger, a pointed tail swishes behind him, often holding his current tome of interest up for his inspection. For those who can get past their initial discomfort, however, a closer inspection reveals a classically handsome face atop a willowy build. A pair of small spectacles often helps complete the picture, as he slips them on to aid with fine print. A particularly careful observer might also notice that his footprints appear to be cloven hooves, despite his apparently normal human feet and boots.

Personal Goal:
For most of his life, Lyj has been working to reconcile all the different paths to arcane magic under one theory. He has used his scholarly bent to turn his natural sorcerous powers towards the path of the arcanist in an attempt to conquer the nuts and bolts of magic itself. He is convinced there is a way to unify the various schools of magic under a single umbrella, possibly even unlocking the secret to divine power without faith. Whether he's right or not, well...that's another question. But it's his theory, and his life's work. Think of it as string theory, but for magic. You've heard of quantum mathematicians? Well, he's a quantum magician. =D

I'm intending at the moment to stay pure arcanist, although I haven't delved too deeply in the archetypes yet, and I may eventually dip a level into Sleepless Detective to make him a better private eye by adding his Int to Perception and whatnot - though at the moment, I doubt it, as I don't want to slow down my spellcasting. I'll also be picking up a couple traits that let me swap out Int for other skills, just to make the most of my best stat.
As for his roles, he'll accomplish a few things. First, as an arcanist, he's a ridiculous pile of utility magic, with a particular focus on divination whenever time allows.
Second, he'll obviously be an incredible knowledge goon - about which I had a question. Would you allow Breadth of Experience? It's technically restricted to dwarves, gnomes, and elves, but I think that's mostly just an artifact of those being the core races that lived more than a century.
Third, I think he'll probably pick up a crafting feat or two, which is always good for a party.
Finally, when it comes to combat...well, he's a full caster. It's hard to go wrong, really. That said, he'll focus on enchantment spells here, with the occasional evocation to round it out ('cause honestly, who doesn't need a food fireball now and then?).
Oh, he'll also have a bunch of weird tinkery things from his Arcanist Exploits that'll let him be a real bastard to other casters, as well as cheating a bit with wands and whatnot.

And there have it so far! Profile with crunch incoming, but I wouldn't expect it until way later tonight, I'm pretty booked the rest of the day. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or changes to my story so far, or if I missed anything you particularly need to hear about.

Hi, this is Rikash posting from the Occultist who I will be finishing up over the next few days. I have the core of his story together, I just need to finish typing it up and then tying it in with his various knick-knacks (implements). I would also like to give him a gun, but I'm not sure where the money for that will come from.

The synopsis is that he's a guardsman in Absalom whose unique talents have seen him assigned to increasingly esoteric criminal cases. Now an experienced investigator, he has begun to see the truth behind the seemingly unconnected events he has studied in the past. Armed with objects of power gathered during his previous investigations, he finds his hands too often tied by his disbelieving superiors and is now ready to take the protection of his fellow citizens into his own hands.

I think he'll have a lot of potential in this sort of game, as occult creatures/items/places are wellsprings of information/power for him. Various objects he encounters can help him grow his story and become his implements against his foes. I'd appreciate if you'd comment on the synopsis above and whether it will fit into the world you've outlined. Mechanically, he'll stay occultist until 20 (if we go that far) and is a melee striker who can provide some good skills support, divination/info gathering (including scouting), and magical backup. I'll be picking up Illusion as my next implement, probably.

Hello, Jereru here. I post my background story, working on the rest. Since I'll be Aasimar, I'm submitting my variable abilities' rolls here:

1d100 ⇒ 60
1d100 ⇒ 19
1d100 ⇒ 99

Stephan Jäger had always been eager to fight evil, tyranny and injustice. When he heard word that a revolution had sprung in Galt, against the hellish powers of Cheliax, he couldn't but to go there and volunteer.
The Red Revolution was successful, and Stephan did his part – he fought against the hordes of Hell like no one else did. But the revolution quickly turned into chaos and savagery, perverted ideals led to disaster by those who didn't want the triumph of Good. Stephan then heard about the region of Andoran, so he headed himself there, always willing to fight for the cause of the needed.
There was fight, and there was death and defeat in the lands of Andor, but in the end, there was victory. Hope could have never been higher in Stephan's soul – two revolutions against the opressing powers of Evil, both successful. And it was here, amidst the battles and the suffering in a far away land, that Stephan found the love of his life.
It had to be a girl from Ustalav, of course – Theresia van der Griest. The sharing of a homeland was what made them meet, and once they were together, they would never again part from each other. In due time, they had a son, whom they named Markus.
Markus grew up listening to stories – his father's deeds against the armies of Hell in Galt and Andoran, and his mother's stories of the van der Geist lineage's hunting of undead in their native Ustalav. Markus' father taught him all he knew, and so did his mother, Theresia.
Being a teenager, his family suffered a terrible blow. They were called to help a near-by village which was being attacked by fiends. Being who they were, the Jägers cuouldn't but help the poor people, and went there to liberate them from evil's grasp, Markus included. When they arrived and investigated the place, they found out the fiends were summoned entities called by an evil Hellknight.
They fought for days, battling demons and undead to the limit of their strength, until finally one of the fiends managed to strike a lucky blow – Stephan Jäger met his ancestors that day.Theresia and Markus were devastated. The love of their life, a beloved husband and father, surrounded by fiends feasting on his corpse. They had to keep fighting, though, or they would soon join him, so they wiped their tears and stroke. Hard and fast, at the core of evil, they made their way to the Hellknight's stead and fought him, tapping on their own desperation to find power in adversity. Markus took on the Hellknight's planar ally, putting to use his father's teachings, while Theresia managed to slay the Hellknight himself.
After the village was liberated, tears ran free. Decisions had to be made – Theresia was set on leaving Andoran and seeking shelter with her family on Ustalav. Young Markus was still in need of a family, and she alone couldn't provide for everything without failing to her paladin's vows. So they leaved Andoran for good.
Ustalav was just as Theresia remembered it – gloomy, demoralising and dangerous, very dangerous. It was that danger that was to forge a bond meant to last between Markus and his mother's family. They were resting for the night in a small village, close to the end of their long journey – the van der Geist homestead, when the place was attacked by werewolves. Markus gathered the people into the inn, and Theresia tried to defend the place as good as she could. They held together the building until the lupines broke in, and they had to fight them in close-quarters. They received lots of wounds, and were about to be put down, when they suddenly heard voices outside – human voices. Someone was coming to their rescue. They felt their wounds relieved, and doubled their efforts against the werewolves, which finally succumbed under the combined strength of the old and new fighters.
When the fight finally settled, they found out who their surprise help was – a young girl alone, Amarantha van der Geist. Her powers were strong enough to save Markus and his mother from an imminent doom, something for which Markus has been always grateful. Being a stranger himself in a land supposed to be his own but unknown to him, Markus found out Amarantha's company greeting, and was able to understand her being so 'different'. He believes it was Amarantha's connection with her own family that worked out her being around at the precise moment.
Since then, Theresia van der Geist understood that it was time for her to stay at home and leave ground to the next generations. It was clear that Markus and Amarantha had an intertwined destiny, and she was more than happy that her son finally found his path.
Markus has a deep respect for his cousin Amarantha and her special abilities to commune with tha van der Geist ancestors. He is so willing to protect her if she is distracted while doing 'her things' or if she ever gets into trouble. On top of that, he adds his knowledge about fiends and demons to Amarantha's already vast lore of evil foes, thus making the duo a power to be reckoned.


I'm going to pick the roll 99, which gives flying speed, if you're alright with it. But I'm going to play it that way: the character still doesn't know he has this gift. It's probably of recent development, and he's going to find out in a situation of need, or because of Amarantha discovering it via her weird powers. Is that ok?

Alright, two possibilities that I'm tossing around:

Holy Knight of Nethys (Magus): The Church of Nethys has watched the growing dominion of the necromancy with concern. Magic has two sides and the balance of light and dark magic is essential to the health of the world. As the shadow of necromancy grows, the balance is being spun out of control. A small sect of arcane knights seeks to restore the balance by driving away the darkness.

Underground Chemist (Rogue): A former drug dealer has been forced to abandon most of his business since people are more afraid to work in the dark corners of the city. He's found that his skills are now useful to create alchemical items such as alchemist fire to drive away undead. As the threat becomes more pervasive, he's created his own market in selling these items to the rich to have greater means of defending themselves from the undead menace.

With either of these, being a Dhampir might be fun, but not necessary. It could explain why he's been called to fight the threat.

Here's the burgeoning profile for Lyj. The crunch is far from done, but I figured I'd get it posted here for future reference.

Dark Archive

I believe I will throw my hat in the ring.

Okay, now that I have recovered from the worst day-and-a-half long hangover and accompanying migraine, and my computer screen has stopped looking like staring into a f!@*ing light bulb, time to get down to work.

@Amarantha: Everything's looking good, except that I'd suggest maybe nailing down a singular accomplishment or two as far as things she's done in her duty that might have been of some renown. In addition, hooks. Her greater, plot-ier goal seems very obvious, but I want to see characters have a personal one as well.

@Sunstone, Runge. Pale King, Godfrey: I'll wait until for the full stories to give judgment one way or another, but so far not hearing anything from any of you that would give me pause or too much worry.

@Enchanter Tim: Dhampir haven't really changed as far as public perception goes; they're still not very fondly looked at. As far as perception by the important folks in question, a Dhampir who has proven themself to walk the path of light would be trusted.

@Viscount K: Everything here looks to be in order.

@Markus: Everything here looks to check out. Coincidentally, I have sort of the same feedback for you that I did for Amarantha, so perhaps on the count of some notable deed, you two could figure one out that involves both of you, for convenience's sake. On the matter of rolling, I would say either reroll that one or pick from the list elsehwere; players having natural, constant flight is kind of a big thing.

Ok, I'm not sure I got some of your points:

-The background is ok, but you need that we (I) have done a pair of big things in Absalom so we are a bit known. If this is right, I'll think about one (mixing Amarantha in it) and she can think of another (mixing me if she wants). Is that ok?

-Not a problem not picking the 99, I understand flying can be too powerful. If I pick another ability, can I pick a +2 to a Characteristic? Just asking, it's ok if I can't.

-I wrote something about Markus' Goal and possible plot ideas, tell me if they're ok. After that, I'm working on a description and how he manages his life in the city. Last will come the mechanics, which are close to finished. I can tell in advance that he'll be Sacred Shield 3 / Urban Ranger 2, and the intention is to put most of the levels on Sacred Shield.

-Anything I might have forgotten? I'm sorry if I hadn't been giving much info, but I certainly took my time to think carefully about what I wanted to play and what suited the game.

@DM: Everything's looking good, except that I'd suggest maybe nailing down a singular accomplishment or two as far as things she's done in her duty that might have been of some renown. In addition, hooks. Her greater, plot-ier goal seems very obvious, but I want to see characters have a personal one as well.[/quote wrote:

Let me put some thought into that.

Markus wrote:
-The background is ok, but you need that we (I) have done a pair of big things in Absalom so we are a bit known. If this is right, I'll think about one (mixing Amarantha in it) and she can think of another (mixing me if she wants). Is that ok?

Let me know if you come up with something specific, I would love to intertwine stories

Well, right now I'm doing a quick read of the Guide to Absalom, to have some knowledge about the city and how it works. I was thinking about saving the life of one of the nomarchs, in something involving demons or anything similar. Will have to keep reading to know more, though.

@Markus: It doesn't have to be in Absalom, but it has to be something noteworthy; if someone were putting their ear to the ground and listening for potential people to put onto a team of elite undead fighters, it would be something they could hear about and think "Yes, good. Them." It can be anywhere in Golarion, just of some note. It doesn't have to be with Amarantha, I just figured that you two were connectifying stuff and collaborating given the connections in the backstory. You guys' call on if you want to have separate things in that regard or not, depending on how closely you're working together on these.

You can't pick +2 to an attribute if you didn't roll it, as I said above. So, if you want to reoll that 99 and hope to get lucky then feel free, but otherwise, no.


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