Doomsday Dawn Backgrounds


Doomsday Dawn Game Master Feedback


In chapter one of Doomsday Dawn, it has players use a set of Backgrounds specific to the adventure. Is there a player handout for these? The actual page in the adventure contains some spoilers.

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CharlieIAm wrote:
In chapter one of Doomsday Dawn, it has players use a set of Backgrounds specific to the adventure. Is there a player handout for these? The actual page in the adventure contains some spoilers.

There's not a specific player handout we made, but the entire adventure is a free-to-download PDF, so it's easy for any GM to use that PDF and copy/paste the backgrounds out into a text file to hand to the players.


Fair enough, and that's what I've done.

Sovereign Court

What level is this supposed to take character up to?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There are seven chapters, each at a different level. One group of PCs will be played at level 1, 9, and 17; there are also chapters for 4th-, 7th-, 12th- and 14th-level parties.


Emma Greyfrost wrote:
What level is this supposed to take character up to?

Per James Jacobs, the characters are not supposed to level during the scenarios, and you don't have to track XP.

Link to post.


Is it a requirement that the players take one of the Doomsday Dawn backgrounds instead of one of the ones in the core book? That seems a bit odd to me, since it means you won't get any feedback on any of the core backgrounds.


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The Narration wrote:
Is it a requirement that the players take one of the Doomsday Dawn backgrounds instead of one of the ones in the core book? That seems a bit odd to me, since it means you won't get any feedback on any of the core backgrounds.

It is for the constant party that plays three of the seven missions. The ad hoc parties that play the other four missions can choose any backgrounds.


I was really against these AP focused backgrounds for a while. I felt like they took a whole chunk of who your character was out of your hands and plunked it firmly on a set of railroad tracks. But after our first session I've come around completely. All of them have added fun wrinkles to all the characters who've used them--some of them have come to practically define them, and it has made this the easiest party integration I've ever had to do.

Two of them are Mindquake survivors, one responded in fear and horror becoming a monk to distance herself from it and purge her alien memories. The other has leaned into it and become a bard with a muse of Aliens & UFOs and has drawn joy and wonder from it--which has drawn the two characters together. Two characters are Osirionologists and so have a tie into the larger plot, one because her uncle was one of the collectors of artifacts who was killed by the main badguy and the other because he's lived a stuffy life as a librarian and has been studying to become a rogue in order to transition into a life of adventure. The last guy's character is a Varisian whose father crossed the Night Heralds and needs to join the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye in order to find the allies he needs in order to to protect his family--so he's helping this aristocrat lady in exchange for an opportunity to meet with them.

Boom. Just like that, everyone is tied together and on the same adventure. So easy. I love it.


Grimcleaver wrote:
Boom. Just like that, everyone is tied together and on the same adventure. So easy. I love it.

It's very similar to things my group has already started doing in our other campaigns. The GM will suggest backstory elements to a character so that they have an important tie to the story. It works out really well and makes the plot meaningful for everyone in the party, as well as giving the characters a reason to stick together. I'm excited to see how my players react when they find out what the Dominion of the Black is.

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Yup; the backgrounds in this case are an evolution of what we first started doing ages ago for our Adventure Paths with campaign traits. By having each PC pick an option from this, they not only tailor their character to be more tied into the adventure's story, but it also lets us add in encounters that can tie into potential character histories more elegantly, in a way we simply couldn't do if we knew nothing about the characters at all.

For an entire Adventure Path or a long campaign type thing, this sort of element is VERY valuable to include during character creation because it helps to seal the "social contract" that everyone at the table has agreed to come together to play through a story, rather than try to build a bunch of disassociated characters who all want to go their own way and thus force the GM to ad hoc a huge portion of the game as she adjusts the plots over and over to account for unanticipated character choices.


Well, well done man. Wasn't sure I was going to like it, but it turned out great.


James Jacobs wrote:
Yup; the backgrounds in this case are an evolution of what we first started doing ages ago for our Adventure Paths with campaign traits. By having each PC pick an option from this, they not only tailor their character to be more tied into the adventure's story, but it also lets us add in encounters that can tie into potential character histories more elegantly, in a way we simply couldn't do if we knew nothing about the characters at all.

In this specific case though, I'm not still finding a lot of things the specific Lore skills can apply to.

I feel like I have to either be generous about it and allow Criminal Lore to replace Thievery (with a DC adjustment?) or strict about it and have nothing, say, Nobility Lore could grant.

While I like the Backgrounds overall, I still feel like Lore is an issue.

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The way Lore interacts with adventures is one of the things I am particularly eager to hear feedback on, because it WAS difficult to figure out those as they relate to the adventure... setting up lores that don't spoil plot points but could still be useful in play. Nevermind the fact that I'm not sure if the granularity of Lore as it stands is a good thing.

How folks play with the Lore skill is going to be an interesting thing to follow in the months to come, for sure.


James Jacobs wrote:
The way Lore interacts with adventures is one of the things I am particularly eager to hear feedback on, because it WAS difficult to figure out those as they relate to the adventure... setting up lores that don't spoil plot points but could still be useful in play. Nevermind the fact that I'm not sure if the granularity of Lore as it stands is a good thing.

Yep, I think this exacerbated by the Signature Skill system.

Take the Mind Quake Survivor background – Dominion of the Black Lore is a pretty big spoiler, but granting training in Occultism (which would be the general skill parallel) would feel pretty sucky if you are playing a class that can't take it all the way to Legendary.

Conversely, if the Background granted training in Occultism and made it a Signature Skill, then it would feel pretty sucky if you are playing a character that wants to delve more into the secrets of the Dominion of the Black but didn't have the the proper Background – it'd hamper the natural ability for a character to grow interested in something. So you need Lore skills to allow that to happen.

For this reason, I feel like Lore as a skill is trying to compensate for the issues imposed by the Signature Skill system.

If you fix Signature Skills, I think you wouldn't need Lore.

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