The Abomination Arsenal


Abomination Vaults

Order of the Amber Die

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We're known for pushing the envelope of tabletop roleplaying, and yes, we're doing it again.

A new Paizo blog project begins! Abomination Vaults is the Adventure Path of course, but as the title of this thread suggests, it's with a twist. This is where the party comes in.

For nearly a decade (and many Paizo blog projects) we've set ourselves apart by playing iconic characters. That said, we've read your messages and pondered the email requests for a while now -- it's time to personalize our characters. In our private work, OAD has never been one for party balance or a traditional approach; we had plenty of that during the first phases of our 35 years. What you'll get in this project is nothing short of extreme when it comes to party construction. Much of this project was inspired by the release of Guns & Gears, so why not use this chance to test out game theory in front of the community? Who cares about TPK, anyway? After crawling through 150+ published adventures, we've TPKed more campaigns than most people ever play. Heck, we even put up pictures of a TPK in our inaugural project for Paizo! So let's use this opportunity to see if an ENTIRE PARTY of the same character class can successfully delve the first megadungeon of Pathfinder 2E.

That's right, this party is ALL gunslingers. Every character, even cameos. Nope, not even that friendly NPC who offers free healing is welcome in the Black Powder Cadre. Unless you're fully strapped, that is.

This thread is where we'll post our stat blocks, starting with the first character next week. Feel free to ask questions, interact with the Order, and offer your predictions as to what will happen when you try to go both guns blazing into an epic megadungeon.

As always, sessions will be in our Marathon format, with play continuing over several days each time we meet. Our launch Marathon is set for late August. According to our custom, we’ll play the entire Adventure Path as written, using the complete PF 2.0 rules set, and we ask no quarter from our GM or the Amber Die itself. We'll post mid-Marathon and pre-Marathon updates on our social media, as well as full reports on the Paizo blog like we've done for previous projects.

Order of the Amber Die

VLAI CAFELLYN
Way of the Vanguard

Perception +20
Languages Common
Background Alkenstar Outlaw
Feats Versatile Heritage (Toughness), Uncoventional Weaponry, Subtle Theft, Munitions Crafter
Skills Acrobatics +7, Athletics +6, Diplomacy +3, Underworld Lore +3, Stealth +7, Thievery +7
Str +3, Dex +4, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +0
Items dwarven scattergun, leather armor, thieves' tools

AC 18; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +4
HP 18

Speed 25 feet
Melee reinforced stock (attached to dwarven scattergun, finesse, two-hand d6), Damage 1d6+3 bludgeoning
Ranged dwarven scattergun +9 (concussive, dwarf, kickback, scatter 10 feet, range increment 50 feet), Damage1d8+2 piercing (kickback, singular expertise)

Project Data Tracking:
-Total scatter damage to enemies
-Total scatter damage to allies (friendly fire)
-Total munitions crafted

Character Quote: "The great heist of the Alkenstar Gunworks from last year? Don't know much about it. I stick to fishing."

Soundtrack Song: Foremost, I chose "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi because I felt it fit Vlai's background as an Alkenstar Outlaw and the founder of Black Powder Cadre, as well as his life circumstances in general, extraordinarily well. Besides, the earliest members of OAD (myself included) were all kids who grew up in the 1980s in New Jersey. This was part of the soundtrack of our lives.

GM Commentary: “Matt’s first session with us was during his junior year of high school back in 1994. We told him to bring some Doritos since we’d be making characters that night; instead, he showed up with the coveted Paladin’s Handbook. Since then, he’s managed plenty of eccentric party rosters as Player Captain, so a group of all gunslingers should be a welcome challenge. He’s also undefeated as Player Captain in Paizo projects. No pressure, bud.” –Adam, GM

Order of the Amber Die

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I took advantage of one last opportunity to make some changes before project launch. I cleaned up the stat block a bit, and added a space for alignment and a section for heritage.

VLAI CAFELLYN
Neutral Human Gunslinger 1
Way of the Vanguard

Perception +6
Languages Common
Heritage Versatile Heritage
Background Alkenstar Outlaw
Feats Toughness (via Versatile Heritage), Uncoventional Weaponry, Subtle Theft, Munitions Crafter (Alchemical Crafting)
Skills Acrobatics +7, Athletics +6, Crafting +3, Diplomacy +3, Underworld Lore +3, Stealth +7, Thievery +7
Str +3, Dex +4, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +0
Items dwarven scattergun, leather armor, thieves' tools

AC 18; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +4
HP 18

Speed 25 feet
Melee<1A> reinforced stock +7 (attached to dwarven scattergun, finesse, two-hand d6), Damage 1d6+3 bludgeoning
Ranged<1A> dwarven scattergun +9 (concussive, dwarf, kickback, scatter 10 feet, range increment 50 feet, reload 1), Damage1d8+2 piercing (kickback, singular expertise)

Project Data Tracking:
-Total scatter damage to enemies
-Total scatter damage to allies (friendly fire)
-Total munitions crafted

Character Quote: “The great heist of the Alkenstar Gunworks from last year? Don't know much about it. Sounds scary. I like to stick to fishing myself.”

Soundtrack Song: Foremost, I chose "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi because I felt it fit Vlai's background as an Alkenstar Outlaw and the founder of Black Powder Cadre, as well as his life circumstances in general, extraordinarily well. It's a direct reference to the heist he carried out upon the Alkenstar Gunworks, and the fact that he is literally a wanted man by the Alkenstar authorities (at the very least). As an aside, this tune also has some strong nostalgia: Many of the earliest members of OAD (myself included), were all kids who grew up learning to play D&D in New Jersey during the 1980s. This was part of the soundtrack of our lives.

GM Commentary: “Matt’s first session with us was during his junior year of high school back in 1994. We told him to bring some Doritos since we’d be making characters that night; instead, he showed up with the coveted Paladin’s Handbook. Since then, he’s managed plenty of eccentric party rosters as Player Captain, so a group of all gunslingers should be a welcome challenge. He’s also undefeated as Player Captain in Paizo projects. No pressure, bud.” –Adam, GM


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BREEN DANAAN
Chaotic Neutral Half-Elf Gunslinger 1
Way of the Pistolero

Perception +7 (low-light vision)
Languages Common
Heritage Half-Elf
Background Eldritch Anatomist
Feats Natural Ambition (Dual-Weapon Reload), Assurance (Medicine), Munitions Crafter (Alchemical Crafting)
Skills Acrobatics +7, Crafting +3, Deception +3, Fleshwarp Lore +3, Medicine +5, Nature +5, Performance +3
Str +1, Dex +4, Con +2, Int +0, Wis +2, Cha +0
Items dragon mouth pistol, leather armor

AC 18; Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +5
HP 18

Speed 25 feet
Melee<1A> bayonet +7 (attached to dragon mouth pistol, agile, finesse), Damage 1d4+1 piercing
Ranged<1A> dragon mouth pistol +9 (concussive, scatter 5 feet, range increment 20 feet, reload 1), Damage1d6+1 piercing (singular expertise)

Project Data Tracking:
-Total uses of Continual Recovery
-Total hit points healed with Continual Recovery
-Total uses of Treat Wounds
-Total hit points healed with Treat Wounds
-Total munitions crafted

Character Quote: “What? I wasn't listening. Is it time to shoot something?”

Soundtrack Song: I chose Elle King's "Last Damn Night" because it exemplifies Breen's "live fast because you never know what will happen" attitude. She'll always go down shooting.

GM Commentary: "Karee is a longtime friend of the Order and is the owner of Critical Hit Cookies, which have fueled us throughout many adventures over the years. If you've had one of these cookies during a Marathon, you know what a natural 20 tastes like. This is actually Karee's final marathon as a prospective member, and if the party is still alive on day two, Karee will cross the 100-hour mark and become a full member of OAD. All eyes on you, kid."


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

This looks like fun! :-)

Order of the Amber Die

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Ed Reppert wrote:
This looks like fun! :-)

I'm excited for this one too! This project is something I've wanted to see for a long time as a GM. A party of all gunslingers, thrown into what many would consider the "standard unit" of adventure: a dungeon. In this case, a megadungeon gives us even more in the way of reporting as far as how this will play out. Will they fare better on certain levels than others, and why? Which encounters will they struggle with the most, and which ones will they simply obliterate? We purposely chose not to go with the Outlaws of Alkenstar AP for this reason, in that we wanted more of a control group (classic dungeon experience) for our experiment using this extreme party. Of course, it's not a perfect science experiment, especially when you toss in all the other variables and controlled chaos that comprise tabletop roleplaying. It sure has us eager to see what will happen though! We're one week away from the launch marathon, and the players are busy commenting away in the Google Classroom we use for our campaign -- their main concern is not healing but ammunition right now...


Adam Smith wrote:
the players are busy commenting away in the Google Classroom we use for our campaign

Total thread derail!

(Could you start a new thread and/or PM me privately?)

Would really like to hear more about how you wrangle Classroom to work for a campaign. There are some limitations that I find frustrating. How do you use the different tools there? Is everyone given 'teacher' access?

Order of the Amber Die

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Dancing Wind wrote:
Adam Smith wrote:
the players are busy commenting away in the Google Classroom we use for our campaign

Total thread derail!

(Could you start a new thread and/or PM me privately?)

Would really like to hear more about how you wrangle Classroom to work for a campaign. There are some limitations that I find frustrating. How do you use the different tools there? Is everyone given 'teacher' access?

Hi Wind! Hope you’re enjoying watching this project develop. I’m in a mad flurry of prep before our launch Marathon in a few days, so I’ll come back to address the Google Classroom at some point after the Marathon (if I forget just hit us up on the blog comments when the intro blog drops), and I know we already had a post set to talk about it some on our Patreon next month. Only the Player Captain and GM are “teachers,” with the rest of the players being “students.” It’s honestly been incredible for managing projects, though we also have a lot more deadlines than a standard group might have, and the "Assignment" feature is really where the Classroom shines. Lastly, being a teacher for twenty years REALLY helps, so I’m not exactly sure what the base skillset looks like for a GM trying to implement this for the first time. Thanks for your interest, and I’ll make some notes as I go so we can talk more about it as the project continues!

Order of the Amber Die

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MALOIKA THE MISERABLE
Chaotic Neutral Goblin Gunslinger 1
Way of the Sniper

Perception +4 (darkvision)
Languages Common, Goblin, Dwarven
Heritage Tailed Goblin
Background Market Runner
Feats Combat Climber, Very Sneaky, Hobnobber, Munitions Crafter (Alchemical Crafting)
Skills Acrobatics +7, Athletics +5 (+7 to climb), Crafting +4, Deception +4, Diplomacy +4, Otari Lore +4, Stealth +7
Str +2, Dex +4, Con +2, Int +1, Wis -1, Cha +1
Items harmona gun, leather armor

AC 18; Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +2
HP 18

Speed 25 feet
Melee<1A> reinforced stock +7 (attached to harmona, agile, finesse), Damage 1d6+2 bludgeoning
Ranged<1A> harmona +9 (kickback, range increment 150 feet, reload 1), Damage1d10+2 bludgeoning (singular expertise)

Project Data Tracking:
-Total uses of Covered Reload
-Total damage dealt with One Shot, One Kill
-Total munitions crafted

Character Quote: “No, it's not yours. Do you really think this is the only one like it ever created?”

Soundtrack Song: I chose “Boom” by P.O.D. as a direct reference to the gun Maloika carries: the Harmona. It's the biggest gun you can pack from Guns & Gears. The harmona bird is also the symbol of the Black Powder Cadre, and every character wears an image of it on their person, whether it be a belt buckle, cloak clasp, or the like.

GM Commentary: "Maloika will be played by our esteemed Castellan, Sean Linville, who is a veteran of many projects: The Giantslayer Endeavor, The Strange Aeons Experiment, The Pathfinder Playtest, The Runelords Relay, The Azlant Odyssey, and The Slithering Salve. We first met Sean back in 2015, when we were running events at a convention in Philly. He walked up to the table, pulling a large DeWalt tool case on wheels; instead of it being filled with tools, the case contained every single Pathfinder hardcover to date. His character sheet was spot on, his rules knowledge was tight, and one look between Player Captain and GM said, “This guy is OAD.” Oh, and when we break something in the house during a Marathon, Sean will show you how he can spackle with one hand and roll for initiative with the other – that’s why we call him Castellan."


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Interesting characters. Just for grins, I built them in HeroLab Online. Noticed a couple things:

Seems like they all need Alchemists tools, and Breen needs healer's tools.

They all need adventurer's packs.

They all need 8 alchemist formulas (4 munitions crafter and 4 other).

15 GP isn't enough starting money for these guys.

Maloika is missing a trained skill.

They're all missing a language.

Their guns need ammo.

Is their home region Absalom, or Alkenstar, or somewhere else? I would think Absalom, but I dunno.

A bit nit-picky perhaps but then I have CDO (it's like OCD but the letters are in alphabetical order, just like they're supposed to be). :-)

Order of the Amber Die

Ed Reppert wrote:
Interesting characters. Just for grins, I built them in HeroLab Online. Noticed a couple things:

Correct—and not exactly! I’ll explain: We use HeroLab too (and love it btw), so the missing info is intentional. Similar to past projects, we don’t usually list every single item the PC has (rope, waterskins, healer’s kits, repair kits, thieves’ tools, chalk, number of torches, crowbars, flint and steel, backpacks, bandoliers, belt pouches, copper pieces, etc.)., just the most pertinent info.

Sorry if we implied otherwise, but much like our previous projects, these blocks are not final until the marathon begins. They are, however, 95% final, which is why we thought it safe and fun to post. These blocks have changed before a marathon a few times here and there (we try to keep it minimal), which is why we post the finals afterwards. Heck, we once switched two of the four character classes on the morning of a launch for the Emerald Spire project!

In regards to the language and skill for Maloika, our player is still debating those final choices. Despite playing professionally, we’re still a group, and last minute changes to a character before the campaign begins do happen, just like for other groups.

Next up will be the final member of the founding 4 of Black Powder Cadre!


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Aha! Okay, that's cool. Waiting is... :-)

Order of the Amber Die

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Matt Hardin wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Interesting characters. Just for grins, I built them in HeroLab Online. Noticed a couple things:

Heck, we once switched two of the four character classes on the morning of a launch for the Emerald Spire project!

(looks around)

I had nothing to do with why two of the four characters changed during that fateful morning of The Emerald Spire Project launch, but if I did, it's why the project was so brilliantly successful. In defense of anyone who might have been in favor of switching those two characters out, we only shared those blocks with Paizo, so Adam said it was fine..."
(whistles)

Order of the Amber Die

ROME
Neutral Human Gunslinger 1
Way of the Drifter

Perception +5
Languages Common
Heritage Versatile Heritage
Background Fogfen Tale-Teller
Feats Toughness, Natural Ambition (Munitions Crafter (Alchemical Crafting)), Titan Wrestler, Dual-Weapon Reload
Skills Acrobatics +7, Athletics +5, Crafting +3, Intimidation +4, Swamp Lore +3, Stealth +7, Thievery +7
Str +2, Dex +4, Con +2, Int +0, Wis +0, Cha +1
Items dueling pistol, shortsword, leather armor

AC 18; Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +3
HP 19

Speed 25 feet
Melee<1A> shortsword +7 (agile, finesse, versatile S), Damage 1d6+2 piercing
Melee<1A> reinforced stock +7 (attached to dueling pistol, agile, finesse), Damage 1d6+2 bludgeoning
Ranged<1A> dueling pistol +9 (concealable, concussive, fatal d10, range increment 60 feet, reload 1), Damage1d6+1 piercing (singular expertise)

Project Data Tracking:
-Total uses of Reloading Strike
-Total number of successful uses of demoralize
-Total munitions crafted

Character Quote: “You never knew a big man could move silently – until you knew me.”

Soundtrack Song: I chose “Somebody’s Gotta Die” by The Notorious B.I.G., in regard to my party role and situations I expect to be facing throughout this project. Being the strongest melee character means I might often find myself alone in the front, holding back several enemies until massed fire can bring them down. I know that I’m taking as many with me as I can.

GM Commentary: Rome will be played by longtime member Erick Germer, who is a veteran of many projects: The Emerald Spire Project, The Giantslayer Endeavor, The Strange Aeons Experiment, The Pathfinder Playtest, The Runelords Relay, The Azlant Odyssey, and The Slithering Salve. Erick was actually my student in Modern World History back in 2003, when we used to chat games before class. A few years after graduation we ran into each other; OAD happened to have an open slot in a campaign, and here we are. While Erick has the highest number of published adventures completed among all members, that’s not what he’s known for -– or I should say -- why he’s feared. If you’re in a party with him, forget the dragon, it’s Erick who might be more likely to bring you down. He’s got more PvP notches on his belt than any other player in OAD history, and when he fails that save verus dominate, it’ll be the out-of-game look of particular glee on his face that makes your character death hurt a little more.” –Adam, GM.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

And now they are four!

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