Hello Pathfinders! The semester is going to be beginning any time now, and with the advent of the fall begins the dawn of the desert sun! Character sheets should be turned in soon, and to aid you in that I would like to share a little more about the campaign and character creation.
All of the Survey results are in, and your views have already had massive impacts on the universe.
- Playable races (and encounterable) races include all Humans, Genie-kin and Half-Orc. Please note that it is not possible to become a registered foreigner or accepted citizen officially in Qadira if you are not (passably) human. Human is still a good idea.
- Playable base classes available are as follows: Kineticist, Ranger, Rouge, Chevalier, Inquisitor, Brawler, Magus, Wizard. Any player or NPC who take player class ranks will always be from these classes or prestige classes.
- Prestige classes available: Any prestige class available from the source material allowed, prestige classes that require special encounters are available so long as it logically fits with character (just message me) NPC may also have prestige class ranks.
- Difficulty of the campaign will be on the higher side. Expect to be thrust into complicated encounters pretty regularly, which should exhaust 25% of your party’s resources each encounter. But there is good news.
- Encounters don’t just mean fighting. There are now social encounters. Social encounters are run as described in Ultimate Intrigue but I will summarize the mechanics in the section below labeled Social Encounters.
- Any encounter could be turned into a social one if you decide to early on, just like you can always choose to stab that nice guy who you were talking to. Know that some enemies will have much higher or lower difficulty class depending on if it is taken as a social or combat encounter (Squishy mastermind lawyers vs. Socially-inept muscle thugs), decisions are important.
- Sneak attacks or encounters where enemies attack first are always initially combat encounters. Turning them into social encounters would require immense skill in diplomacy, intimidate, perception or bluff.
- Roleplay will be a much heavier influence in the game than mechanics. Keeping track of things and people not knowing what to do by the time their turn came was the largest battle annoyance followed closely thereafter by distractions. Battles, and all mechanics heavy situations really, will be handled ever so slightly differently.
○ There will be an emphasis placed on preparation before the session starts. I will be doing a lot of pre-game prep and I will expect you to as well. Pre-game duties will include:
- Uploading a current copy of your stat sheet so both you and I may have it for reference (be it a picture of pen and paper sheet or a pdf. NOT a spreadsheet file). If I don’t have it when you start role playing, then your character won’t have it till I get it during a break.
- Writing out 2 3×5 cards (I will provide).
□ The first will include your Character’s name and typical HP and AC stats (armored, shielded, touch and flatfooted, all separate). If you have an animal companion or familiar also include those stats for them on this sheet. At the bottom of this card I would like you to include the results of 6 initiative rolls [which we will all witness].
□ To speed up the natural flow of the role play of combat and social encounters we will roll initiative ahead of time (this is true for the NPCs as well. I will roll 20 initiative rolls for all NPC at the beginning of the session. When a combat/social encounter starts I will put the turn order on a whiteboard and attach that whiteboard to my GM screen so everyone can keep track.
□ The second 3×5 card will be you writing out a list of your class, feat, or known spell, conditional modifiers. In parenthesis include the conditions that grant you the modifier i.e. +2 to attack rolls (against small creatures, using scimitar). This includes spell modifiers. If it is a permanent modifier (like fleet) then just include it in that stat.
- Writing out a combat flow chart for your character. It does not need to be every session, but you are expected to have an easy to follow flow of basic attacks/spell/maneuver combos ready in an easy to read form. You can fall back on this if your turn comes. If you have spells you are expected to prepare at least 2 lists of prepared spells. When a new day dawns I will ask for this list.
- Reading the adventure log posts, or emails. I may email you with information your character knows, or post a blog that prepares you for any detailed information that would bog down the introduction to the play session. This information will be mentioned again when play starts, but nowhere near as detailed as in the blog post. The blog post may also cue you as a player into a difficult decision that your character will have to make, so that you will have the opportunity to mull it over and not make a disastrous decision in a spur of the moment role play joke.
○ Combat turns will be role played, not just stated. This means that after rolling to hit players will summarize the actions before their turn and will add to it by describing in brief detail what it is that they are doing, since in pathfinder turns happen simultaneously. This should promote battlefield awareness and keep players engaged. Ex: I take a swift step to the right of the fiend as I draw my sword and lobby 3 consecutive slashes at the creature landing 2 while the third is deflected by its armor. Next player: While he takes his step I pulled out my wand and as he opens the monster’s flesh I target magic missiles into the wounds. Next Player: As the missiles are in flight I devote all my attention on lining up my arrow as I fire a direct shot to kiss the creature’s skull. Next…etc.etc.
○ There will be physicalibles to manifest what would otherwise be conceptual mechanics. More details on this when I feel arts and craftsy
Since we are beginning shortly after school starts, and I am tailoring the campaign to play up the strengths of the players, I would like to see a completed base sheet for your character up to level 10 sometime before the 21st of august. Big ticket items should be included.
Bare minimum include: Classes, traits, feats, skills, armor, weapons, wonderous items, spells, and mount/familiars. Nation of origin, nation currently resided in, political philosophy and diety if any should also be factored in.
* You should have 3 traits, and one trait MUST be an inner sea regional/social trait.
* Since you all grew up in the inner sea it is assumed you grew up haggling.
* If you have a 10 bonus in Appraise, or Bluff, or Diplomacy (or appropriate knowledge) you get 10% off the list price of the items. If you have a 20 bonus its 20% (only for items you start with)
* If you have items from any book with inner sea (or the name of an inner sea nation) in the title, or intrigue in the title, you get 25% the items. Discounts Stack.
* Be aware having a reserve of petty cash would be wise.
* Players begin with 105000XP and 62,000GP
* It is a High fantasy campaign and be aware that I keep track of encumberment, you are encouraged to get a mount and/or a beast of burden.
This campaign is one that will test both the warrior and the diplomat. Encounters need not always turn violent, and influence will factor heavily. It would be wise to read the social encounter and influence section in Ultimate intrigue (under section 3 Mastering intrigue). I will summarize how social encounters go here though. The goal of a social encounter is to sway the hearts and minds of certain targets, to make them change their opinion, do you a favor, or think favorably of you. Influence is more valuable than gold, though there does seem to be an exchange rate.
* Roll for social initiative (CHA bonus+WIS bonus + initiative bonuses + d20), if social surprise of a character you have not seen no WIS bonus (unprepared), if social surprise from a character you did not speak to AND in front of an influencable audience no CHA bonus (caught off guard). Unprepared and caught off guard can stack. If you have 15 ranks in Sense motive you cannot be unprepared, and if you have 15 ranks in Diplomacy you cannot be caught off guard. [custom rule]
* Social initiative is kept through the entire counter, though the encounter is broken up into phases (rounds)
* In initiative order players select a target, make a knowledge check (first round only) and choose to make a discovery check or an influence check.
* Knowledge check: [knowledge local, nobility, planes, nature, arcana] Players get an opportunity to check and see if they might know something about the target they selected (only one target per encounter). The GM will apply the roll to whatever character knowledge has the highest chance of success and reveal information. This may include information that would otherwise be obtained through a discovery check, or it may be a rumor about the person (GM will announce which)
* Discovery check: [Sense motive or Perception] During a discovery check the player is analyzing the target, either while they are aware or unaware, through talking to the target or talking to people around the target. Player announces what it is that they are wanting to discover (strengths, weaknesses, influence) and then rolls for either perception or sense motive, whichever they decide. (DC will be different for each) You can continue to do discoveries and learn more strengths, weaknesses or influence but you will always receive the one that has the greatest impact on DC first.
□ Strengths- if you include strengths of a target in your influence check the DC goes up (i.e. the baron who sees through flattery will not be persuaded easily by flattery)
□ Weaknesses- if you include weaknesses of a target in your influence check the DC goes down (i.e. if you make emotional appeal his heart is softened.
□ Influence- you learn what skill will influence them most.
* Influence check: [Skill varies from target to target] Players can attempt to influence the target using skill checks. Only some skills will have an effect, and there will always be a skill that has the greatest effect. You can attempt influence using any skill though, if you do not know the skill then you can try and guess. You will not necessarily receive immediate feedback on the successfulness of your check, but you will be told when a target can no longer be influenced.
* NPC act according to initiative. Sometimes there may be NPC who target the same person you are targeting, sometimes the NPC will target you, sometimes the NPC will challenge you to a verbal duel.
* Verbal duels are an attempt to persuade an audience of something. Read Ultimate intrigue and inner sea intrigue for more information.
That’s all for now. Hope to see emails with sheets coming in soon. Questions can be sent by text, though it may be wiser to comment on this post with a question so others might get it answered as well.