Its Reigning, Its warring (Fall 2016)

Welcome to the Deserts of the Inner Sea
Bring sunscreen

Welcome to my little Homebrew Campaign!
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This is my first time as a Game Master for an extended period and also my first campaign, but I truly do not think you will be disapointed. To help you to succeed in this campaign I would like to provide you with some information that can guide character creation as well as give you some access to resources that can guide your decisions.

To start, I have sent out an email to you all with a google form to fill out. It will just help me steer the writing of the campaign. I have already written the cast, and understand the LG_Genies_Marid_timkingslynne_web.jpg world, now it comes down to mechanical implementation as well as plotting a general course. Your input is crucial and WILL affect the campaign. if you lost the link it can be accessed here.

Flavor:
The flavor of this campaign will be a little more high minded, players will have an impact on an entire region’s political station and by the end of the campaign will have carried a nation through one of the most important events in its history. ]The campaign will be mid to high level, and challenging. The campaign has a few different areas of focus, all of which surround political intrigue — either on a societal, national, or planar level. The campaign will be mostly urban, with quests which take players out into the deserts and on the sea. Players can expect to interact most with pirates, high-nobles, Soldiers, Mages, genie and slaves. Think Game of Thrones meets Alibaba’s 40 Thieves after they had a drink with extraplanar entities and you’ll have the right idea.

Locale: Qadira 250px-Qadira_symbol.jpg
This campaign will be in the far east of the inner sea (which in the world of Glorion is meant to simulate north africa, the middle east, and southernmost europe). The particular nation which we will be spending the majority of our time is in the politically unique Qadira. Because this campaign is basically set in Pakistan and Iraq (post crusades, pre-modernity) the attitudes of the middle east, particularly the stereotypical fantasy version of the middle east, will follow. That will make this campaign very insular. It is the strong suggestion of this GM that players be from one of the following nations listed in order of GM reccomendation:

  • Qadira (most strongly recommended)
  • Galt
  • Jalmeray
  • Katapesh
  • Andoran
  • Taldor (THIS IS A BAD IDEA, but possible)

if you would like to be from a different part of the world contact me directly by text.

Class and Race Limitations:
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To smooth out play and make the world more cohesive I intend to place limits on the types of allowable classes and races. As it stands Human is the preferred race for this campaign but I will allow 2 other humanoid races and 1 nonhuman race based on your input. Geniekin are allowed in so far as they can be passably one of the other races, and should exist in disguise as one of the other races (for your protection as this is an area that enslaves genies). All players will be granted the ability to speak Kaleshi with no loss of skill points.

LG_Genies_Efreeti_timkingslynne_web.jpg As far as class goes I will wait for the surveys to come in and pick about 5 or 6 classes that are in this campaign and post it here. Once that is decided I will also post some suggested character roles. This seems limiting, however it comes with the promise that all of your enemies who are not monsters will be of those classes and have those abilities. This will give you all a good opportunity to enjoy knowledge of their weaknesses and strengths. NPC who were not intended for battle will have NPC classes.

I am currently leaning toward the following:

  • Magus- Magi have always been a part of the middle eastern lore.
  • Inquisitor- Strong religious ties to Sarenae make this a good pick, divine spells are nice.
  • Ranger/Slayer- Specializing in dessert or urban terrain could save a party!
  • Caviler/Fighter- Mounted combat will exist in the plains of Qadira and has a long history to the people there.
  • Rouge/Investigator- Would we be complete in an intrigue campaign without them?
  • Your favorite class here- don’t see what you wanted to play? Fill out the google form and if it fits it’ll be in this spot. If it doesn’t I’ll contact you and we will see what we can do. I don’t want to limit you. :)

Because this is a mid to high level campaign I would like to encourage players to look into prestige classes. Any and all possible (within class/race limitations) prestige classes that can be found in the source material will be available for use. Certain early in the game quests will allow players the opportunity to take a prestige class (such as as a Divrat, or an Inner Sea Pirate). I would personally love to see a party of players all playing prestige classes as it is an underutilized mechanic in prior campaigns.

Source Materials:
This is an inner sea campaign. The source materials will be:

  • Core: Core Rulebook, Advanced Players Guide, Ultimate Magic/Combat/Equipment/Campaign/Intrigue, Advanced Race Guide, Advanced Class Guide,
  • Official Inner Sea Guides: Inner Sea Primer, Inner Sea World Guide, Inner Sea Gods, Inner Sea Magic/Combat, Inner Sea Intrigue, Pirates of the inner sea, Knights of the Inner Sea, People of the Sands
  • Nation Specific Guides: Taldor Echoes of Glory, Qadira Gateway to the East, Andoran Spirit of Liberty
  • Supplements: Faiths & Philosophies, Paths of Prestige

LG_Genies_Shaitan_timkingslynne_web.jpgIf you have something that you need, or really really wanted to try, let me know and I can review it to see if it is compatible.
Access to all of these resources will be freely available at the following Dropbox link I have created.

I would personally recommend skimming the Qadira specific guide, as well as thumbing through the exhaustive information available in the Inner Sea World Guide. If you are from a different nation I would read those sections of the inner sea world guide as well as the guide for that specific nation (NPC will have certain expectations of people from those places). I would also reccomend perusing the Ultimate intrigue guide (vigilantes will not be allowed sorry) because it will include some important new mechanics. More details in the next blog post.

There will be a weekly post to go with the weekly meetings. Hope we can all enjoy playing together! If anything in here so far is not to your liking, or you don’t think you can commit to missing less than 3 total weeks, let me know right away and we will work something out.

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Getting Started
Important information

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.

Survey Results/Impact

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

CHARACTER CREATION
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.

SOCIAL ENCOUNTERS

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.

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To the Zho we go!
into the desert and what we found there

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Night had just settled on the Qadiran desert as our party make their way Even deeper into the southern territories. All of the group could definitively say that it was not safe in the capital they have to get even farther away from tubby man in his house of horrors that surely awaited any one of them. They are frantic writings of them in the same direction that they were heading at the very beginning, through the southern desert toward Zho Mountains which is where hints of Kyra’s parentage had come to Skess and company. The princess and the shadowy woman far behind them the group trudges forth into the unforgiving desert night.
the wind blows south westerly as Kyra stands to proclaim to her party….

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