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Old 05-25-2019, 12:24 AM
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The Child Emperor

Game NameThe Child Emperor
Game SystemPathfinder
ThemeA city traditionally beset by undead, now faces a rioting lower class.
FlavourAdventure and heroics. Protecting the good guys / fighting monsters.
Plot Summary
Submissions Closed.
The Aim
I’m looking to start a Pathfinder game for four PCs. My goal is twofold:
  1. To get a better understanding of how to run a PBP game on RPGcrossing as I am new to the PBP format (but not to Pathfinder). I’ve been playing for about 5 years both as a player and GM, but l am also attracted to many of the aspects of PBP that cannot be easily recreated in live play.
  2. To provide a shorter Pathfinder option that does not require the lengthy time commitment that a much longer campaign would ask for. I imagine this option may be attractive to many new players who would like to dip their toes into a shorter adventure to start.
As a result I’m hoping to attract a few resident experts on RPGcrossing that would be happy to provide any tips and tricks while I navigate my first GM game on this site, as well as any newer players that want to give this a go.

The adventure I’ve chosen is The Child Emperor, an adventure for four level 5 PCs, as featured in RPGcrossing’s very own online magazine: the Explosive Runes!
Hopefully you haven’t read it yet! And if you haven’t, that you won’t. Honour system!


The Story

Centuries ago, the city of Ikeda and its surroundings were terrorized by hosts of undead, until one day Shibato Masao united all the cities. The Masao bloodline seems to have an aptitude for controlling undead, so Shibato was able to drive away the worst of them. He was crowned emperor of the newly formed realm, and for generations, Shibato’s heirs continued to protect it from renewed incursions of undead. Under the Masaos’ reign, the empire and Ikeda, its capital, flourished.

This golden age has come to an end with the last few generations of monarchs paying little attention to the well-being of their people, focusing instead on the gratification of their own desires. The current emperor, Kuno Masao, celebrates lavish feasts once a week, despite much of Ikeda’s populace suffering from hunger. Kuno has sent out his tax collectors increasingly frequently, collecting money and food for his celebrations. Despite growing dissatisfaction, Ikeda’s people have indulged Kuno so far, many hoping their contributions will gain them the emperor’s favor, but the population is slowly realizing they have accepted things for too long. The situation is tense and violence is close to erupting.


The PCs
You are four adventurers who live in the city of Ikeda. At level five you have already had some notable adventures in the surrounding area and your deeds have earned you a respectable amount of recognition among your peers, though you are not famous by any means. It will be up to you whether or not your PC has already met some or all of the other party members. There will be an opportunity to get to know each other when the adventure begins.


Character Specifics
In an effort to keep this as simple on me as possible, I’m going to restrict PC creation to the 11 core classes and 7 core races. For everything else, no 3rd-party content please. We will be using 15 point buy, but at this stage I’m just looking for your class, race and a short character description.

The city of Ikeda is primarily populated with native Ikedians, a human population typically recognized by their jet black hair and lighter skin tone, though many other humans from other parts of the world have also moved to Ikeda for their own reasons. As with most Pathfinder cities, a small smattering of additional Pathfinder races also live and work in Ikeda (from Elves and Dwarves to Half-Orcs).


Requirements and Expectations
Please include in your application, your PC ideas including: Class, race and a short description of the character, both to introduce the character as well as to give an idea of your writing style.

Characters should be on the lawful / good end of the spectrum. We are, after all, trying to stop a city from breaking out into chaos, not start it.

I am excited to start playing and will aim for an average posting rate of once a day with the understanding that some days can be busy. If a PC is not able to post within two days, I’ll probably skip over the missing PC or, if in battle, give them a simple and logical action to move things along. I’m posting from North America, Pacific Standard Time, if that makes a difference for anyone.

There won’t be any levelling up as the adventure will just last for the duration of level 5.


Play Style
One of the aspects of play-by-post that I’m looking forward to, is being able to more closely follow the rules of the Pathfinder game. While in live play, I find hand-waving is often important to keep the game moving without the need to constantly look things up, in PBP we have the time to look things up! I hope everyone will do their best to play their characters according to the specific rules that govern them and I look forward to understanding the details of the game better through this medium. I also prefer a more serious game. While humour can be a great moment in every story, I’m not a fan of games that devolve into complete goofiness for the sake of goofiness.


Answered Questions
Q: Will this have a Chinese flavor to the setting? I just need to know the general theme and visual feel of the community we'd be in if I'm to make a character that fits into the scenario well.

Yes, the capital city of Ikeda is very much inspired by the traditional Chinese / Japanese setting. That said, I’m no expert on the era or culture of that time, so I reserve the artistic license to claim any mistakes are just differences in this particular fictional setting.

Ikedian society is made up of three classes: the very rich noble class, a large and growing lower class mostly on the edge of poverty, and a small middle class made up primarily of artisans that are able to make a decent living selling luxury goods to the upper noble class. PC’s can choose to write their backstories from any of the three classes. The capital city is located on the coast and boasts a large fishing and trade industry, among the many other regional industries that also make Ikeda their headquarters. The city is made up of several districts, the richer ones showcasing beautiful wooden homes and estates with ornate curved rooftops and lavish exotic gardens, the poorer neighbourhoods nearer the harbour filled with simple wooden apartments stacked tightly side by side and above one another. Many families, unable to feed themselves, take to begging on the streets, a common sight that is starting to bleed into the richer neighbourhoods as the desperate become more daring and risk physical confrontation with the guards patrolling the upper class streets.

We will be spending some time in the city, but also some time outside of the city.

Q: Traits? Archetypes allowed? Background Skills? I will assume Path of War and Feat Tax rules are off the table since you said no 3pp.

PCs can choose up to two basic or racial traits and can gain a third by taking a drawback. Paizo archetypes are allowed. We won't be using Background Skills, Path of War or any Feat Tax rules.

Q: Additional character creation details.
  • 15 Point Buy
  • Standard 5th Level Starting Gold (10,500 gp)
  • Full hit points at first level and average hit points for the remaining four.
  • Two Basic (Combat, Faith, Magic, Social) or Racial Traits
  • You can choose to take a third basic or racial trait if you also take a Drawback.
  • Backstory: Consider whether your PC would be part of the upper, middle or lower class in this society and how they currently might feel (or not feel) about the growing tensions between the upper and lower classes. Ideally they would be at least mildly invested in stopping an all out riot war.

Q: Druids in an urban environment.

The adventure will be partially within the city and partially outside. Druid animal companions may need to be locked up when the druid is in the city, depending on the type of animal. Smaller, less threatening animals, like a dog or cat, can roam freely on the streets of the city with the druid. Onin’s ape would depend somewhat on what type of ape, as apes can span anything from a chimpanzee to a gorilla. A gorilla would need to be kept locked up, a smaller ape like a chimpanzee might be allowed on the streets of the city if on some sort of leash. (It’s the same Ape stats, but I would allow for some flavour consideration here.) Uther’s sabre-toothed tiger would absolutely need to be locked up when in the city! If needed, arrangements can be made with a warehouse on the harbour or near one of the other city entrances to purchase some storage space to convert into a temporary caged housing for the more dangerous animal companions.

It is also important to note that I will be following the Pathfinder rules of asking for handle animal checks when druids (or any PC or NPC) wants their animal companion to perform a certain action, with the risk of failure meaning the GM decides what the animal companion naturally does instead of the commanded action. I know some GM's kind of skip this.


 Player Name Race Class
1Runetide Yoma Ten-Devils Human (Ikedan) Barbarian (Armored Hulk)
2Meschie Rurik Stonebinder Dwarf Fighter
3Mrjoegangles Jaelin Rynn Half-Orc Sorcerer (Phoenix Bloodline)
4Jaling Xel Lightway Halfling Ranger (Urban Ranger)
5Krow Nest Ketsuredi Human (Ikedan) Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager)
6Kshnik Onin Osmaplite Dwarf Druid (Menhir Savant)
7GeneT Tikum Menikem Human Rogue (Shadow Scion)
8Rhaiber Moriko Human Unchained Monk (Flowing Monk)
9LeoByron Gaijin Uther Drake Half-Orc Fighter / Unchained Monk


Last edited by JackSpratt; 06-01-2019 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:36 AM
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Intersesting! Will this have a Chinese flavor to the setting? (asking because I know nothing of the setting or the adventure but contextually from the picture and the theme of Child Emperor I was making a guestimate) I just need to know the general theme and visual feel of the community we'd be in if I'm to make a character that fits into the scenario well. In addition, I'll ask about the other inevitable subjects for PF games:
Traits? Archetypes allowed? Background Skills? I will assume Path of War and Feat Tax rules are off the table since you said no 3pp (which is perfectly fine with me, I tend to forget about feat tax rules and PoW is a 3.5 update for pf so who needs maneuvers anyways?)

Application
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Name: Yoma Ten-Devils

Race: Human (Ikedan)

Class: Barbarian

Archetype: Armored Hulk

Social Class: Upper Class, samurai-style nobility (so... bottom rung, but in the upper class as an 'enlightened warrior')

Background: Yoma is part of a familial line of noble warriors, passing their armor and weapons down from generation to generation. As such, he is trained to be cultivated, honorable, skilled, and able in both the use of armor and weapons. Yoma is all these things, and more. His focus in battle is almost a supernatural zen combat, focusing his skill and prowess to a razor's edge. This led to him earning the moniker 'ten-devils' for how he fights like a man possessed by many demons.

Investment: Yoma is a member of the class that's being threatened by the lower class uprising, so he would be invested in keeping order. He's Neutral-Good, so he has reason to believe in the greater good of people, but isn't unwilling to brutally murderize enemies of the people.

Crunch FactorYoma Ten-Devils
Human (Ikedan) barbarian (armored hulk) 5 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 28)
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +3; Senses Perception +9 (+11 to not be surprised in a surprise round of combat)
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (+9 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 52 (5d12+12)
Fort +6, Ref +3 (+1 bonus vs. trample attacks), Will +1; +4 morale bonus vs. spells, supernatural abilities, and spell-like abilities while raging but must resist all spells, even allies'
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 45 ft. (35 ft. in armor)
Melee +1 nodachi +9 (1d10+5/18-20) or
. . mwk spiked gauntlet +9 (1d4+3)
Ranged +1 adaptive composite longbow +8 (1d8+4/◊3)
Special Attacks rage (14 rounds/day), rage powers (savage intuition, superstition +4)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 17, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +9 (+11 bull rush); CMD 20 (22 vs. bull rush, 21 vs. overrun)
Feats Demonic Momentum, Demonic Style, Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack
Traits giant ambivalence, inspiring rush, seeker
Skills Acrobatics +5, Bluff -1, Climb +3, Disguise -1, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (nature) +4, Perception +9 (+11 to not be surprised in a surprise round of combat), Sense Motive +1, Stealth -4, Survival +8, Swim +3
Languages Common, Ikedan
SQ indomitable stance, resilience of steel
Other Gear +1 o-yoroi[UC], +1 adaptive composite longbow, +1 nodachi[UC], arrows (30), mwk spiked gauntlet, 1,583 gp, 5 sp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Demonic Momentum In Style, +2 dam/5 ft bull rushed on to melee att until end next turn.
Demonic Style Charge actions give additional +1 atk & +2 dmg.
Improved Bull Rush You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when bull rushing.
Indomitable Stance (Ex) +1 to Reflex vs. trample & to hit, dam, and AC vs. charging foe.
Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Rage (14 rounds/day) (Ex) +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 to Will saves, -2 to AC when enraged.
Resilience of Steel +1 (Ex) Gain bonus to AC vs. a foe's critical confirmation rolls.
Savage Intuition You may enter a rage at the beginning of combat without using an an action.
Superstition +4 (Ex) While raging, gain bonus to save vs. magic, but must resist all spells, even allies'.

Last edited by Runetide; 05-26-2019 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:56 AM
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Name: Rurik Stonebinder

Class: Fighter

Social Class: Middle Class

Personality: Rurik is gregarious, despite his stigma. He enjoys talking to people, but takes offense quickly if they start laughing at him or tease him, or any way show their disgust at his lacking abilities. However, they have to be pretty obvious; he doesn't usually understand innuendo, so he will likely get along fine with those who might otherwise despise him, but do it subtly. He is generous to a fault, always says the exact wrong thing at the wrong time, and tends to love potty humor. He is ferocious in battle, and fights quickly and pragmatically, having found that ending a fight quickly means more people go home.

Background: Och, me head. Seriously, me story ain't dat great. Dunno know vhy ye tink us Stonebound talk like highland humans. Or drunk hornheads. 'Cause we don't. See, already clearing up. Ugh, the ale must have hit hard. Or is it that the ale hit me hard? I dunno. Ugh, getting ahead of meself.

I be Rurik Stonebinder, dwarf of the Stonebinder tribe. Well, what's left of it, anyways, dat fled to Ikeda. So instead of bound to the stone, I'm just stoned. Or, wait. You weren't supposed to know that; me ma always told me to speakspeak, then thinkspeak. Or was it the other way? Oh, ugh. I need some of that weird-smellin' leaf drink they have around here. Clears the head, it does. Any no hows...yeah. I be born in Ikeda, where I live as a mercenary for hire, because pa said I was built like a brick dunghouse, only he didn't say dung, but another word I tweren't supposed to use in the polite company. But I be a merc because Pa also said I was dumb as a post, but that's ok, because obviously my smarts went into my muscles. Or sumtin'.

So yeah, all this to say, I get paid a fair bit more than normal because Pa ended up being right. I am pretty good with an axe. Or a spear. Or just about anything that smashes, slashes or stabs. And not half-bad in a barfight, teither. I get in a lot of those.

Ugh, this is Rurik's brother Alphaeus. Let's leave aside the fact I have a funny name; it was my father's idea. I'm going to take over Rurik's attempt at a biography here. Mainly, 'cause he handed it to me, and asked me to. He said the words just weren't comin', no matter how much he fought.

My brother was born...different. He could walk almost as soon as he was born, it seemed, but it took him forever to learn how to talk. At least talk, after a fashion. It took even longer to teach him to read and write, though he still struggles a great deal with such things. Normally, his problems wouldn't be an issue. But, of course, through no fault of his own, and because fate loves to throw rocks at those that live in glass houses, he was born first. He is the inheritor of my father's position as chief of the Stonebinder clan and owner of The Iron Fist, my father's smithy.

Now, he doesn't want it. My brother is strange; despite his mental...struggles, he is very honest. Frequently, too honest, but that's a another story. He knows that he'd make a lousy chief. He's watched my father as he holds court over the remnant of our clan. He takes notes. He's studied political treatises(which literally gave him a headache). He's spoken to family heads, which made them laugh, more than anything. So, he doesn't want the job. Right now, he's content to be a freelance mercenary, which he excells at, since fighting appears to be the one talent he has. But, someday, my father will be welcomed home by Torag, and when that day comes, dwarven law is clear. My brother will become clan chief, and inherit the Iron Fist. And there will be chaos, I think.

But until then, my brother trains hard, fights hard, and drinks hard. He goes to bars occasionally, and usually ends up in a fight soon after opening his mouth. His mental difficulties are obvious when he speaks, and someone always thinks that Rurik should just keel over. That he's not good enough to breathe the same air as others who are supposedly more fit. Well, understandably, my brother takes exception to those idiots, and they always end up at the temple with an assortment of contusions and rarely, broken limbs. Sigh.

One last thing: Rurik doesn't want to change the world. No, he just wants to protect his family. That is his ambition, the reason he keeps training, and reading books on politics to this day. He will be the best chief he can be, when that day comes, and I will stand by his side and glare everyone into submission while he rules.

Last edited by Meschie; 05-28-2019 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Personality
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Old 05-25-2019, 12:40 PM
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”Only by searing away the rot, can new growth begin.”
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Jaelin
Class: Sorcerer (Phoenix Bloodline)
Race: Half-Orc
Social Class: Born into a noble house but is disowned and doesn’t know which one. Father was an influential Shaman until his disgrace. Jaelin herself is a well regarded healer, who is frequently called upon by all social classes. She maintains a comfortable lifestyle.
Role: Healer, Utility, Face
Background:”I have been touched by the flame of creation.” You know of fire, it is a living thing much like you or I. It feeds, it breaths, it grows, it consumes. When we talk of fire though it is always as if we talk of a caged beast, useful but dangerous, liable to turn in its master. But what if it was greater than that? What if fire is not a living being but a living force? Not of destruction and death, but of cleansing and reincarnation?
There is a spirit long revered by the tribe of my father’s people, that of the Phoenix, a creature of second chances, a being of rebirth. The heat of its flames boils inside my blood, waiting to sear out corruption and promote new growth. Will you let its flames wash over you?
 
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Last edited by Mrjoegangles; 05-27-2019 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 01:24 PM
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Hi Runetide, Meschie and Mrjoegangles!

Thanks for your interest in this game!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runetide View Post
Will this have a Chinese flavor to the setting? (asking because I know nothing of the setting or the adventure but contextually from the picture and the theme of Child Emperor I was making a guestimate) I just need to know the general theme and visual feel of the community we'd be in if I'm to make a character that fits into the scenario well.
Yes, the capital city of Ikeda is very much inspired by the traditional Chinese / Japanese setting. That said, Iím no expert on the era or culture of that time, so I reserve the artistic license to claim any mistakes are just differences in this particular fictional setting.

Ikedian society is made up of three classes: the very rich noble class, a large and growing lower class mostly on the edge of poverty, and a small middle class made up primarily of artisans that are able to make a decent living selling luxury goods to the upper noble class. PCís can choose to write their backstories from any of the three classes. The capital city is located on the coast and boasts a large fishing and trade industry, among the many other regional industries that also make Ikeda their headquarters. The city is made up of several districts, the richer ones showcasing beautiful wooden homes and estates with ornate curved rooftops and lavish exotic gardens, the poorer neighbourhoods nearer the harbour filled with simple wooden apartments stacked tightly side by side and above one another. Many families, unable to feed themselves, take to begging on the streets, a common sight that is starting to bleed into the richer neighbourhoods as the desperate become more daring and risk physical confrontation with the guards patrolling the upper class streets.

We will be spending some time in the city, but also some time outside of the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runetide View Post
In addition, I'll ask about the other inevitable subjects for PF games: Traits? Archetypes allowed? Background Skills? I will assume Path of War and Feat Tax rules are off the table since you said no 3pp (which is perfectly fine with me, I tend to forget about feat tax rules and PoW is a 3.5 update for pf so who needs maneuvers anyways?)
PCs can choose up to two basic or racial traits and can gain a third by taking a drawback. Paizo archetypes are allowed. We won't be using Background Skills, Path of War or any Feat Tax rules, but you've peaked my interest, so Iíll look into those options for future games.

Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:44 PM
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I'm liking the sound of this. Here's my application for my lighthearted halfling!

SubmissionRace: Halfling
Class: Ranger (Variant: Urban Ranger)
Alignment: Neutral Good
Background: Wanderlust took him at a young age and several years ago he wandered into this very town shadowing several humans as his his wont. However he quickly discovered that food and coin was difficult to come by and resorted to petty theft for bread. Being young and inexperienced, he was caught and taught a lesson in a back ally and left to die. There a priestess of Pharasma was led by an omen to retrieve and revive him, stating his time would only come after the goddess was done with him. Being nursed back to health and given a roof over his head, he happily offered to repay his debt when he was able.

At first his task was simple, see to the young in the streets and give them hope in these trying times. Being handed a handful of coin, he would take to the streets and find the youngest of the unfortunate and play simple tricks to get them to smile. Coin tricks were always a favorite as he would end with handing the coin to the child and making them promise to use it for food. This gained him a reputation among the children and soon the parents of the poor as well.

Only, the reputation turned the wrong heads as well. Once, a desperate individual waited for him to leave and mugged the child and parents of the little coin they had then abducted the child to ransom for what little they had left. Hearing this, the little halfling approached the priestess for divine guidance and was told to track the child and rescue him from his captor and dispatch the abductor for it was his time to be judged by the Mother of Souls. Completing this task injured him greatly, but before returning to be tended to by the priestess, he ensured the child's return as well as their coin.

After recovery, this earned him his second task: to both ensure the survival of the poor and the demise of those who would take advantage of them. Understanding from his personal life that desperation drives one to extreme measures, most often the dispatching is replaced with mercy; refusing to take the person's life in exchange for aiding them with his own meager coin. If the person accepts the help, they gain much respect and even are often befriended. Those that take advantage of his second chance and return to their villainous acts are not given a third chance.

Recently he has been trained by the priestess the ways of divine magic and to combat the undead whenever they threaten the lives of the citizens. Unlike those above, the undead do not get a second chance. They are dispatched with prejudice no matter the sentience as well as the ones who would raise them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSpratt
I also prefer a more serious game. While humour can be a great moment in every story, Iím not a fan of games that devolve into complete goofiness for the sake of goofiness.
I should note, while this character won't be overtly comical, what antics he does display will be meant to try to lightened the mood of those he meets to put a smile on their face during grim circumstances. He is a halfling after all
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:57 PM
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Color me interested.

Do you have a deadline for applications or an idea when you want to start the game? My own game is in the final stages of accepting players so I need to plan my time carefully to draft a toon for this.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:02 PM
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:50 PM
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Updated my application to include some basic bio and stuff. Assuming average hit points and standard starting cash for level 5?

Last edited by Runetide; 05-25-2019 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:35 AM
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Updated Rurik's background.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:56 PM
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Thanks for all your submissions everyone!

I’m still waiting for the game thread to be approved. I’m not sure how long that typically takes.

For character creation, please use the following:

- 15 Point Buy
- Standard 5th Level Starting Gold (10,500 gp)
- Two Basic (Combat, Faith, Magic, Social) and/or Racial Traits
- You can choose to take a third basic or racial trait if you also take a Drawback.
- If you haven’t already, consider whether your PC would be part of the upper, middle or lower class in this society and how they currently might feel (or not feel) about the growing tensions between the upper and lower classes. Ideally they would be at least mildly invested in stopping an all out riot war.



Last edited by JackSpratt; 05-27-2019 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:19 PM
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Last edited by Runetide; 05-26-2019 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:34 PM
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I see this one right after I open my Feudal Japan setting game!!

Leave a spot open for me, I'd love to join!
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:08 AM
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Name: Ketsuredi (Ket-Sue-Red-Dee Trans. 'Bloody Lady')

Race Human (Ikedan)

Class Barbarian {Invulnerable Rager}

Alignment Chaotic Neutral

Social Class Lower Class

Background: Ketsuredi was born under the blood moon, a sort of warning of her adult future. Her mother hadn't survived the birth though, leaving the ash-child all on her own. Ketsuredi was always strong growing up, unnaturally in fact, to where other children had feared her, even calling her a monster based on her ash-colored skin. She didn't mind, she didn't need their approval to be alive. If only that way remained... when she was an older teenager, traveling monks called her a demon based on her strange appearance and attempted to 'exorcise her', which caused her built up anger to finally explode. Ketsuredi attacked and nearly killed the monks before a figure stopped her.

A man in a tengu mask had taken her away and calmed her down, with many many attempts. The man explained that she could be using her rage in better ways, instead of destructive. Ketsuredi wasn't willing to accept the man as a teacher and tried attacking him, but she was easily disarmed and taken down. With no other way, she accepted. The man taught her how to adopt her rage into something controlled, instead of an uncontrollable power. After many months of training and practice, he told her she was ready to leave from under his wing. Whatever she did with her power was her business now. Did she use it for evil? No, but she didn't use it for good either. Who knows what the future held for Ketsuredi...

Last edited by Krow Nest; 05-27-2019 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:33 AM
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