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  #1  
Old Sep 11th, 2014, 05:20 PM
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Hell and High Water

Hell and High Water


a Pathfinder chronicle

Introduction

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Cheliax is a land ruled by law, but it is an unforgiving law -- a law of oppression and exploitation; a law of sharp corners and low overhangs. Devils now reign, leaving mortal men a twisty maze of moral choices cross hatched with corrupt law. Nowhere in Avistan does a virtuous life run such great risks, or know such peril.

The city of Westcrown stands at center stage for this conflict. Noble families of the old school still anguish over Aroden's failure, keeping forbidden faith while wrestling with private despair. The new hegemony exerts its rising influence with lash and exhortation. Ideologies clash in street and in shadow.

Now a man has disappeared and another has been murdered, his theatre burned to the ground. Rumor abounds on the street, but no justice is forthcoming.

Who killed Niccolo Ungliano? And why?


About This Game

This will be a slow game. I manage to update once every week or so in my existing games. This one may update less frequently.

This will be a small game. I will accept no more than four characters.

This is a concept game. I'm aiming at hard boiled crime thriller. If it works, it should be amazing. If we as a collective pool of writers are not up to the challenge, it could suck. Probably it will land in the middle.

This game takes liberties with the Pathfinder universe. I'm not going to build a wholly new world, but I am tweaking local history just a tad. What you think you know may not be accurate.

It will be a fairly low-power game. I'm thinking 18 point characters.

Lastly, and most importantly, my style may be a little unorthodox and might not be a good fit for everyone. I focus on creating situations that make players explore their characters. My games include opportunities for combat, but they are by no means a dungeon crawl. Sometimes using violence will work against you.
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Last edited by phinar; Apr 3rd, 2015 at 04:03 PM.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 04:45 PM
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So I Got Accepted, Now What?

Hey, welcome! This is going to be fun.

Now that you're here, there's some stuff down the thread about building your character. There's also some stuff about policies and procedures. I want to keep this informal because ultimately I don't think it needs to be formal. If people can't get along, we will deal with the conflict and move on or eject the bellicose. Everyone play nice and no biting.

Here's what's going to happen right away:
  1. Create yourself a thread in the Rogues' Gallery subfolder. This is your go-to place to keep track of character information. Your first post should contain your application. Later, I will want you to edit in a link to your character sheet.
  2. Settle on a campaign trait. We're going to need to negotiate that a little bit. Propose something, or I will.
  3. Select your backgrounds. There's more on this below.
  4. Spin up your character sheet. Make it public, and put a link into the first post in your character thread.
  5. Now we're getting somewhere!
  6. Next step is figuring out how the group will form up as a group. Suggest some possibilities to me, probably in the OOC, and I will help manage a consensus.

Backgrounds

In Among Thieves I built up a fairly elaborate system of contacts. It works pretty well, but it's really a game oriented toward espionage, not investigation. It also takes some forethought and has served as a sort of lattice upon which the story develops over there.

In Hell and High Water I want to play a little looser with things. I'm going to appropriate and bastardize a system from 13th Age. Essentially, you have 5 background points to spend. Invent your backgrounds, and assign points to them.

13th Age has a ton of examples of this, but I'm going to codify it just a little bit to make it a little simpler to figure out how it qualifies. Each background should be a single simple sentence. "Simple" here means that I do not want a compound sentence. The sentence should describe some phase of your character's life. Then assign between 1 and 3 of your background points to that sentence.

In another game, I had a character named Kraa who was a tengu gunslinger. If I were writing backgrounds for him, they might look like this:

From his youth to his maturity, Kraa served as an alchemist's apprentice. (3)
For the last year or so, Kraa has been aspiring to heroism through word and deed. (2)

In a second game, I had a character named Kaljen Star-Struck, a Shoanti cleric of Desna. If I were writing backgrounds for him, they might look like:

Kaljen was apprenticed to his tribe's spiritual leader. (2)
Kaljen received divine calling while on a vision quest. (1)
Recruited by two travelers, Kaljen joined the Pathfinder Society. (2)

In 13th Age, backgrounds are used for a great deal. Characters don't have skills, they have backgrounds. In this game, backgrounds are mostly used to determine who you might reasonably know, and what your reputation with those people will be like.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 04:49 PM
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Character Generation Overview

Step 1. In your private thread, roll 2d3+15. This is the number of points you have to build your PC. Alternately, you can take 18 points.

Step 2. Select one campaign trait. Select one other trait. If desired, select a drawback appropriate to your character, and a third trait in compensation.

Step 3. Start with 2 hero point, or choose Antihero for the extra feat.

Step 4. Select one knowledge skill, put a free skill point into it, and make it a class skill.

Step 5. Take average starting wealth for your class, or roll for wealth in your private thread.

Step 6. Set experience track to Fast.

Step 7. Purchase gear and contacts.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 04:51 PM
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Policies

Posts
  • Dialog in bold. Nothing new there, right?
  • Use italics for "thought dialog".
  • Clearly identify languages other than Common. I like to use foreign languages with the translation in a tooltip. Angle brackets are ok too. I prefer not to use a lot of color. This is open to discussion.
  • Keep OOC in the game thread pertinent to the action at hand. General chatter belongs in the OOC thread. Keep OOC and mechanics behind a spoilerbutton or tooltip at the end of your post.


Mechanics
  • You can roll either inline or in the mechanics block of your post. The inline style embeds the roll in TT tags, while the other uses a spoilerbutton at the end of the post. I have a slight preference for the mechanics block style but defer to artist's choice.
  • After making those rolls, feel free to edit your post to describe your degree of acumen. Regardless how tempting it might be, don't edit the rolls, though. The game knows. It will call you out.
  • During combat, please include a mechanics block that declares each action you are taking, for clarity.
  • I might use Roll20 to manage combat maps. Please heap abuse on me over this choice, but agree to use it anyway. Alternately, explain to me how your mom requires you to use IE6 with JavaScript disabled lest the communists take control of your brain. We can work this out, I am sure.
  • I may roll "forced checks" on your behalf, such that you can see them, to save some time. These are cases where what I describe to you must change based on how your roll turns out. Examples might be passive perception checks or saving throws. I will avoid doing this if I can, but understand it may happen.


EtiquetteMy goal, like yours, is to have a good time and tell some compelling stories. I am confident that we can find a way to do so, in collusion. If our cooperative spirit breaks down, we have already failed at our main aim. Tell me if I hurt your feelings, and I will try to do the same. As long as we all respect one another and agree to occasionally take one for the team, we will all have a great time.
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Last edited by phinar; Apr 3rd, 2015 at 04:51 PM.
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