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Old 07-15-2018, 05:11 PM
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Against All Odds: the Plea of the Princess (Game Advertisement)

Against All Odds
The Plea of the Princess

A Pathfinder (first edition) homebrew adventure for two or three characters

Theme:
An urban infiltration and survival story

Flavor:
Grim and desperate to wisecracking and heartwarming

That Which Came BeforeDesperate times call for desperate measures. At least that was the prevailing wisdom when Emperor Garrious IV called upon his neighbors, the hobgoblin hold of Durzam Buur, to bolster his kingdom's defenses against a sustained onslaught from the Darklands, the Empire’s most formidable warriors crumpling before the denizens of Hell contracted by the duergar king, Uringas. The age-old alliances the Foldan Empire had forged had all fulfilled the terms of their agreements, sending units to stand alongside Garrious’ best. They were not enough. Faced with annihilation, the Emperor signed a pact with the High Marshal of Durzam Buur, granting his people citizenship in the Empire and placing him in command of the army's vanguard in exchange for the services of the hold’s legions.

As the history books attest, the gambit was a resounding success. The war which had nearly bankrupted the Foldan Empire and thrown the citadel into famine went from defense to offense in a month. The hobgoblin legionnaires reached the duergar stronghold three months after that. By the anniversary of their entry into the war, the soldiers of Durzam Buur returned to the surface victorious, the duergar nation utterly annihilated from the region’s Darklands. Garrious declared the hobgoblins as heroes, and most returned to their hold.

And everyone thought it to be that simple. For a time, it was. But a large, diverse nation is slow to notice small changes. Hobgoblins trickled into the military academy in ever-increasing numbers. Their leaders were patient. It took four generations before it really accelerated, but by that point fully half the high-ranking officers in the Foldan army had been born in the Hold’s warrens.

It was a recipe for disaster. Yet, the hobgoblins waited. The current emperor was positively venerable, and when Garrious VI finally succumbed to the rigors of age, it was time to strike. A nearly bloodless coup, a century in the making, the field marshals of the Second and Fourth armies declared Garrious’ heirs all unfit to rule, citing blood irregularities and insanity. A Chancellor would take on the burden of decision-making, one supported by the top military officials. And thus did the hobgoblins of Durzam Buur put their puppet in the seat of power of the Foldan Empire, the most powerful nation on the world’s surface.

Over the next hundred and fifteen years, a series of Chancellors maintained rule, the military constantly affirming the need for further examination of all claimants to the throne. They governed well, and eventually all but the most adamant royalists acquiesced to the status quo. It wasn't until war threatened Foldan’s borders once more that change came about. The Chancellor and the Council of Marshals were too slow to react to the twin fronts of the frost giants from the north and the elven kingdom of Li’ishan to the east. With the support of the Council, General Kargak of the First Army declared himself Emperor, placing hobgoblin blood on the throne.

In time, the Foldani forces expelled the frost giants, and ceded a small section of the eastern border to the elves, leaving peace to reign across the land. Kargak remained in his position, cementing permanent rule by his unforgiving, militaristic folk. This isn't to say that Emperor Kargak was a poor ruler. He was sublime. Foldan flourished under his guidance, but edicts slowly trickled down from the throne. Slavery was reinstated, but in a very limited, expensive manner. Mandatory conscription replaced the volunteer army. Taxes tightened. But still Foldani influence spread. Food was plentiful. War was far from the minds of the common folk. All was well.

Patiently waiting in exile, the last scion of the old Foldani Imperial family has decided to act. Though the signs had been subtle, she knows exactly how her forebears were played by the hobgoblins. There is no chance to defeat the armies of the Empire, but not all things are accomplished through force of arms on the battlefield. If the right minds are swayed to her cause, perhaps the military can be shunted aside, restoring the rightful heir to her throne.
Into the PresentIt has been one hundred and fifteen years since Garrious VI passed, and despite the crushing change brought about by the new regime, pockets of hope remain. Princess Ciliani, the last of the Barvail line, has come of age, and shows promising signs of wisdom and kindness. Resistance to the hobgoblins has always existed, but in recent years the chiefly the outlawing of the use of magic except by approved government agentsnewly enacted laws have made many elements of clandestine action more difficult, and many cells have been entirely eradicated.

For years you have been a faithful agent of the Barvail Restoration Society. Where once your unit was composed of nearly a dozen zealous individuals, that number has been whittled down to just a single pair, but remarkably none of the fallen managed to reveal your identities to the authorities, even in death. The wards placed on their minds held, and the secret police simply pursue you based on rumors.

You are trusted by the Society, reliable agitators and saboteurs, and the time has come for more precipitous action. Princess Ciliani has sent each of you a nondescript vial containing a magical potion with no further instruction than “consume alone in private”. Upon imbibing the glittery, swirling liquid, you find yourself cut off from your surroundings, trapped in a world of blackness until a beautiful young human woman in peasant’s garb appears before you, seated on a stout wooden chair bereft of ornamentation. A pleasant voice, low and plaintive echoes from her mouth, though the entire scene remains one of blackness other than her form and her chair.

"If you are seeing this message, the potion recognized in you the mark of the faithful. I am Princess Ciliani, and I need your help desperately. While general campaigns of harassment serve their purposes, they will not prepare the Citadel for my return. The hobgoblins have too much control at this point, and we need to alter that fact. You will receive a scroll in the coming days covered in arcane writings. Ignore them. Hidden within are the names of five individuals who must be convinced to act, along with four lieutenants of the upstart Emperor who must be removed if we are to restore the Empire. Once you have memorized the names, the scrolls should be used as such to release their magics and erase the contents. I rely on you, my most trusted agents. The infernal grip of Durzam Buur must be eliminated to return the land to the way it once was under my noble ancestors. I promise you no gold nor accolades, but simply the knowledge that you were essential to the restoration of this great nation."

The image of the princess presses one hand tenderly to her heart, then fades out, leaving you reeling in disorientation. The time has come. The scion of the Barvail line has spoken. Against all odds, you must see this through.
About the GMHeya! If you don’t know me, you should probably keep it that way for the sake of your sanity. No, seriously.

If you’re still reading this, I’m Ziether, as the “Username” section at the top of all my posts insists on proclaiming to the entire site. I’m a nutcase full-time student/full-time father who has an obsession with these awesome RPGs. I enjoy telling a story and bringing a handful of people along to help make it more interesting than the drivel I’d create on my own. My games aren’t complete sandboxes, but they’re also not set on rails. Just beware that going off the reservation often leads to challenges that may be impossible to walk away from intact. While I’m pretty dang busy, I make a point of putting effort into my creations. I wouldn’t be posting an ad if I couldn’t keep up with it on a regular basis (reasonable exceptions due to Real Life). Hopefully I can bring my vision of a fantasy world beyond my own mind and into the experiences of others.
What I’m Looking ForI’d like to be upfront and honest about what I want in players and characters right here before I even get to the character creation and application format details. I owe it to you to give you the chance to eliminate yourselves before you waste time that you’ll never get back. Creating characters and crafting full, detailed applications takes serious time, and I don’t want to miscommunicate and distract you from games for which you’d be a better fit. Without further ado:
  • I’m looking for people who can communicate. If you’re going to be away from posting for a while, I get it. Life happens. Please let me (or the group) know as soon as you know it’s coming, or as soon after the fact as is reasonable. I understand that sometimes there’s nothing to prevent you from going AWOL, and I’ll hold a spot open for players in good standing for a while, but after several weeks without communication I reserve the right to move on, potentially replacing the player.
  • I’m looking for people who can play a character. In-character knowledge is very different from player or meta knowledge. Sure, you can design your character with generalities in mind, but, for example, I want to see a nice backstory reason or Knowledge (religion) roll before a character goes to their backup bludgeoning weapon against a skeleton.
  • I’m looking for Role Play over Roll Play. Numbers and crunch are a part of Pathfinder, and more so than many other systems. I respect that and expect a certain level of optimization when it comes to decision-making, but it can’t come at the expense of the integrity of the character. People have flaws. I want to see them come up at times.
  • I’m looking for people who can write a solid post. I’m not demanding voluminous posts constantly, nor do I employ any sort of word count minimums. Yes, I usually want at least two thought-out paragraphs. More is great, but I’m not going to value verbosity over a more succinct post that is still evocative. All I want is to feel the character. I do care about grammar and spelling, particularly when it comes to homophones, but I can overlook them when they aren’t a regular part of a player’s posts. I’d rather see a post take an extra day and get proofread than get something that could be fixed by a readthrough.
  • I’m looking for people who want to have fun. There may be serious themes in the game, but at the end of the day, you’re in this for enjoyment. I don’t want this to be a chore for anyone. I may bend rules in the name of fun, and in return I will ask that players allow me to do the same to a very limited extent and never to outright malicious ends. This leads us into my final point:
  • I’m looking for people who can respect Rule Zero. I’m not a dictator. I don’t need the game to strictly follow the Rules As Written to the letter with citations of developer posts to justify things. I will make decisions on matters of interpretation, though, and I need to be able to do so without it being an issue. If you don’t agree with my ruling, I invite a politely worded PM on the subject, and I may actually consider changing my decision, but I have to be able to move the game along, and endless infighting about rulings does not facilitate that.
Game Info
  • Posting Rate: I will not commit to posting more than 1/week in non-combat situations, though I will aim for that pace. I will work toward 2/week in combat as long as the players can keep up, otherwise the 1/week pace will continue.
  • Character Level: 4 (four)
  • Acceptable Races: Core, Featured (be aware that the ruling hobgoblins may apply profiling and discriminate against stereotypically unruly races). I confess a preference for the less outlandish racial concepts, but I will fairly consider well written examples of the more exotic types. Players applying as hobgoblin characters will need to convince me thoroughly of the merits of their application.
  • Acceptable Classes: All Paizo classes except Vampire Hunter and Omdura. I have a preference for Unchained Barbarian/Monk/Rogue/Summoner over their original iterations, but I’ll accept either way. Public use of magic is outlawed in the Foldan Empire. Magic-using characters are absolutely welcome, but craft them with the understanding that they must be discreet about their capabilities.
  • Archetypes: All Paizo archetypes that fit the flavor will be considered as long as I can get free, legal access to them. Archives of Nethys or d20pfsrd are preferred. Follow all rules regarding mixing archetypes.
  • Traits: Two, or three and a Drawback. Please exclude Campaign and Equipment traits. Please use discretion when choosing Regional or Religion traits, as they need to work into the setting and the character’s background.
  • Alignment: Make me believe it’ll work and I’ll accept any of the nine.
  • Starting Money: Fourth-level average Wealth By Level (6000gp).
  • Ability Scores: 25 point buy.
  • Hit Points: Full at 1st, rolled thereafter. Do not roll in this thread or before player selection at all.
  • Firearms: Emerging Guns. Expect to encounter them occasionally. PCs will have access to means to make guns viable, although at a cost.
  • Religion: Stick to the Paizo pantheon that Golarion uses. I will work with divine spellcasters to suitably localize their worship.
  • Experience: PbP is terrible for leveling up. I’ll keep track of XP/bonus XP, but if I feel the PCs have done enough to level before the numbers add up, they’ll get rewarded with a level.
  • Hero Points: The Hero Points system will be utilized. Suitable characters may take the Anithero alternative and take a bonus feat at 1st level instead.
  • Extras: Background Skills will be in force. Fractional Base Attack Bonuses and Save Bonuses will be used. Elephant in the Room feat tax alleviation is to be utilized.
Application GuidelinesThe following information is necessary, but doesn't need to be in the order presented. You are entitled to put portions in Secret Text, but please consider your reasoning for such a choice. I expect my players to choose not to employ meta knowledge, and chances to use important background information in game can be heightened by others having a clue. Please leave enough public for others to have some picture of what your character is.
  • Character Name: please avoid both Bobs and Merlins. Names can take inspiration from your favorite IP, but I don't want to recognize the exact name on sight. Please make something that can be pronounced according to the rules of some existing language.
  • Character Gender: any and all gender expressions are welcome.
  • Character Race: mention any Alternate Racial Traits you intend to take if they sufficiently influence the character concept, otherwise I don't want to know mechanics.
  • Character Class(es): Gestalt rules apply. See FAQ if you are unfamiliar with this concept. Please stick to one non-Prestige class per side.
  • Intended Archetypes: self-explanatory
  • Character Age and Age Category: apply all relevant ability score modifiers during character creation. If the character is Venerable I will roll the appropriate dice if your character is selected.
  • Alignment: give the binary term, but also give a brief phrase that exemplifies your character in relation to alignment.
  • Physical Description: Give me a couple solid paragraphs that give me a mental picture. Feel free to also provide a small, tasteful image, but not as a replacement for the written section.
  • Personality: Hopes? Dreams? Fears? Secrets? Quirks? Let me have a look into your character’s being beneath the skin.
  • Background: I don't care about every detail. Just give me pertinent information. I don't need to be impressed, but I need to be interested. Please don't exceed 1200 words, as I'll have to read this from everyone and I want to give each applicant a fair shake. Place names are not important. Describe locations decently and I'll name them if you're accepted.
  • Sample Posts: Link me to 1-3 posts you find best represent your usual posting style. I want to read your stuff, but I hope to avoid those embarrassing posts some of us made when we were newbies. If you are new to RPGX, feel free to communicate with me to provide alternative examples.


Please Do Not:
  • Include large images
  • Include exaggerated anime images
  • Include music or video
  • Roll any dice in this forum without being directed to
  • Provide me with a character sheet/link without being directed to
  • Place walls of text one after the other. Spoilerbutton or Fieldset tags are great and really help make the apps readable.


THANK YOU!!!


FAQ/Applicant Table
FAQ/Important Notes

 

Last edited by Ziether; 05-08-2020 at 10:15 PM.
  #2  
Old 07-15-2018, 08:01 PM
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Last edited by Ziether; 01-07-2020 at 05:49 PM.
  #3  
Old 03-19-2020, 01:51 AM
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Leave the Wand;
Take the Cannoli

A Pathfinder homebrew adventure

Theme:
Working for the Halfling Mob

Flavor:
Cannoli, limoncello, and perhaps some garlic gelato

A Little Taste of the FamilyThe interior of Kellickís Pub was absolutely dead. Kellick Jarnek himself slowly wandered about the bar area, wiping down the tabletops despite the fact they were already immaculately clean. The only other creature in the establishment sat in the back corner beside a door marked ďStaff OnlyĒ. An absolute titan of a man, the bouncer wore a simple blouse left open to mid-chest and wore thick gold bands on several fingers while an intricate chain of the same metal hung about his neck. Over the course of half an hour, a trickle of individuals passed through the room wordlessly. Kellick didnít even seem to notice their passage, but the giant shot to attention as each approached. A flash of a hand signal earned a curt nod, and he graciously unlocked the door and allowed them to pass, carefully securing the lock afterward. As the clocktower tolled its last bell to proclaim the eleven oíclock hour, he pulled a delicate silver key from the buckle on his belt and inserted it into a small hole higher up on the door, pressing it home and leaving it there. Resuming his seat, the big man set to reading a crisp copy of the Keralta Tribune. The pub returned to its habitual silence.

In the back room, a single halfling man sat behind a large oak desk, his dark, striped suit perfectly starched. His eyes never lifted from the business stacked atop his desk, alternating between peering over his spectacles at some document or another and lifting his nose to better focus on a ledger in his well-manicured hand. At long last, the tolling of the clocktower pierced the uneasy silence in the space. With each steady sound, the halfling man organized his desk into neat stacks and stowed his ledger in a drawer, locking it with a nondescript key. A sound of metal on metal came from the door, then suddenly the noise of the bustling city of Keralta disappeared entirely. The man clasped his hands atop the desk and looked up to regard the assembled associates. "Welcome, my friends. I wish I didnít have to call for you today, but there is some work that needs to be done, and my usual folks are unavailable at the moment. I trust you can be relied on to get the job done?"

In response to the questioning looks from his associates, the tiny man reached into a drawer and withdrew a cinched pouch. Loosening the straps, he tipped the container and allowed a flow of dull bronze coins to strike the desktop, scattering about. "You know Madam Leshawi, right? These came from her." Reaching down, the halfling plucked a single coin into his deft fingers and twirled it around between them. "They bear the royal crest of Keralta and are stamped as platinum. The madam swears they were platinum when she took them as payment for one of her best girls, but when time came to pay her tax, they were like this. Worthless, or almost worthless." Clearly disgusted, the man scooped up the clattering coins into the pouch again and placed it back into the proper drawer. "If I didnít trust little miss Leshawi, Iíd say she was trying to cheat us, but I do trust her. She always pays her tax, and gladly. Nowís when she gets her moneyís worth." The man sat back in his chair, brushing the lapels of his suit flat and pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose to better see his charges. "Madam Leshawi is good folks. Itís our job to take care of this sort of thing before people lose respect, am I right? Iíd like you to head on down to the brothel and have a chat, then get to the bottom of this before it gets out of hand. If this joker thinks he can get away with scamming the good tradespeople of Keralta, we could be looking at a lot of unhappy folks, you see?"

"You want to get made, my friends?" the well-dressed halfling asked, a gleam in his eye and the slightest of grins on his small mouth. "Show youíve got what it takes to make the family proud, and youíll have my voice on your side." With a small nod of acknowledgement, he smirked. "Stop by Frankieís store before you head out, and tell him I sent you. Heíll provide a little extra assistance, if you know what I mean." When the silent associates remained where they stood, he chuckled to himself. "Forgive me. Old Barry out there canít let you out, I know." The man swung himself down from his chair and crossed the room to unlock the door with a key from an inside breast pocket. "We donít have all week for this, but please be thorough. I would very much like not to have to deal with any more counterfeiters in the near future."
About the GameIn the city-state of Keralta, the Buslam Family has kept order for three hundred years, after the monarchy failed to adequately protect the citizenry from the predations of the regional bandits, pirates, and necromancers. They have their hands in all manner of illicit business, and provide protection for any business or household who pays tribute, and essentially all do. The royal army is a joke, and the city guard are a feeble attempt at security for the city. If anything is to get done, it needs to go through the halflings.

Players will be designing characters who are not yet initiated into the halfling mob, but are trusted associates. They do work when needed, but havenít yet earned their way into the true embrace of the family. While they might be killers, they have not been called upon to perform that service for the Buslams, at least not yet. Now, some brave fool has tried to swindle the good businessfolk of Keralta, and their skills are required.

While the family is of halfling stock, they know that diversity of ability is in their best interest. Membership is absolutely restricted to family members, but there are multiple ways to become family. Blood is the first, but both marriage and adoption work just fine in most regards.

While the morality of the opening events is at least palatable to many, that does not mean that it will stay that way. The mob has no qualms using whatever means are most effective to solve a problem, and your characters will be expected to participate in such operations in some capacity. Obviously, the content will remain within the boundaries of RPGCrossing regulations, but themes may skirt that line at times.
About the GMHeya! If you donít know me, you should probably keep it that way for the sake of your sanity. No, seriously.

If youíre still reading this, Iím Ziether, as the ďUsernameĒ section at the top of all my posts insists on proclaiming to the entire site. Iím a nutcase full-time student/full-time father who has an obsession with these awesome RPGs. I enjoy telling a story and bringing a handful of people along to help make it more interesting than the drivel Iíd create on my own. My games arenít complete sandboxes, but theyíre also not set on rails. Just beware that going off the reservation often leads to challenges that may be impossible to walk away from intact. While Iím pretty dang busy at times, I make a point of putting effort into my creations. I wouldnít be posting an ad if I couldnít keep up with it on a regular basis (reasonable exceptions due to Real Life). Hopefully I can bring my vision of a fantasy world beyond my own mind and into the experiences of others.
What Iím Looking ForIíd like to be upfront and honest about what I want in players and characters right here before I even get to the character creation and application format details. I owe it to you to give you the chance to eliminate yourselves before you waste time that youíll never get back. Creating characters and crafting full, detailed applications takes serious time, and I donít want to miscommunicate and distract you from games for which youíd be a better fit. Without further ado:
  • Iím looking for people who can communicate. If youíre going to be away from posting for a while, I get it. Life happens. Please let me (or the group) know as soon as you know itís coming, or as soon after the fact as is reasonable. I understand that sometimes thereís nothing to prevent you from going AWOL, and Iíll hold a spot open for players in good standing for a while, but after several weeks without communication I reserve the right to move on, potentially replacing the player.
  • Iím looking for people who can play a character. In-character knowledge is very different from player or meta knowledge. Sure, you can design your character with generalities in mind, but, for example, I want to see a nice backstory reason or Knowledge (religion) roll before a character goes to their backup bludgeoning weapon against a skeleton.
  • Iím looking for Role Play over Roll Play. Numbers and crunch are a part of Pathfinder, and more so than many other systems. I respect that and expect a certain level of optimization when it comes to decision-making, but it canít come at the expense of the integrity of the character. People have flaws. I want to see them come up at times.
  • Iím looking for people who can write a solid post. Iím not demanding voluminous posts constantly, nor do I employ any sort of word count minimums. Yes, I usually want at least two thought-out paragraphs. More is great, but Iím not going to value verbosity over a more succinct post that is still evocative. All I want is to feel the character. I do care about grammar and spelling, particularly when it comes to homophones, but I can overlook them when they arenít a regular part of a playerís posts. Iíd rather see a post take an extra day and get proofread than get something that could be fixed with a simple readthrough.
  • Iím looking for people who want to have fun. There may be serious themes in the game, but at the end of the day, youíre in this for enjoyment. I donít want this to be a chore for anyone. I may bend rules in the name of fun, and in return I will ask that players allow me to do the same to a very limited extent and never to outright malicious ends. This leads us into my final point:
  • Iím looking for people who can respect Rule Zero. Iím not a dictator. I donít need the game to strictly follow the Rules As Written to the letter with citations of developer posts to justify things. I will make decisions on matters of interpretation, though, and I need to be able to do so without it being an issue. If you donít agree with my ruling, I invite a politely worded PM on the subject, and I may actually consider changing my decision, but I have to be able to move the game along, and endless infighting about rulings does not facilitate that.
Game Info
  • Posting Rate: I will not commit to posting more than 1/week in non-combat situations, though I will aim for that pace. I will work toward 2/week in combat as long as the players can keep up, otherwise the 1/week pace will continue.
  • Character Level: 3 (three)
  • Acceptable Races: All Paizo 15 RP and under. Halflings especially preferred, but not at all required.
  • Acceptable Classes: All Paizo classes except Vampire hunter and Omdura. I have a preference for Unchained Barbarian/Monk/Rogue/Summoner over their original iterations, but Iíll accept either way.
  • Archetypes: All Paizo archetypes that fit the flavor will be considered as long as I can get free, legal access to them. Archives of Nethys or d20pfsrd are preferred. Follow all rules regarding mixing archetypes.
  • Traits: Two, or three and a Drawback. Please exclude Campaign and Equipment traits. Please use discretion when choosing Regional or Religion traits, as they need to work into the setting and the characterís background.
  • Alignment: You work for an organized crime syndicate. I highly recommend Lawful Neutral, Lawful Evil, True Neutral, or Neutral Evil. Other alignments will be considered, but please think about how well such characters will fit into the campaign. I donít want that special niche character just to highlight how an alignment works.
  • Starting Money: Third-level average Wealth By Level (3000gp). Additionally, please list up to two items not exceeding 500gp in total value that your character would desire specifically knowing about the job to deal with the counterfeiter. Frankie will be supplying some equipment, but he isnít going to break the bank to do so.
  • Ability Scores: 25 point buy.
  • Hit Points: Full at 1st, rolled thereafter. Do not roll in this thread or before player selection at all.
  • Firearms: Commonplace Guns. Early firearms will likely play a noticeable role in the campaign. They and their ammunition cost 25% of list price. Advanced firearms are nearly nonexistent, and will either cost full price or not be available at all.
  • Religion: Stick to the Paizo pantheon that Golarion uses. I will work with divine spellcasters to suitably localize their worship.
  • Experience: PbP is terrible for leveling up. Iíll keep track of XP/bonus XP, but if I feel the PCs have done enough to level before the numbers add up, theyíll get rewarded with a level.
  • Hero Points: The Hero Points system will be utilized. Suitable characters may take the Anithero alternative and take a bonus feat at 1st level instead.
  • Extras: Background Skills will be in force. Fractional Base Attack Bonuses and Save Bonuses will be used. Elephant in the Room feat tax alleviation is to be utilized.
Application GuidelinesThe following information is necessary, but doesn't need to be in the order presented. You are entitled to put portions in Secret Text, but please consider your reasoning for such a choice. I expect my players to choose not to abuse meta knowledge, but chances to use important background information in game can be heightened by others having a clue. Please leave enough public for others to have some picture of what your character is.
  • Character Name: please avoid both Bobs and Merlins. Names can take inspiration from your favorite IP, but I don't want to recognize the exact name on sight. Please make something that can be pronounced according to the rules of some existing language.
  • Character Gender: any and all gender expressions are welcome.
  • Character Race: mention any Alternate Racial Traits you intend to take if they sufficiently influence the character concept, otherwise I don't want to know mechanics.
  • Character Class(es): Gestalt rules apply. See FAQ if you are unfamiliar with this concept. Please stick to one non-Prestige class per side.
  • Intended Archetypes: self-explanatory
  • Character Age and Age Category: apply all relevant ability score modifiers during character creation. If the character is Venerable I will roll the appropriate dice if your character is selected.
  • Alignment: give the binary term, but also give a brief phrase that exemplifies your character in relation to alignment.
  • Physical Description: Give me a couple solid paragraphs that give me a mental picture. Feel free to also provide a small, tasteful image, but not as a replacement for the written section.
  • Personality: Hopes? Dreams? Fears? Secrets? Quirks? Let me have a look into your characterís being beneath the skin.
  • Background: I don't care about every detail. Just give me pertinent information. I don't need to be impressed, but I need to be interested. Please don't exceed 1200 words, as I'll have to read this from everyone and I want to give each applicant a fair shake. Place names are not important. Describe locations decently and I'll name them if you're accepted.
  • Sample Posts: Link me to 1-3 posts you find best represent your usual posting style. I want to read your stuff, but I hope to avoid those embarrassing posts some of us made when we were newbies. If you are new to RPGX, feel free to communicate with me to provide alternative examples.


Please Do Not:
  • Include large images
  • Include exaggerated anime images
  • Include music or video
  • Roll any dice in this forum without being directed to
  • Provide me with a character sheet/link without being directed to
  • Place walls of text one after the other. Spoilerbutton or Fieldset tags are great and really help make the apps readable.


THANK YOU!!!


FAQ/Applicant Table
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:20 PM
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Ziether Ziether is offline
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Ziether Ziether Ziether Ziether Ziether Ziether Ziether Ziether Ziether Ziether Ziether
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Brass Badge Blues:
A Pathfinder Musical Experience

A Pathfinder (first edition) homebrew musical adventure

Theme:
An epic quest set to an even more epic soundtrack

Flavor:
Sword and Sorcery Rock Opera Musical

The Return of Handlebar Jantz The sun had set, and the last embers in the sky over Farkhet slowly filtered away to nothingness. The metropolis had largely quieted for the evening, but as Starday gave way to the promised leisure of Sunday, the streets came alive with knots of citizens flitting this way and that on their way to diversions of all stripes. Outside a gaudy facade proclaiming the establishment to be the ďDrunken Diva,Ē a trickle of well-dressed patrons awaited admittance, a spectacular mountain of a bearded half-orc man looking each over with a discriminating eye and occasionally crossing his arms over his broad, leather-enhanced chest before grunting and indicating that something prevented that particular person or their retinue from entering. The infrequent exclamations of outrage punctuated the well-practiced process, the only real breaks in the ambience of the warm summer night, at least until the snapping started.

At first it was the sound of a pair of hands, each producing a single click in unison with its mate, keeping up a steady rhythm. The accompanying clack of heeled boots followed as a flamboyantly mustachioed halfling stepped out into the light of the braziers along the street. A guitar rang out from nowhere and everywhere at the same time as the little man opened his mouth, a commanding, sinister baritone echoing off the cobblestones and storefronts all around in a To the tune of Pride and Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughanswift bluesy ballad.

"Well, I ainít been round-a these parts for a while,
I went away into a kinda exile
Now Iím back on my feet, Iím as good as new
Gettiní back up to spee-eed, what you think youíre gonna do?"


As the voice disappeared and the guitar continued its lilting pace, a dozen more halflings stepped out of the shadows, tiny rapiers held loosely in their hands. Each slapped their left thigh as they walked, keeping the same beat as the staccato guitar. The entire line of taverngoers paled and beat a hasty retreat as one. Only the doorman remained, still looking about nervously until the troupe of little men drew near, finally reaching for a weapon at his hip. Before he could do more, they all stopped in their tracks as the leader burst into song once more.

"Yeah, itís been five-a years, plenty ti-ime to think
Mayorís fortunes are all gonna sink
Mmm, Iím back on my feet, Iím as good as new
Gettiní back up to spee-eed, what you think youíre gonna do?"


With the passing of the verse, the halflings resumed their approach, and the half-orc bolted, putting survival before his job. The boss might put a hit out on him for abandoning his post, but that was better than the certainty of a blade through his heart in short order. The singer turned the door handle and kicked the portal open, stepping into the well-lit interior, his chorus fanning out along the wall. The revelers all froze in place for a few seconds, then cleared the floor as if on a cue, leaving one table occupied. A portly half-elf with intricately braided auburn hair stood and faced the newcomers, a look of utter shock on his face.

"Yeah, you thought you were safe with-a me gone away
Thought youíd won, thought youíd carried the day
Mmm, Iím back on my feet, Iím as good as new
Gettiní back up to spee-eed, what you think youíre gonna do?

Now itís time to pay, time to die for your deeds
Stab through your chest and watch as it bleeds
Yeah, Iím back on my feet, Iím as good as new
Gettiní back up to spee-eed, what you think youíre gonna do?"


Laughing with disdain, the half-elf drew an ancient blade, his voice echoing off the furniture even as half the merry band moved to encircle him. The singer leapt forward impossibly quickly, his tiny sword aimed at the center of the mayorís chest, allowing the larger manís parry to shunt the tip of his blade directly into his heart. Gaping with incredulity, he tried to bring his weapon to bear on his assailant, but tumbled to the ground, a pool of blood growing around him. Snorting with derision, the murderer pulled a small satchel of coins from his belt and tossed it on a nearby tabletop. "A little something for the cleanup. Let it be known that Handlebar Jarntz is back in town, and heís gonna settle the score." Without further ado, he turned on his heel and returned from whence he came, the rest of the halflings snapping out a steady beat in time with their retreat until the sound faded into nothingness.
Scenario Goes HereAs you can see above, this is not the normal Pathfinder world of Golarion that weíre dealing with. Welcome to the Golden Age of Music within the quirky world of Pialthash, where the instrumental portions of music magically manifest out of nowhere when needed, and people burst into song at any moment. The music might be audible to all in the area, or it might be magically imperceptible to those around them, only to be witnessed by the gods...and those who are employing telepathic magics or abilities. In the context of drama, we might call them asides or soliloquies, but in Pialthash, they are just the way normal people express their inner monologues. No, not everything is musical, but it is exceedingly common.

Handlebar Jantz and his gang of halflings have burst onto the scene in the bustling city of Farkhet in the egalitarian nation of Wedda. The mayorís death has thrown the cityís government into disarray, and while the constabulary has been put on high alert in the wake of this heinous crime, it seems that Jantz has informants within the Bureau, and he can always stay at least one step ahead of his uniformed adversaries.

Desperate for a breakthrough, Chief Inspector Ralluf has authorized his lieutenants to deputize sufficiently capable members of the citizenry to aid in their hunt for Jantz without the formality of documented service to the City. Each of the high officers can create one squad that reports only to them. Clandestine recruitment has produced teams with diverse motives, but one unifying goal: find Handlebar Jantz and bring him to justice. You may claim altruism. You may value the due process of law. You may crave power. You may simply want to get your mitts on your share of the twenty thousand gold pieces offered in reward for the halflingís capture. Whatever the reason, you have accepted the brass star, and have sworn your allegiance to the City of Farkhet. Duty calls, deputies!
About the GMHeya! If you donít know me, you should probably keep it that way for the sake of your sanity. No, seriously.

If youíre still reading this, Iím Ziether, as the ďUsernameĒ section at the top of all my posts insists on proclaiming to the entire site. Iím a nutcase full-time student/full-time father who has an obsession with these awesome RPGs. I enjoy telling a story and bringing a handful of people along to help make it more interesting than the drivel Iíd create on my own. My games arenít complete sandboxes, but theyíre also not set on rails. Just beware that going off the reservation often leads to challenges that may be impossible to walk away from intact. While Iím pretty dang busy, I make a point of putting effort into my creations. I wouldnít be posting an ad if I couldnít keep up with it on a regular basis (reasonable exceptions due to Real Life). Hopefully I can bring my vision of a fantasy world beyond my own mind and into the experiences of others.
What Iím Looking ForIíd like to be upfront and honest about what I want in players and characters right here before I even get to the character creation and application format details. I owe it to you to give you the chance to eliminate yourselves before you waste time that youíll never get back. Creating characters and crafting full, detailed applications takes serious time, and I donít want to miscommunicate and distract you from games for which youíd be a better fit. Without further ado:
  • Iím looking for people who can keep things authentic. This game is different from any other I have ever considered running as it is a musical. The tone will be bent away from the serious nature of a normal game to allow for characters who burst into song for absolutely every reason. Soliloquies and asides will run rampant, and will be in song! As such, I only want applicants who can commit to maintaining this.
  • Iím looking for people who can communicate. If youíre going to be away from posting for a while, I get it. Life happens. Please let me (or the group) know as soon as you know itís coming, or as soon after the fact as is reasonable. I understand that sometimes thereís nothing to prevent you from going AWOL, and Iíll hold a spot open for players in good standing for a while, but after several weeks without communication I reserve the right to move on, potentially replacing the player.
  • Iím looking for people who can play a character. In-character knowledge is very different from player or meta knowledge. Sure, you can design your character with generalities in mind, but, for example, I want to see a nice backstory reason or Knowledge (religion) roll before a character goes to their backup bludgeoning weapon against a skeleton.
  • Iím looking for Role Play over Roll Play. Numbers and crunch are a part of Pathfinder, and more so than many other systems. I respect that and expect a certain level of optimization when it comes to decision-making, but it canít come at the expense of the integrity of the character. People have flaws. I want to see them come up at times.
  • Iím looking for people who can write a solid post. Iím not demanding voluminous posts constantly, nor do I employ any sort of word count minimums. Yes, I usually want at least two thought-out paragraphs. More is great, but Iím not going to value verbosity over a more succinct post that is still evocative. All I want is to feel the character. I do care about grammar and spelling, particularly when it comes to homophones, but I can overlook them when they arenít a regular part of a playerís posts. Iíd rather see a post take an extra day and get proofread than get something that could be fixed by a readthrough.
  • Iím looking for people who want to have fun. There may be serious themes in the game, but at the end of the day, youíre in this for enjoyment. I donít want this to be a chore for anyone. I may bend rules in the name of fun, and in return I will ask that players allow me to do the same to a very limited extent and never to outright malicious ends. This leads us into my final point:
  • Iím looking for people who can respect Rule Zero. Iím not a dictator. I donít need the game to strictly follow the Rules As Written to the letter with citations of developer posts to justify things. I will make decisions on matters of interpretation, though, and I need to be able to do so without it being an issue. If you donít agree with my ruling, I invite a politely worded PM on the subject, and I may actually consider changing my decision, but I have to be able to move the game along, and endless infighting about rulings does not facilitate that.
Game Info
  • Posting Rate: I will not commit to posting more than 1/week in non-combat situations, though I will aim for that pace. I will work toward 2/week in combat as long as the players can keep up, otherwise the 1/week pace will continue.
  • Character Level: 5 (five)
  • Acceptable Races: Core, Featured (be aware that the ruling hobgoblins may apply profiling and discriminate against stereotypically unruly races). I confess a preference for the less outlandish racial concepts, but I will fairly consider well written examples of the more exotic types. Players applying as hobgoblin characters will need to convince me thoroughly of the merits of their application.
  • Acceptable Classes: All Paizo classes except Vampire Hunter and Omdura. I have a preference for Unchained Barbarian/Monk/Rogue/Summoner over their original iterations, but Iíll accept either way.
  • Archetypes: All Paizo archetypes that fit the flavor will be considered as long as I can get free, legal access to them. Archives of Nethys or d20pfsrd are preferred. Follow all rules regarding mixing archetypes.
  • Traits: Two, or three and a Drawback. Please exclude Campaign and Equipment traits. Please use discretion when choosing Regional or Religion traits, as they need to work into the setting and the characterís background.
  • Alignment: Make me believe itíll work and Iíll accept any of the nine.
  • Starting Money: Fifth-level average Wealth By Level (10,500gp).
  • Ability Scores: 25 point buy.
  • Hit Points: Full at 1st, rolled thereafter. Do not roll in this thread or before player selection at all.
  • Firearms: Commonplace Guns. Expect to encounter them with some regularity. PCs will have access to means to make guns viable.
  • Religion: Stick to the Paizo pantheon that Golarion uses. I will work with divine spellcasters to suitably localize their worship.
  • Experience: PbP is terrible for leveling up. Iíll keep track of XP/bonus XP, but if I feel the PCs have done enough to level before the numbers add up, theyíll get rewarded with a level.
  • Hero Points: The Hero Points system will be utilized. Suitable characters may take the Anithero alternative and take a bonus feat at 1st level instead, but I want to see rationale.
  • Extras: Background Skills will be in force. Fractional Base Attack Bonuses and Save Bonuses will be used. Elephant in the Room feat tax alleviation is to be utilized. In addition, each character will be given a free skill point at each level to put into an appropriate Perform skill. Itís not all that impactful, but I like the flavor, given the setting.
Application GuidelinesThe following information is necessary, but doesn't need to be in the order presented. You are entitled to put portions in Secret Text, but please consider your reasoning for such a choice. I expect my players to choose not to employ meta knowledge, and chances to use important background information in game can be heightened by others having a clue. Please leave enough public for others to have some picture of what your character is.
  • Character Name: please avoid both Bobs and Merlins. Names can take inspiration from your favorite IP, but I don't want to recognize the exact name on sight. Please make something that can be pronounced according to the rules of some existing language.
  • Character Gender: any and all gender expressions are welcome.
  • Character Race: mention any Alternate Racial Traits you intend to take if they sufficiently influence the character concept, otherwise I don't want to know mechanics.
  • Character Class(es): Multiclassing is fine, but please donít go on a dipping spree. The character should feel nominally natural.
  • Intended Archetypes: self-explanatory
  • Character Age and Age Category: apply all relevant ability score modifiers during character creation. If the character is Venerable I will roll the appropriate dice if your character is selected.
  • Alignment: two-letter abbreviation, but also give a brief phrase that exemplifies your character in relation to alignment.
  • Physical Description: Give me a couple solid paragraphs that give me a mental picture. Feel free to also provide a small, tasteful image, but not as a replacement for the written section. Images under 200x300 pixels are preferred.
  • Personality: Hopes? Dreams? Fears? Secrets? Quirks? Let me have a look into your characterís being beneath the skin.
  • Background: I don't care about every detail. Just give me pertinent information. I don't need to be impressed, but I need to be interested. Please don't exceed 1200 words, as I'll have to read this from everyone and I want to give each applicant a fair shake. Place names are not important. Describe locations decently and I'll name them if you're accepted.
  • Sample Posts: Link me to 1-3 posts you find best represent your usual posting style. I want to read your stuff, but I hope to avoid those embarrassing posts some of us made when we were newbies. If you are new to RPGX, feel free to communicate with me to provide alternative examples.


Please Do Not:
  • Include large images
  • Include exaggerated anime images
  • Include music or video links
  • Roll any dice in this forum without being directed to
  • Provide me with a character sheet/link without being directed to
  • Place walls of text one after the other. Spoilerbutton or Fieldset tags are great and really help make the apps readable.


THANK YOU!!!


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