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  #1  
Old Dec 23rd, 2019, 06:56 PM
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A Town Called Sweetwater

Rebels of the City-State of the Invincible Overlord

(This is a sub-game of an existing game, no new folder is needed.)

Wanted, 4 Player-Characters, Level 6.



Character Sheet Player Classes Role Status
Grumm Turkin Sheet Exhibit A Molekin School Savant Arcanist --
-- No Sheet Inverse Null -- -- WIP
Molekin Daar Stoneback Sheet triedtherest Molekin Alchemist Ranged Single/AoE Damage, Backup healer
Urthog Goran Sheet Fyre2387 Greenblood Orc Slayer Melee DPS
Gundar Sheet Warlord of Mars Blueblood Orc Melee DPS?
The ScenarioNesterak is a city-state of orcs (majority), gelatinous fiends and apekin, ruled by the Invincible Overlord, Hygelak XI, the Dread Klipmaran Noble. The city-state rules over a patchwork of nearby towns, but conducts trade with farther off realms both by zeppelin and by spatial rifts in the Hell-Bridge temple.

Nesterak is a lawful-evil realm, with laws enforced for the benefit of His Most Terrible Majesty. Slavery is common. The Black Lotus secret police are everywhere, ferreting out threats to the Overlord.

You are non-evil conspirators, citizens of the City-State, who aspire to be revolutionaries -- who look for the the eventual overthrow of the Overlord. Your patron is Rhymes -- a mysterious shape-shifter who arrived in town several month ago, who has begun to aid your cause.

Nesterak presently faces two threats -- causing it to be precariously weaker than in centuries. That means a time of change may be near!

First, there is a zombie-plague raging outside the city -- and portions of the infestation have broken out in the south-east quarter of the city. It is spreading as a horrid disease: but worse still, some zombies are showing signs of intelligence, cunning and deception. (Gelatinous Fiends have proven immune to the disease, fortunately for them.)

Some distance to the south is the nation of Azerka. This democratic republic is ruled by "detestable" humans -- a powerful technology and magic wielding civilization who have overthrown gods and toppled empires. Their ways are anathema to Hygelak XI and the coterie of aristocrats who support him. But rebels who yearn for more just laws, or slaves whose hearts thrill to hear of a distant land where slavery is illegal and every citizen can vote. So one possible desired rebel end-game would be to overthrow the tyrant and join a larger democracy; but other goals are certainly possible.

Applicants must answer:
  • What is your personal motivation? Why join a rag-tag rebel alliance against an overwhelming power?
  • Why should aforementioned rag-tag rebel alliance trust their fate to you to lead them?

I added an opening scene for this party to show up at, when eventually approved:
https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthre...86#post9112386



This is occurring as a second Player-Character party in the world of Sweetwater -- but not in the steampunk nation of Azerka, rather in a more barbaric and dark city-state, where orcs are the dominant race and humans few in number.

The two PC parties will eventually meet, but each has its own agenda.

Last -- while I am borrowing the map and a few details of the City State of the Invincible Overlord, this is a very different world and I promise no fidelity to that module! It is only raw material to be substantively transformed.


Character Creation
Party group: 4 players
Starting Level: Now 6th level.
GP: Average for your class
Stats: 20 point buy
Alignment: Non-Evil
Deities: See a section below.
Races: See a section below.
Classes: Any Core, Base or Hybrid class found here. Characters could eventually take Core or Advanced Prestige classes. Martial types may use Spheres of Might, however as Spheres classes are more powerful than base classes it costs you 1 Feat each time you take a new Spheres class. (The Tech Sphere of Might produces overpowered characters relative to the settings current technology expectations, so that may be restricted.). We are not using Spheres of Power.
Archetypes: Allowed, if worked into origin.
What's banned?: If Pathfinder Society has banned something I lean toward banning it, but we can discuss it.
HP: Max HP on your largest HD, (max/2)+1 on all other HD.
Skills: In addition to the regular adventuring skills we will use background skills and unchained skill unlocks.
Feats: I am not fully using the Feat Tax Fix -- however, all feats that page identifies as problematical will be "buy one get one free"; except any of the intro Improved maneuvers which are "buy one get two free." All prerequisites must be met.
 


Drawbacks If you chose a drawback, then gain an extra trait and bonus feat.
Traits: Choose 2 traits. As usual, they must belong to different categories.

Note that we are not using campaign traits from other campaigns. You may consider Spheres of Might practitioner traits.

If none of your traits afford combat or magic boosts, then choose one more bonus trait that also doesn't.

What is a combat boost? Anything listed as a Combat Trait. Anything that possibly affects to hit, damage [directly or indirectly], AC, CMB, CMD, weapon or armor proficiency, combat maneuvers or other actions in combat (feint, intimidate, etc.), anything that produces an effect on an opponent in combat. Anything that grant spell resistance, energy resistance or damage reduction. What is a magic boost? Anything that grants extra spells known or castable, anything that changes any dimension of spell use or effect, such as CL or DC, any boost to spellcraft.

Hero Points: Gained 1 per level, and at some achievements. Max allowed is 5, which is what new PCs would start with.
Other: When building a character, don’t refer to concepts that don’t exist in this game world. These are: the moon and stars, sunrise/sunset, lycanthropy, planes, particular specific countries or locations from other games -- this is a different world! Ask questions and we will sort out character details.
Optimization: Don’t overdo it. I care about play balance.


The Environment
Firearms: Firearms are rare in the City State -- except for Molekin, who use them as preferred weapons.

The World: Is a Dyson sphere, an incredibly vast surface that surrounds the sun -- about half a billion times larger than our earth. The sun cycles on and off in a 24 period, creating days. Sages say that time passes at a different rate for the sun than the lands beneath it. Day lengths gradually vary, creating seasons, but the sun always appears directly overhead. There is no moon or stars, but at night the skylands come out and dimly twinkle. The game occurs in the Realm which is of unknown size but one could fly or sail a lifetime in any direction and never reach the end of it, yet the Realm is just a tiny part of the Sphere.

Magic: There are zones of magic that range from very high (wild or primal), to normal, to very low. Regions of null magic and anti-magic exist. Technology is usually limited to steam and clockwork devices, with more advanced technology supernaturally suppressed -- except in relatively few regions where technology is ascendent over magic.

Religions: The gods -- called Powers -- are just mortal. They live at most 20-30 centuries, and the Powers' lives depend critically upon the faith of their worshippers. They draw their power for mana upwellings which gather forming pools of radiance. Ley lines originate at the upwellings, then travel approximately downhill, and terminate at the sea or in subsidence zones. A geographical watershed depending on its size can contain a dozen or more interconnected ley lines -- and the Powers which inhabit their upwellings together form a pantheon. The strength of magic is proportional to the distance from the nearest ley line. High level persons (level 15+) can enter a pool of radiance, challenge the resident Power, and if successful, achieve apotheosis. Levels, even of the Powers, are capped at 20.

Planes: there are no planes, no other dimensions. There are far-away Powers elsewhere in the Sphere who oversee afterlives, preside over heavens and hells & etc.. Much the same variety of creatures can be encountered in the Sphere as in vanilla Pathfinder. But planar travel is more like hyperspace travel. It is point-to-point in a region the size of a single solar system. (Low level characters don’t need to worry about this yet -- of course!)



Allowed PC Races Alternate racial traits are allowed, if worked into origin.

Only the core Paizo races are allowed, plus the following -- which are actually more common than humans, in Nesterak:

Orc
 


Molekin of the Great Spine
 


Apekin

 

Gelatinous Fiend
 


ReligionThe gods of the City State of the Invincible Overlord are replaced by native powers, as follows:
  • Oden ==> Kaysndrinath
  • The Gargoyle ==> Tho-Tarr
  • The Spider God ==> Skorsym
  • Thoth ==> Sothseila
  • Harmakhis ==> Ularien Ellismere
  • The Toad ==> Ellgan Elloktar (The Geckokin)
  • Pagana ==> Jeyshimra.

These are briefly described here: https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthread.php?t=200814 - and more details will be provided as needed. Those labeled in red are evil, and not recommended for player characters. The other members of the Northern Pantheon may be suitable patron Powers.

Note that if you worship a local Power, you just might run into them someday. The Powers are just NPCs of level 15-20, occupying strategic places in the world.

You can also take Golarion deities. (They live on continents too far away for practical travel.)

You could also just make up a Power. The Sphere is vast and the Powers that mortals worship are beyond numbering.


 










 

Last edited by CatCanCook; Apr 24th, 2021 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Added spoilerbutton giving a small bio of me.
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Old Dec 24th, 2019, 09:08 AM
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The setting seems interesting, and I should be able to maintain the posting rate, though it is a bit high. That said I'm inclined to make an application (yet to decide on what that'll be). For now I wonder if you've ever heard of/read through/considered spheres of power and if you'd allow it?
Also, I'm curious after the Consensus, a manufactured god seems really interesting, is it capable of giving out divine power? What domains does it grant?

Currently I'm thinking about either a tribal elf, who's left home and the struggles of the frontier to hope to find riches in Azerka, a really progressive and perhaps a bit too militaristic member of the church of the Consensus. I've also got "Gunslinger/Spellslinger" and "Maffiamage" as reminders of character concepts I once thought cool. There's strictly speaking nothing keeping me from playing a combination of them all.
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Last edited by Sirviantis; Dec 24th, 2019 at 09:13 AM.
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Old Dec 24th, 2019, 01:02 PM
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Oooh, posting this as a placeholder.
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Old Dec 24th, 2019, 01:26 PM
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(edited to fix typos from mobile phone post)

Hi Sirviantis, thanks for your interest.

Re: posting rate, the daily rate is what I've used in years past and it kept things humming. I'm willing to be flexible about it especially if the party has a consensus for a slower pace. I just don't want combats to drag on forever and to give you all enough tempo of accomplishments to level up at a reasonable pace.

I'd like to stick to the core materials listed, plus Pure Steam. I'll use some Legendary Games for more advanced tech, but that will unlock later. The decision to stay narrow is intentional, to keep focus on the environment's distinctives.

A bit later I'll post a list of regional feats which are about a feat-and-half.

When the Azerkans cap a pool of radiance, the construct is strictly mindless as it is their intention to not be ruled over by Powers. The multi-million GP construct starts as a pyramid of intricate machinery. As it floats in the Mana pool it encrusts with crystals until the pool is completely overgrown and covered. The magic is diverted to levitate and spin a giant stone and metal wheel. That provides kinetic power, distributed by a vast system of gears, axles and belts to provide for the needs of of industry and hundred of thousands of inhabitants. The second Wheel constructed many decades ago was improperly regulated. It overspun and detonated, laying waste to an entire city. Since then, a high ranked arcane expert in the MageCorp is appointed as an Arbiter. That person acts as a kind of living fuse, and would at cost of his life prevent an overspin. The Arbiters also have oversight over a School of magic within the Azerkan primary watershed. In that region they have a certain surveillance and influence over their particular form of magic: so there is an Arbiter of Illusion, an Arbiter of Abjuration, etc. (not a full list as the Azerkan conquest stalled as soon as their borders expanded toward the Gundulun Oligarchy and the Bright Empire.) The Arbiters are not worshipped and do not distribute spells/benefits/gifts as the Powers do.

The Consensus is a Lawful Good (or one step) non-magical faith. They label all magic (arcane, divine, supernatural abilities, items, creatures -- all of it) as belonging to the Alternative which they oppose -- though by nonviolent and non-coercive means unless combatting evil or violence. Ki force and abilities are kosher, however, so long as it is not used as a backdoor to channel magic. Suitable Consensus classes are Fighter, Mink, Gearhead, Gunslinger -- or other non spellcasters. At higher levels, Consensus characters take various Oaths that grant forms of personal antimagic and allow use of advanced technologies which are otherwise suppressed by the Alternative's emanations.

The Church of Azerka collaborated with the MageCorp to fabricate the Caps -- but they did it to eliminate several tribal gods, both facilitating religious conversions and greatly reducing divine magic in the Azerkan basin, as well as wiping out an entire ecosystem of magical beasts (which immensely aided conquest and domestication of a large territory).

The MageCorp handles the actual day-to-day operations of the Caps, and have all their top academies and workshops clustered in the peak magic zones around them.

That's all background, but re: your specific character ideas:

The game -- at least for now is in the frontier -- so a character motivated to leave the frontier would not fit, at least not at this time.

A spellcaster who could belong to the Church but as a sectarian or schismatic in actual rebellion against the core and leadership. The source of magic would either be arcane (drawing from key lines) or divine (worshipping a non-Azerkan Power.)

Re: Mafiamage -- we are running non-evil characters.

So -- many if your ideas work, with some adaptation. Focus down and don't try to have too many elements from day one

Last edited by CatCanCook; Dec 24th, 2019 at 01:46 PM.
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Old Dec 24th, 2019, 03:33 PM
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I updated the original post to include a list of regional feats.
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Old Dec 24th, 2019, 04:30 PM
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Old Dec 24th, 2019, 05:15 PM
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Hi Kshnik --

Thanks for expressing interest. I am going for core races only, at this time. Do you think you'd like to craft a character with a tone and style you might like within the core race parameters?
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Old Dec 24th, 2019, 08:45 PM
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Hm...well, the setting's interesting, but it's not really my cup of tea, so I'll pass. Not really into the whole idea of science versus magic, myself. Thanks for the invite to apply, though.

Last edited by AllyDJ; Dec 24th, 2019 at 09:05 PM.
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Old Dec 25th, 2019, 10:26 AM
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I updated the original post with a spoiler box giving a short personal bio -- so if you are interested in joining i'm not a total stranger.

Also, merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah.
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Old Dec 25th, 2019, 02:13 PM
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I absolutely love the themes going on here! Not a huge fan of PF, but I am interested for now :O
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Old Dec 25th, 2019, 02:44 PM
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I find myself stuck with a question @CatCanCook: What type of theme are you going for with the game?
I ask because I'm really intrigued with the setting, and I'm excited to see some strife between the consensus and adherents to the Powers, as well as some corruption in the system.
But from the adventure pitch I feel like the game will consist mostly episodic, local, adventures based in the town of Sweetwater (hence the name) and helping everyone survive in the frontier. Which is a valid and popular theme, it's just not something I typically look for in games.
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Old Dec 25th, 2019, 05:10 PM
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Oriana -- welcome! Much thanks for the enthusiasm. Please construct a character and I'll be happy to answer questions.

Sirvantis -- The game is starting with Sweetwater, and I did not want to immediately plunge into themes of grand conflict, but rather let them spiral up gradually (and using the downtime between chapters to advance the state of both characters and the world around them). The first couple adventures will have an episodic local flavor -- but the connections to national-scale institutions will steadily escalate. The frontier will not remain the frontier: think of how rapidly towns grew in a gold-rush era California, for example. The connection to the core nation is by monthly dirigible; that will change eventually to rail lines, and when/if the area proves strategic, to permanent teleportation circles, etc.

There are seeds of particular tensions (among them colonialists vs tribals, church vs state, science vs magic, mortals vs. powers and seeking to overthrow/become powers). If players respond strongly to them they may mine those particular seams to a greater extent.

The game name can become an anachronism given substantial level advancement, but my thought is it can always remain a "home base" however the party roves, if characters have built allies there and not burnt bridges. I don't aim to start near the finish line of a campaign. :-)

Last -- the "retraining" option will be viable if a character wants to start a more humble frontiers-person and then mature and retune as someone perhaps who has taken sides in one of the larger conflicts.

Last edited by CatCanCook; Dec 25th, 2019 at 10:43 PM.
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Old Dec 25th, 2019, 05:27 PM
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For tracking purposes this is the current status of prospective players.

PlayerCharacterRace,ClassStatus
Sirviantis none none Interested
OrianaOleander none none Interested
Touketsu none none Placeholder
Kshnik none Dwarf, fighter/brawler Interested
None none none none
None none none none

I'm not sure of the local jargon, whether "placeholder" means substantial interest or just lurker.

Also -- status: It's the holidays, I'll be traveling off and on and visiting with people. So I'm expecting slow/intermittent interactions of both myself and others for now.

Last edited by CatCanCook; Dec 26th, 2019 at 01:58 PM.
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Old Dec 25th, 2019, 05:39 PM
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Okay, thanks for elaborating on your intentions. I'll continue working on the ideas I had for a character.
As for your question, placeholder means they like the concept, are interested in playing and will have a character up soon-ish.
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Old Dec 26th, 2019, 12:49 PM
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Dwarf brawler/fighter using a pair of dwarven war shields is the concept I am going to run with.

A feat called healing hands appears to be a decent way to heal without “magic”. However it requires knowledge plane. In your write up planes don’t really exist. So first is healing hands feat allowed? And is there a substitute I can use in place of Knowledge Planes.
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Last edited by Kshnik; Dec 26th, 2019 at 12:55 PM.
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