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Wesley Young's "The Struggle of Nations"

Wesley D. Y.
user 6127759
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 1,011
Struggle from the pits of slavery, to the lowly status of adventurer. Then build a mighty castle, assasinate your foes, over-tax your citizens, hide within its dank, dark, bowels & wonder why everybody hates you.

There is just too much to detail on this message board: The first session will be an intro to the world and such. Here are some of the nitty-gritty details though.

Sailing! Yeah, you can operate a single ship or fleet, but you'll need one thing: Profession - Sailor. The more ranks, the better you can operate things. Just a rank or two means you can sail a small ship ... a full 15-20 ranks means you're probably a fleet commander.

Hit Points, Magical healing, and the Heal skill: Magical healing only does this: It *slows* the flow of blood as it somewhat closes the skin. It does not mend bones, nor fully stop bleeding. What HP is more like is how much overall damage you can take before you just fall and collapse unconcious. Think of it as a "life force" indicator. A Heal check must be made to stop the more obvious physical things, like heal ability damage, set a broken bone ("here: Bite down on this femur - it'll help"), stop bleed, etc. As a result, a healer will need magical healing, Heal skills, and a Healing kit to really patch people up - and if worse comes to worse, you'll either have to visit an infirmary, or just limp-around for a few days.

Divine Intervention Points: You can impress & amuse the gods. Getting a DIP is really a matter of getting through a nasty situation - such as that time the monk caught a guy falling because he rolled a natural 20. Something cool. This is just the Hero Points system at the back of the Advanced Player's Guide, with a re-tooled points system.

The points can be saved-up, and spent whenever you want.

1 point can let you re-roll ALL the dice you just rolled (keeping the higher result)
2 points will let you gain a +8 bonus on a d20 roll, or a +4 after the roll has been made; 2pts can also give you an extra standard action
3pts lets you cheat death, such as instantly stabilize, ignore that last bit of damage and just rest at 0 HP --- Death is a fickle businessman though, he just might exact a further "toll" on you.
4 points would let you instantly score a crit at max damage.
Five points is the max attainable without the aid of the special spells or magic items detailed in the Hero Points section. This is just an absolutely awesome blow to your foes, as a god briefly turns his attention to you for exactly 7 seconds (gods are busy): 1 free confirmed crit, maximized ... plus after that you get a free extra turn.
Now ... with some help ... 6-8 points can let you inflict AWESOME damage, but at a risk to your life. The god infuses you with a touch of his power (no warranty implied). 6 points lets the DM decide on how much damage is dealt, and the foe will most certainly be staggered - and there is a 25% chance of the PC expiring; 7pts is enough to slaughter most foes, but a 50-50 chance of the PC dying; and 8 points (the max you can ever attain, no matter what), will kill any single foe, or perhaps even swipe-out a good chunk from an approaching army - 75% chance of the PC dying.

If you choose to totally opt-out from this system, take a bonus feat instead.

Local-knowledge Feats: Certain special feats cannot be just "instantly" learned as you level up - you have to know the right NPC. Feats such as Falconry, Dueling Master, Trading Contacts, etc are very nice ... but you have to be in the right place, at the right time, and be able to gain the feat.

Epic-level Monsters Use the Crit Deck: Watch out: They spit! "Boss" fights and the such are more interesting.

Appraise: Might wanna put a few points into that skill so that you don't under-value treasure (It's just a cheap, painted mug --- oh, look, if you scratch the paint away it's pure gold --- wish I had known that earlier).

Magical Power Fades Over Time: You can't gift your son with that +5 suit of mithral plate. It'll just be a +1 suit of rusty plate by the time he gets it.

Poisons & Diseases: Uh, these are just SLIGHTLY (sarcastic) nasty now. Poisons deal continual damage unless you overcome them, and diseases have to just flat-out be lived with unless magically removed or something. This means that a snake bite just might give you 7 rounds to live.

Light Sources: Handled a bit differently, as interpreted from page 172 of the Core. There is 'normal' light, such as light from a lantern. Hooded lanterns let you see down a corridor, or such, more clearly, but not all around you; and situations - such as a crypt - are considered 'dark', which means that typical light sources cast flickering shadows and such, giving monsters a 20% concealment bonus. Darkness is not your friend. The Daylight spell has a use now.

Unconcious PCs: Even when healed, etc, you're still knocked-out for about an hour ... perhaps more.

Intelligent, Cursed, and Flawed Items: There is a 5% chance of a minor item having intelligence, a 15% chance of a medium item having it, and a 25% chance of a major item having it. Intelligent items can be a double-edged thing... Cursed items do exist. Bad Craft checks, or just buying them on the marketplace (About a 5% chance of this ... unless a certain Nation is involved, then it might be a bit higher). Flawed items are just that: They are flawed. Such as +5 Mithral Gauntlets ... that can't be removed ... and cause you to sometimes punch innocent people right in the face ("Ah, your royal highness SMACK"). Think of most Flawed items as Vicious weapons: Hurts them ... hurts you ...

Gambling: I've got two in-world games of chance, that you actually play - and they don't take long at all to play. Poker Dice and a Pirate-themed dice game. Walk into a bar, place your bet ... lose your shorts. You can take ranks in Profession: Gambler to get a percentile increase in your winnings as well.

Epic-Level Rules: Levels 1-20 are unchanged. Levels 21-40 are Epic, and have a number of changes, which we can get into later. At some point before level 40, you must retire. Levels 41-60 are for Epic PCs to come out of retirement to save the day when nobody else can. Think of Gandalf-like power: Old and frail, but kick-ass smart and deadly.

Domains: Home is where your castle is. The Stronghold Builder's Guide from v3.5 is somewhat used ... just very much stripped-down. Note that there is a 'slight' difference between PC gold and the treasury, and that taking from the treasury is a big no-no. It's where the NPC's taxes go, where funds for building and army come from, etc. Oh, and before you go building a castle, you'll need to obtain some land - that's fun. A tournament, with 3 rounds (Melee, Archery, and Jousting) is the usual way to win (or lose) land. Oh, and you're an outright coward if you refuse to go to a tournament.

Assasins: Have to be neutral, not evil. You can play one. They are mostly used for removal of important political figures, etc. An Assasin who goes-off into another nation to kill a person is removed from the PC's control, and at key moments a skill check is made to see how close he's getting ... failure or a flub would mean you'll be on the battle mat alone vs the castle guards or such. Good luck with that.
Wesley D. Y.
user 6127759
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 1,012
Pathfinder Chronicler: They constantly are making maps, charts, and log entries as they wander. Bind this into a book, and sell it for a NICE price.

Cavalier: The Generals of the battlefield. For every level taken, they give armies a direct +1% bonus to attack rolls and damage. They also tend to attract Assasins.

Battle Herald: The guy who leads the actual charge. Risky business, but gives the army he's leading a direct +1% Attack and Damage bonus per level ... combined with the Cavalier. While only 1 Cavalier can oversee a battle, there can be multiple Battle Heralds.

Master Spy: Name says it all: Kill your enemies, leech their battle plans, and turn noble houses upside down. A Spy who leaves and infiltrates a situation leaves control of the PC, just like an Assasin. Skill checks are made periodically, and don't screw up. Oh, and a travelling pair of Spy and Assasin is POTENT.

Horizon Walker: If a Pathfinder Chronicler takes this as a Prestige Class, they are considered to be a legendary explorer - like Marco Polo. Their maps and books are in high-demand, are highly valued, etc. The GM will also bring-about opportunies to explore new islands, discover new civilizations, and generally give you the opportunity to boldly go where no man has gone before (Floating cities in the sky, underwater nations, and legendary planar sites spring to mind.)

Samurai and Ninja: Somewhere, in the endless expanse of oceans and islands, there is a mystic and asian-like civilization that had some great cataclysm happen to it. It set adrift many of its people, and others just decided to leave and seek-out new places. They either are trying to get back home, or find help for their people. These two classes are very much "strangers in a strange land".

Gunslinger: In the past ages, gunpowder and firearms ruled the land. Cannons fired shells at other ships, etc. Then some guy discovered Magic Missile, and how it ALWAYS hits, and how fireballs were just so much more destructive ... gunpowder faded into the sunset. It is considered to be a dead art: Underpowered and archaic. In a duel, the guy with the wand of fireballs is instantly betted to be the winner. The Gunslinger is a loner, and his opinion of those who think he's a weirdo, cluching to an ancient past, is low. His guns are infused with unique magic, his grit unstoppable, and he's convinced that the+2 adamantine bullet that he just fired at your head is faster that your wand.

Monstrous PC Races: You can be a Goblin (Bestiary 1, page 156). Makes a good rogue! However, note that NOBODY is going to take you quite seriously in the world, and you may be the subject of prejudice, etc. You cannot put ranks into Linguistics, Spellcraft, or Ride. Heck, just to get NEAR a horse will require a Calming spell. Svirfneblin (Bestiary 1, page 261) +10 Circumstance bonus to certain skills (such as Diplomacy and Sense Motive) when used against Fey creatures. Tengu (Bestiary 1, page 263) Excellent for rogues. Traders and merchants universally despise this race, and you can't take ranks in Appraise. Fetchling (Bestiary 2, page 123) A challenging race to play - Advanced players only, please. Wide-spread prejudice, distrust, and even the occasional attack by a few NPCs is going to force you to disguise yourself. Note that the Shadow Blending ability only applies a 20% miss chance to the PC so long as lights are around. Ifrit (Bestiary 2, page 160) Must be a sorceror, fighter, or barbarian class. Oread (Bestiary 2, page 205) Must be a sorceror, cleric, or fighter. Gains a +5 circumstance bonus to disguise self as a stone statue. Sylph (Bestiary 2, page 258) Must be a sorceror or rogue. Undine (Bestiary 2, page 275) Must be a sorceror or cleric.
Wesley D. Y.
user 6127759
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 1,013
I'm assuming all 8 of my current players will want to participate in this campaign, so all slots are filled. HOWEVER, if this interests you, let me know, and if one of the players says that they cannot attend, you can fill-in for the session in the form of an NPC character who decides to journey with the PCs briefly.

Other notes: Paizo has announced a new expansion for the Plot Twist cards! The theme for the cards is that your PC will suddenly recall, from his past, something that happened to him that also applies to this situation (Thus the name of the expansion: Flashbacks!). I will be obtaining and integrating these into play as soon as they become available.

You can "discard" Plot Twist cards - ONLY when you level up - to gain instead small bonuses to XP, or a +1 bonus to a d20 roll, or something small like that. These cards are attached to the PLAYER, not the character. This means you get a card whenever a PC you control gains a level, and don't lose all the cards if you have another PC already established that you can pull into gameplay (Such as a fighter dying, but his Assasin, who is away on a mission, can be recalled - and abort - that mission, to join the group. As such, all cards are kept.) In this way, there should be greater opportunities to play the cards, because there might be situations where you have multiple PCs in play - your current fighter, and your overseas Master Spy - who BOTH might need cards.

Discover new islands, explore them, find new races, classes, and even prestige classes: I have some PDFs that take me through the steps for Class creation, as well as Race creation. Helps make fair and balanced creation. If you discover a new island, with a new civilization - you might discover a new race of people (get a big XP bonus for THAT), as well as any new classes they have. Those classes and races would then be available for play in the campaign. Oh, and by-the-by, I have a mapping system in place for you to explore this new land, hex-by-hex, and then I can print a full-color permanent map of the whole place just like the other 15 maps.

Discover new spells. Put your Wizard on hold ... have him hole-up inside a tower full of dusty tomes, and other pale-skinned wizards, and study for a few months. Give me the IDEA for the spell you want ... and see what your Wizard can come up with.

Also, I'm going to TRY adding some music to certain situations - this is NOT to step on Joe's territory AT ALL: His music ALWAYS trumps mine. But I'm in the process of culling specific music tracks (All ambient and non-vocal) for specific situations, and I have an iPod Shuffle and portable speaker system just for this. The music is from classical, motion picture, and PC gaming sources. Having the overture from Carmen Burana playing while a desperate fight takes place could be awesome.

That's all I can think of for now.

Things I want from YOU: Details of your PC (standard rolling of 4d6 - drop lowest die. Should be able to get a 16-18 in there once or twice). A good history on the character, as well as what he wants, is appreciated.

One of you will have to be declared the leader of the PCs at some point, especially when it comes to running your own Domain.

Also: Never trash a dead PCs character sheet. I have a "Graveyard" folder for them. This new campaign world lets ressurection - both planned and unplanned - a real possibility. Might be fun to have one of your own characters come back as an NPC, for good or for evil.

You'll start the game off with 0 gold, and zero possessions - just bare clothing. You'll be escapees from the Great Coliseum in Thyatia (which is pretty much like Rome). You'll have to sneak, steal, and claw your way out.
Kevin B.
Turlock
Medina, NY
Post #: 91
Sounds GREAT, Wes!! I can't wait!! =)
John G.
user 4700290
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 93
I have to second Kevin's drooling anticipation on this one. (Or is it just me drooling?) tongue

Truly, it sounds like you have outdone yourself...
A former member
Post #: 61
Hey guys, just FYI, my character will be a Barbarian. He will be from a kind of Meso-American culture with strong Mayan and, especially, Aztec overtones. His name will be Acamapichtli Huitzilhuitl though he luckily goes by the short form, Acama.

He is a strong believer in his own pantheon which I'm modifying from the Aztec pantheon. In that pantheon, two of the major deities were Quetzlcoatl and Tezcatlipoca. They were twins, reflections of one another. Quetzlcoatl was the feathered serpent, bringer of rain, daylight, stuff like that. Tezcatlipoca was the shadow panther, ruler of night, storms, destruction, etc. Tezcatlipoca was also the patron of Aztec Jaguar Warriors, on which this character is based. His moods basically reflect the duality between the two deities. When he is not raging, he is a reflection of Quetzlcoatl: jovial, intelligent, and generally easy going. When he rages, his demeanor darkens and he becomes something frightening and destructive. He adheres to Meso-American ideas of sacrifice such that he will often end combats with the sacrifice of defeated enemies in Aztec fashion (cutting up through rib cage and tearing out the heart with an obsidian knife).

Though labeled a Barbarian by his enslavers, he does come from a technologically and scientifically advanced culture, with greater knowledge of alchemy, astronomy, biology, etc. I'm stealing Kevin N's idea and multiclassing him as an Alchemist/Barbarian (thanks Kevin). He's smart. Really smart. Maybe the smartest member of the party. I'm planning on using the Drunken Brute archetype. It fits him...well maybe not the brute part. He's not particularly brutish or bullyish. He makes his own alcoholic beverages as readily as his own alchemical potions. He also has some pretty strange cultural practices. He's very nice and amiable but his strange ways make him somewhat awkward and something of a curiosity. For example, his idea of wealth is a little different. He understands the value of gold in this culture but his own culture values gems and ideas of sacrifice. Therefore, when he accumulates them, he will embed gem chips in his skin to be dug out for a purchase. It's his way of consecrating a monetary contract.

As far as Past/Future stuff, he's kind of open. I need to work out the details but the simple version is that, as a lone traveler in Thyatian lands who happens to be a tad fond of the drink, he was taken unawares one evening when he had one too many. He was sold to the gladiatorial games for his prowess in combat and his exoticism. As for his future, depends on what happens in the game. He doesn't have any particular overarching goals at this point but that could change. He might wish to return to his homeland or maybe work towards carving out a kingdom. Could also look for revenge against his captors. But that's the character in a nutshell.
Wesley D. Y.
user 6127759
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 1,018
When you finalize your character, please give me the following stats:
Name, race, and alignment
What is the highest initiative you can attain?
Str
Dex
Con
Int
Wis
Cha
Fortitude
Reflex
Will
Speed
Do you have special vision?
Bluff
Diplomacy
Stealth
Perception
Sense Motive
Languages you can speak

And your class
Thanks
Kevin B.
Turlock
Medina, NY
Post #: 93
Hey guys, just FYI, my character will be a Barbarian.

That IS good news, Matt. In talking to everyone at our gaming session this past Saturday, I realized that there's virtually no tanks in our upcoming party. There is one character that will be able to absorb a fair amount of damage (I believe it's the one that Kevin N. is working on), however, we didn't really have a Turlockian equivalent (a dude that could wade into the middle of the melee and slug it out) until your character.

My own character (Teal Bluewing - an Elven Ranger) will definitely be good in a fight but his combat style is going to favor ranged attacks with a composite longbow (or composite greatbow if Wes allows it) so I'm not really tooling him up to be a hit point sponge. Even when he IS using a melee weapon, his attack style will be more like, move-strike-move. He's going to rely more on speed and agility than toughness and strength.

So, as Aragorn said to Haldir when he showed up with his elven warriors to aid the Rohirrim at Helm's Deep in the Two Towers movie..."You are MOST welcome!"
A former member
Post #: 64
Well,

I'm not used to tanking really but I'll do my best. He actually won't be doing much in the way of Barbarian. I plan on taking some levels of Fighter (mostly for that overhand chop thing that Turlock had...pretty devastating, especially with this guy's strength increases from Alchemist, Barbarian Rage, and some other things I have up my sleeve for later in the campaign). The AC will likely be an issue but I'm hoping to get some Natural Armor bonuses later on and to survive on a crapload of hit points. We'll see though. But I figured this guy would help when I saw the layout of the party. I wasn't able to play anything for about a 5 year period and I continued to get character ideas during that time. I have probably 20 ideas on the back burner so when I saw that the party needed a front line fighter, I figured it was a good time to bring this one out. Should be fun.
Bloodspoor
user 11337496
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 38
Is this going to be a bi-weekly Saturday game again? I may be able to get in on this if I can convince my friends to switch to Fridays. I really do want to play with different people just to see different GM styles and how other people interact. Kinda getting sick of people playing with their cell phones at our table. It gets very distracting and I find it wholly disrespectful to the GM.
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