Thursday, December 27, 2012

May the hunt begin! (Starting Player Info)...

The following shall be the grounds at which the campaign shall proceed...

1.  new players shall be able to bring in a character of a level 10% less than the lowest level PC in the current party.

2.  new characters may have only the following magical equipments:
- a. arm/wrist weapon or protection at +1 (rings, gauntlets, bracers, not part of the armor suit)
- b. armor suit at +1
- c. potions, scrolls, and other "trinkets" which total no more than 1,000 gold
- d. holy item +1 (if applicable)

3.  will know what's going on with main party and will be sent in-route to meet up with other party member(s)
 - a. new member might be jailed / held captive (torture possible)
 - b. could find member as a supporter for the cause 
 - c. could find member as an escapee

4.  total party character levels (CL) before leaving Golarion not to exceed 40 or the intercepting forces will be alerted and send support in massively outnumbering numbers.

5.  short stories must be told only to give direction.  it is upto the GM to keep these to a minimum.  these are either direct or paraphrased from the actual source material.

6.  Actual Source Material:  First Edition AD&D Campaign Module H4, "Throne of Bloodstone"

7. Game play shall be on weekends (FRI - SAT - SUN) and the GM must have at least a week inbetween sessions to prepare next phase of game play.

8.  If player(s) are unable to attend for any reason advance warning and good reason must be submitted to GM or concurrent player.  A grace period of one missed session may be allowed if other player(s) agree to the reason.  The game shall continue and there is a point where no new PC's will be accepted.  There are no exceptions.

9.  CON RELEASE:  this game is being played with the Pathfinder RPG rules system but has no bearing upon the Pathfinder game setting itself nor the Chronicles setting.  However I do encourage those interested in find this module and have fun with it as I am.  

- a. MarsCon participants are not included in the actual campaign but may "Join the Fray" and have a whack at taking Orcus' famous wand and escape his evil clutches before he takes a #2 on Golarion...  and the pantheon has little to stop him short of collapsing the known cosmos.

10.  should this make it (irl) to year 2014 a full write up shall be made and posted for all to use... in the new conclusory module: H5 - "Stone of Blood"... which is in development by H.A. Lotis, IV (aka Marcaise Delacroix Khorece).

11.  House Rule (concept in practice) ... 

New convention :  Hit Box (HBX)

The idea is to keep track and show the player and GM as much pertinent combat information about each major PC, NPC, or Encounter in a succinct and timely manner.

HD: Hit Dice (hit points divided by eight)

Hit Points: how much damage you suffer.  There are four HBX columns to break up HP into quarter sections.

REZ: you have ten percent of your maximum HP to go after zero before you are no longer resurrectable, not even by wish or divine favor.  Put the ten percent number here and it is understood this is exactly how much you can go before you are slain;  you are considered unconscious unless you have a feat or other racial bonus which indicates otherwise, approved by the GM.

DEAD: (or SLAIN).  If you are marked here there is no chance at all of you regaining control of your PC... the GM should have a copy but yours should be burned, mutilated, whatever, just discard it.

BAB: base attack bonus (self explanitory). BAB order: main hand, off hand, main hand, off hand, lucky shot (5th strike if CL allows), and 6th column is for Hasted.  if you have no 5th attack it is marked with a " X " (or strikethru) and your hasted main hand attack is denoted in the 6th column.

AC: armor class (self explanitory), however this is your very best, highest possible.  You are considered to always be wearing your armor.  If you do not inform the GM you are fully equipped and decked out in your finest duds.  Encumbrance and armor penalties for weight (-3 and under) shall not be enforced.  Penalties for DEX must be figured in.
- Only list the following: Col-1 is best, col-2 is flatfooted, col-3 is touch.

The HitBox (by HALotisJR +Marcaise K )
DR : Damage Resistance.  If your class or armor permits please denote it here and subtract the appropriate damage.

SR : Spell Resistance. Refer to Pathfinder's SRD (Spell Resistance) for specifics, but this is a d20/Pathfinder equivalent to the Magic Resistance of First Edition ADnD.  The only difference is SR is only for SPELLS in my game.

MR: Magic Resistance.  There is a build up of magical energy in everything in the world and by that same token there are those whom were born in such magic dead areas and thusly may not be affected by such magical effects.  Items are affected by MR and thus beings may be immune to such effects thus needing a higher magic to be hit.  If 50% MR that translates to being immune to items of +5 or less however a +6 item still does full damage and is not diminished.  Refer to Pathfinder's SRD (on Magic Special Abilities) as to what is and isn't resisted and how.

STUN: when you suffer the maximum HP of the affected column you are stunned for a melee round unless you are immune to stun (with GM's approval).  Numbers listed are arbitrary and may be changed later but as you suffer so does the rest of your overall performance.  
- ex: you're about to die, you're not going to operate like you weren't damaged.

12.  All characters must be submitted in digital format (PDF is preferred, XPS is accepted) for GM approval.
- HeroLab generated is what GM uses and demonstrates via Skype (he shares his desktop for new character generation outside of gaming sessions).
- also this site is available: [ Pathfinder PCGen at Trove Tokens ].

13.  Players need to keep their copy updated but for gameplay must submit a version for GMCOPY.  GM agrees to keep it up to date and clear so that any notes taken may be referred back to clearly and current gear updates the HITBOX.

- - - - - - 

Please keep in mind the above are house rules and are only to keep the game rolling, and to keep it somewhat fair and balanced.

Any of the above may be changed at any time without prior knowledge but with some moniker of player respect and notification shall be made.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Questline... and Side Tracks...

This is my intentions for the game...

Here's my scheme of things and should players use any of this for character knowledge their CL's shall be decreased by the deaths of those whom should "sparkle with the knowledge of the gods".

1. find fake artificer
2. get directions to witch-king's citadel
3. kill all along the way to inside the citadel
4. find out where the Abyssal Gate is
5. get to the Abyssal Gate
6. figure out the Gate's code
7. power up the Gate to use it
8. use the gate to get as close to City of Orcusgate as possible
9. make way to Orcus' Castle
10. find throne room
11. take Wand of Orcus
12. Escape City of Orcusgate
Optional : DESTROY Wand of Orcus

That's a short overview of what players are tasked with.  What they have knowledge thereof depends on elements leading upto this Epic Quest.

There are trees away from the 13 above accomplishments and some will reward more than others while others will seek to distract the party to do other things.

Keep in mind that there is a balancing act between good and evil.  The more the party does to lean one way or the other will affect the rest of the campaign...  for better... or worse.  When in doubt it may come into the favor of the party but keep in mind that both actions and spoken words will be kept track of...  by the gods, and the residents of the Abyss.

One side's afraid you'll take over and the other's just doesn't want you...  which side is which will be found out at the end of this game.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A tasty morsel of flesh ...

Pathfinder Current Year:  4712 AR

There is a test of mankind and it's time has come to Golarion.

From the farthest reaches of Avistan and Gorrun comes a group of adventurers banding together to stop the threat which has only recently come to light...
The Reawakening of an Ancient Evil... Orcus, the Goat God.

In the times since the Goblinblood Wars (15 years in the past) there has been a thinning out of those of goblinoid blood: goblins, kobolds, orcs, halforcs, trolls, and other evil green skinned creatures.  Their number have dwindled dramatically in the the time since and spotting a goblinoid has been scarce.
Rumors have it that they all have fled underground into dungeons and other farther deeps.

Even stranger is the sighting of drow nobles coming to the top world seeking refuge as strange forces they are unable to identify have forced them from their homes.  "A feeling of death, dread, and unspeakable evil, even unto us drow, dark elves, rulers of the Darklands."

Szor-afein Ehilese Elhromane was a loremaster and weaver of tales of mystery among the peoples of the Darklands and has eluded to the illithid, those monsters whom sustain themselves by draining the victims of their memories and mental abilities.  Szor has pledged his services and lore to accompany as an official advisor of the Pathfinder Society of Almas, to which he resides and has welcomed him.  His travelling companion, and conductor of the recently departed (an Undead Lord) Zoric Blackbone "drags along those whom they have discarded in battle to repiece them back with their souls after serving in his Undead Lord's service". Zoric has taken great care as an Urpriest (believer in greater powers but not a worshipper to any deity or greater power) to only convert to his "Dark Court" those whom he and Szor have dispatched in battle to later return them to life, and their service to Zoric as penance for their atrocity towards he and Szor.  Their "Dark Court" together consists of 13 skeletons, 5 drow concubines for both Szor and Zoric (they're also assassin bodyguards of the "Black Widows")... and Tzu-Huozzah, the walking castle (when it's not in use it's a metallic square the size of a rubic's cube and equally as light, it was a gift from the Great Daimyo of Tien Xia himself, the King of the Jade Serpent Society).

Along their adventuring travels they are met by Tiberius, High Elven Cavalier Commander of Varisian Cavalry.  He leads his cavalry of 50 horsemen, 5 paladins, and one female of note whom only has been whispered as "The Valkyrie" (whom also has yet to be seen, but their forces are emblazen with her likeness of a number of valkyries numbering tenfold their cavalry).  All are well-trained militia and farmers whom took up the same cause as Tiberius... to make sure all farmlands are kept in fine working order, to feed their peoples with food aplenty and ripen with richness equal only to those made magically.  One of Tiberius' most trusted adventurer's and newly found compatriot Ezerial has recently returned from his mystical training from the Elven Kingdom of Triine, a place of ancient elven magics, memories, and supposedly one of the birthplaces of the high elves.  Ezerial's eidelons too went back to their collective home worlds to recouperate and regain new knowledges of their own and will rejoin the party when they are called upon.

Alex the 2nd, the Cormyrian Prince, from another realm on another planet which seems several lifetimes away, will join the party with his own party.  He was given the quest to put an ends to those symbols which were left by the last of the Goblinblood Wars...  the symbols of the seven deadly sins, and those just happened to surround a newly forged Talisman of Orcus.  The talisman was fashioned of some strange metal which even baffles the Numerian Technic League (technological sorcerers and scientists).  Alex has travelled most of Avistan on his various quests from his original deity Silverbright of the Khai Rhii, a deity from the other realm.  Alex has since been accepted by Erastil along with Alex's followers: Raeving Beauty (an ex-succubus), Big Tex (a gunslinger of exotic firearms), Kassy the Blue (a druidess of air and water types), Kraven (Kassy's former husband but now follower of Alex and occassional rider with Commander Tiberius), and the mysterious one whom still claims only to be merely a boy but the size of a giant with a mental capacity of endless proportions...  and recently found a descendant of Alex the 1st.

There have been rumors of opposing forces from the northern plains of Avistan making incursions into the southern lands but nothing has been substantial as of yet.  However a rather noticeable drop in livestock has been noted in many territories, even in territories of evil intent (NE, LE, CE).  This is causing a bit of concern because it stretches all throughout Avistan from the Realm of the Mammoth Lords to Nirmathas, to Kyonin, then around south to Andoran and Cheliax.  None have been unaffected.

The party has met beings which were otherworldly and sent them back from whence they came.  Finally found their first Free City (Alvis in Andoran) where they are finishing their training.  Their level of skill is about to surpass the trainers of the guilds;  meaning they are picking up tricks of their trade(s) on their own.

Activity in Numeria has been seen increasing.  To what ends none have been confirmed.

The demons of Worldwound have been seen fortifying their entrances to the Darklands beneath.  Some rumors have suggested that wars from Darklands are expanding up and through these entrances.  "Even those whom reside in Hell are vacating the area because something more sinister is happening" - Pathfinder Extraordinare Drizzt Do'Urden.

...  unbeknownst to the party Orcus has been awake for some time now and is plotting to use them as his Coup Des Etat unto Golarion.  For feeding on them shall give him even more power on the Prime Material Plane... where the resting places of his foulest enemies lay where they may still stay dormant and docile ready to be slain and devoured by Orcus.

A story of flesh and goat...

One recent weekend a few brothers, whom had joined the Andoran Eagle Knights, were out having a good time.  Another bunch of brothers, whom had joined the Chelaxian Blackguard, were also out having a good time and both ended up in the same venue...  The Dragon's Talon Inn (known for fine women and consorts).

Let's just say that weekend produced a family with strange ties and to which gingerly bound together a family of both neighboring nations whom are at times at odds with each other.  "A family of angels and demons" is often how they're described.

In the decades since, their family has made some of the notable noblemen and noblewomen around Avistan.  Marcaise Khorece of Cheliax and Margret Delacroix of Andoran made many children and they are the patrons of many more grandchildren.  The grandchildren are the ones whom still have the bloodline still today.

One twist fate brought to their families was the fact that both Marcaise and Margret were both gifted with divine backgrounds.  It was this fact that brought the nations to such hostility after it was found out.  In decades after this was the public sightings of true demons through the Cheliax nation, and angelic avatars in the Andoran nation.  It was thought that the gods were just fed up and sent their avatars to the material plane.

To what ends has yet to be determined as this is the current time when the party "comes of heroic age".

Rumor has it that some of the ancient deities (the old ones) have taken notice to this as it was a common practice "back in their day".  One such deity's minions and worshippers have whispered that he has awoken from his deep slumber and wants to return to power.  The only place this such deity was rumored to have access to the material world is kept hidden in many ancient texts.  It is within these texts the party is to be geased by both nations as both are being torn asunder in the charismatic sense of the word.  This act of joining of such opposites disgusts many religious leaders on both sides and it is they whom hire out the party...

Cheliaxian representative, "I only wish that the text be returned to us so that it may be treasured and kept secreted away from treasure hunting zealots". 

< ... in secret, they confide with any evil aligned players that they wish to curse both families into service...  fresh demons without a true master...  and the texts will reveal the entrance to one of the found fathers of old >

The demons turned the families into goats whom are very old but whom are immune to mortal harm.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Campaign Setup

These notes are for those who are going to join my game.

System: Pathfinder Role Playing Game (PF)

Setting: alternate timeline which closely resembles the system.  The events which happen here have no real effect on the timeline as a whole but may be noted therein.  Other events are not planned to impact this campaign but may be used to make things more interesting ( "kicking it up a notch" ).
I am not familiar with "PF Society" (PFS) rules so I shall not use them per se.  I use a lot of things for my own interpretation of the rules and some of the PFS npc's may get used for flavoring.

Character Race Type : must be some type of humanoid.  No outsiders, no animals, nothing else.  No "green skinned" types (kobolds, orcs, goblins, trolls, etc) as something else has happened to them in this game which makes them an unplayable type.

Character Starting Levels:  a balance of upto 40 Character Levels (CL) with 10% CL in NPC followers, hirelings.  Starting wealth is CL20 *2.

Starting Wealth: see page 399 of Core rule book, table 12-4, Character Wealth by Level, and use that for magic, equipment, armor, weapons, and support (hirelings, mounts, and stuff for them).

- IE:  CL 40 = 880k/gp *2 = 1.76 mil/gp, for the entire party for magical items.  
- Non-magical items which are not special or specific in any way may be used without cost, but must always be kept track thereof (food, water, animals/pets, etc).
- Masterwork crafted items are at cost and are considered "special" items.

Online:  I prefer to have an online presence with webcam and mic/speakers.  I have learned how to take advantage of SKYPE, INFNO.NET, D20PRO, and HEROLAB.
  • SKYPE:  free online chatting utility which is better than YahooIM because Skype can share screens live with the conference.  I am a paid subscriber and can host more than 10 people in a video conference.  It can be used in conjunction with online games as well as you can chat while using other programs/games.  There are versions for both PC and Mac.
  • INFRNO.NET :  free site for role players.  Has its own digital whiteboard which is used specifically for gaming.  Video and text-based chatting included.  There are a few people throughout the world whom are online and I usually see more than 10 people on all the time in the public chatrooms.  There are some on there whom have expressed interest already for my campaign.  Web based (html).
  • d20Pro: is a great utility for maps and when used in conjunction with the HeroLab character generator they unite to provide an enriched gaming experience.  I am a registered user with 6 player slots registered.  And I have a server computer which I can host without paying for any other host providing service. There are versions for PC, Mac, and Linux.
  • HeroLab: character generation application.  Think of a well designed database which fills out fields you enter data into.  Includes a majority of the books out there for the systems (these are extras you purchase from the online store which are then incorporated into your licensed application).  Handles game systems : Pathfinder, Shadowrun, D&D 3.5 d20 OGL, Mutants and Masterminds, Call of Cthulu, World of Darkness, D&D 4E, and Savage Worlds. There are versions for both PC and Mac.
Offline:  there are plenty of books out there which have a ton more information than I want myself or my players to use.  You are welcome to get them but there are only a few which players should be familiar with and have with them during gameplay...
Pathfinder Core Rulebook (PFC)
Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide (APG)
Pathfinder Ultimate Combat (UC)
Pathfinder Ultimate Magic (UM)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

History and Notes

Not my first blog but for my new group this will be an introduction to my world.

Hence my GM NOTES...

I see the Pathfinder RPG system as a major plot device for my story telling style of running games.  There are high level and exotic magics which permeate the world in which the party lives in.

Believing in a lot of magic is a good thing but I'm trying to tailor my world to that in which will attract players for their time spent and enjoyment among us all.  I'll be copying over some guidelines from my last campaign to get everyone started.

This campaign is a high character level game in which the class levels are capped at 20th level; however, the character level has no cap on it...  only capped by imagination.

"The Wand of Orcus" is being sought after because it is loose upon the mortal world and there are Forgeries of Wondrous Magics being let loose upon the unsuspecting...  and this is thought to be one.

"The Throne of Bloodstone" is warming up and a new successor is rumored to be poised for the takeover.

Character Levels (CL) : base 8 plus 1d4 ;  means CL 9 - 12
Sources from Paizo's PF PRD are welcomed and MUST be noted on your character record sheet which I (your GM) must have a copy thereof.  Failure to do so will default you to the PF Core Rulebook (PFCR).

"There once was a man whom journeyed through the Darklands in search of his soul.  His fate was sealed when he begun his journey as the Darklands welcomed such an evil being into their midst, a being so evil that the Darklands theirselves parted a wide berth which seperated land, time, and belief among their kind.

Magius Bartholemeux de Blaque was this man and his journey consumed his humanity and turned him into the greatest lie humanity has ever known...  Magius Blaque, Grand Archduke of the Darklands, Arch Hierophant Grand Druid, Wizard Supreme, and creator of The Darkworks.

I pray to you brothers and sisters of The Pathfinder Society that you put an end to his Darkworks and if able to himself, the Grand Archduke of the Darklands...  and report what humanity may be left."  - sayeth His Highlord Elric Dhaarkstone, Brightshield of the Cormyrian Stars and Avistanian Statesman (CL 125, mortal).  Highlord of the Lightwielders of Fate and a Chronicler of the Cog.

Cheliax sends word their representative and former party member, Szor'afein Ehilese Elhromane, will rejoin the party before setting out for their last quest... to find the Wand of Orcus and see if it is real or one of the many replicated magics which have been cropping up en mass.

Orichalcum is a metal mentioned in several ancient writings, most notably the story of Atlantis as recounted in the Critias dialogue, recorded by Plato. According to Critias, orichalcum was considered second only to gold in value, and was found and mined in many parts of Atlantis in ancient times. By the time of Critias, however, it was known only by name. In numismatics, orichalcum is the golden-colored bronze alloy used for the sestertius and dupondius coins.

Orichalcum has variously been held to be a gold/copper alloy, a copper-tin or copper-zinc brass, or a metalno longer known. The Andean alloy tumbaga fits the same description, being a gold/copper alloy. However,in Vergil's Aeneid it was mentioned that the breastplate of Turnus was "stiff with gold and white orachalc" and it has been theorised that it is an alloy of gold and silver, though it is not known for certain what orichalcum was.  In later years, "orichalcum" was used to describe the sulfide mineral chalcopyrite or brass

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

The name derives from the Greek ορείχαλκοςoreikhalkos (from όροςoros, mountain and χαλκόςchalkos, copper or bronze), meaning "mountain copper" or "mountain metal".  The Romans transliterated "orichalcum" as "aurichalcum", which was thought to literally mean "gold copper". It is known from the writings of Cicero that the metal they called orichalcum, while it resembled gold in colour, had a much lower value

However, these are difficult to reconcile with the text of Critias, because he states that the metal was "only a name" by his time, while brass and chalcopyrite continued to be very important through the time of Plato until today. For that reason, other authors on the subject conclude that orichalcum is either the gold-copper alloy tumbaga, or possibly amber.

Upon examining some of "finest magical works in the kingdom" (which several kingdoms claimed most notably Andoran, Cheliax, Last Wall, Absalom, Five Kings Mountains, and Numeria) there was a strange metal which feigns a resemblance to gold but that which cannot keep its value.  It has been studied by many alchemists, wizards, dwarves, gnomes, and none have a clue how it takes on magic.  Even the magic it does hold is very temporary.  However there has been one short sword fashioned of the stuff and it was adorned with many gems and jewels to be a decorative keepsake...  and it's +1 has yet to come into use except for its own magical radiance.  Even a +1 "fake" shines as do it's cousins.

Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!!
Saw this as a tagline from a tech forum.  Thought it'd be funny to share... and to warn my players.  ;)

You've come here to get started on my PFC: Throne of Bloodstone.  Here will be details on what you'll need to start playing this epic game as I have seen it's retelling...

·         character level :  8 + 1d4
·         only use one PC  (if player participation is low more PC's per player may be permitted as per GM Approval)
·         alignment is now considered as an attitude versus humanity and life in general and thus LG & CE humankind may operate together with greater goal in mind
·         all previous magic gear you have now stripped (if returning from Campaign #1)
·         re-equip yourself with minor through medium quality magic 
o    may have a number of magic items equal to half your character level 
o    with these guidelines :
§  CL 12 = upto +6 modified item(s)
§  CL 10 = upto +5 modified item(s)
§  CL 6 = upto +3 modified item(s)
§  CL 3 = upto +1 modified item  (3/2 = 1.5, rounded down)
·         characters begin with 100gp in either coin or gems (upto each character)
·         The party will start in the capitol city of Almas, Andoran.  You've quested before and have jelled as a party of adventurers taking contracts from the Pathfinder Society and from a veteran (and retired) adventurer or two.  
·         Your party has become to be known as “The Alighted Adventurers”

Lo be the hero whom thinks he is the stuff of legends.  I shall dine upon the souls aplenty for my appetite hungers for that which mortals seek...  more!  (Demon Lord Orcus said unto the last paladin whose soul was a mere snack at CL 75).

In the days since the Goblinblood Wars (4697 AR;  at present it's 4712 AR, 15 years later) mankind has taken his time to rebuild what was destroyed by the looting and mass destruction by the kobolds and goblins whom are now in hiding.  Even the orcs, ogres, orokai, and trolls (all whom have some sort of goblin blood in them) have nearly disappeared from the normal sightings.

Elves, dwarves, gnomes, halfings, and humans (aka Mankind) have banded together in this wake of wonton destruction and a sign of eviller things which way comes forth.  Signs of the Olde Ones have been marked upon the lands by the goblinkinds have been clearly left behind but as to their meanings that has been of wide conversations, rumors, and speculation in Avistan.  Gorund has not seen much of this destruction and have only further seperated themselves from their northern brethren by becoming "States of Alienation" (if found upon our lands you shall be treated as only an enemy and actions shall be taken upon you accordingly...  reported by the Senior Journeymen of the Almas Pathfinder Society).

The party sojourned in Almas but are expected to be their ambassadors when abroad as many have given the party much in supplies and a place to call home.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An intense Pretense ...

The Party Starts Here
I'm Marcaise, your GM and guide through this blog.  Herein and after will be the ramblings from my campaign.  I am at times incoherent but entertaining.  Please do browse through these notes and use Google to your best ability...  none of what you find is admissible in my game!

This campaign is not for the occassional player.  It's not for the normal player.  I'm gonna toss a lot of evil at the party and if you're not up for it just sit back and let me know how my strewn body parts from the party is going.  

There will be occasional hints to research other sources but for the most part I'll try and keep the pertinent campaign information here on this blog.

-= Marcaise =-