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A New World to Explore!

The Player Characters, outcasts from the war-torn Old World, will accompany a small colonization fleet to the newly discovered New World. Using either the new colony or a caravel as a base, they will explore, map, plunder, discover…and, if they’re lucky, survive.

This game will start in 2012
once I’ve got a computer screen larger than 12"
…and have written the backstory novella

  • System1
  • Concepts2
  • Know Your DM3
  • House Rules4
  • Player Characters5

1 System

System

Pathfinder RPG
Pathfinder RPG “Fifth Printing”
Official Site
Pathfinder SRD

2 Concepts

Concepts

Keep them in mind, as you make characters!

Scum of all Nations

There’s a reason you came to the New World…
…the Old World sucks.

Scarcity

food, ammunition, and spells
We’ll keep track!
Survival is a legitimate skill!
Wizards, hang on to your spellbooks!

Syncretism

it all comes together

These Genre Three

Survival Horror

This is going to be dangerous, as with all explorations. Not many characters live past level 3.
Try not to starve.

Picaresque Romance

‘Romance’ in the sense of adventure. Your character’s lovers are up to you to obtain.
Anything goes, it is entirely player-driven. I’m a pro, I’ll roll with you.
I’ve got a map, but you’ve got exploring of it.
(Like Skyrim, but with worse graphics.)

Low Fantasy

Even in Charn, magic is exciting and rare.

3 Know Your DM

Know Your DM

I’m a pro

I’m a professional liar, storyteller, and writer.

I hate (running) combat

My favorite combats are planned by the party beforehand.
…unless I ambush you.
My favorite combats MEAN something.
My favorite combats are meaty, but not exceptionally long.
In every combat, there is a way of escape.

I don’t care about game balance

At ALL. There’s really nothing you can do to throw it off. Stay in Core, though.
I love story XP I’ll throw it around like delicious candy. Give me a good fifteen minutes of solid plot-chewing, and you’ll earn your keep.

Story!

Story!

4 House Rules

House Rules

as these are non-playtested, homebrew rules, the DM reserves the right to make modifications as the game progresses, in a fair and sane manner.

New Feats

Touched of Aa

You have been called directly by Aa and trained in the Temple of Aa. You have renounced violence and gained understanding. You don’t have to be nice, but you have to be good.
Benefit:

  • +5 to all social skills (Diplomacy, Intimidate, Bluff, Sense Motive)
  • +2 to all knowledge skills
  • can speak and understand (but not read and write) all languages

Requirements:
Cannot Use Violence
Violence is defined in game terms as ‘causing damage to a living creature’. If an Aacolyte damages a living creature, he loses all his bonuses until such time as (1) one month has passed and (2) he completes an Aa-given quest of redemption. In extenuating circumstances (i.e., the absolute defense of others and self), the Aacolyte can elect to inflict non-lethal damage, and lose his bonuses until after an extended rest.

Interpretation: Undead are fair game.

Culture Note: Attacking, harming, hindering, or otherwise inconveniencing an Aacolyte is a serious taboo and offense. Mobs will form, deaths will occur. Don’t do it. What that means in the New World, though…who knows?

Flavor Tweaks

Level Cap

Max Level is 12
We’re using the ‘Slow’ advancement.

Death

Resurrection is very difficult (not impossible) …perhaps with syncretism…
On Death, start over at level X, where X is the lowest number on the ‘average PC level’ range:
1-3
4-6
7-9
9-12
At start, you’re all in ‘range 1’, so if you die at level 3, you roll a new character at level 1
But if you all managed to survive and break into level 4, thenceforth you’d roll a new character at level 4.
DM reserves the right to change this system if it’s too annoying.

Degradation of Items

Items start with 3 boxes
OOO
Mastierwork with 4
OOOO
Magic, no worries.
‘active’ equipment (i.e. ‘a sword’) degrades one box per Critical Miss, broken at full.
‘passive’ equipment (i.e. ‘armor’) degrades one box per Critical Hit inflicted on it, broken at full.
Replace or repair as per armourer skills.
This is in addition to the regular ‘sunder’ rules, not a replacement.

5 Player Characters

Player Characters

Core and Base Classes and Races (no 3rd Party)
Start at level 1, as per standard.
see Background bonuses

DUDES
[insert guidelines here]
1st level
standard starting gold
generate your ability scores by any of the methods given
etc

The Tao of Character

  • Design a Hero
    • This is your official starting character.
  • Design a Patsy
    • This is your first backup character.
  • Think of a Why
    • Why are your characters going to the New World?
  • Think of a Goal
    • What do your characters want to do in the New World?
  • Make a character sheet!
    • Output it to PDF, for GMs convenience.
    • Use PCGen, or do it by hand.
  • Put it all up on Obsidian Portal!
    • There’s a Pathfinder character sheet under the Characters tab!
    • If any of your characters’ backgrounds grant them a magic item, place it under the Items tab.
      • If you have any ‘wish-list’ items (i.e. in a Why or a Goal), name them, describe them and put them in the Items tab for GM consideration.

Have a cool concept/background request? Tell the GM! He’s super-flexible!

The Tao of Party

  • Integrate with the other PCs!
    • Why are you scum together?
  • Decide a Caravel Name.
    • The name of your party’s ship is also your party name.
  • Elect a Captain
    • If no candidate’s background is obvious.
  • Think of names for your crew
    • Your starting caravel has a crew of 20 scum.
    • These represent your pool of second (and third!) backup characters.
  • GET READY TO ROCK

The PCs will have ownership (legal or otherwise) and access to a caravel, a small sailing vessel with a crew of 20, for their nautical wanderings. Presumably it will be captain’d by whoever takes the Charn Naval Officer background.

Patsy

You should make a Primary character and a loyal patsy, a secondary character who is also part of the crew and can serve as a replacement when your Primary character dies.
You’ll be able to play as both characters ‘strategically’ but will have to select which character to use ‘tactically’, i.e. in individual combats.
Game terms: Maximum PCs in a combat is X, where X is equal to the number of players. This will be strictly enforced, even if it makes no sense, because the DM is too lazy to juggle 10 PCs in one combat.

Is It Allowed?

Please consult the Pathfinder SRD

Races:

Core Races
Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Half Elf, Half Orc, Halfling, Human

Classes:

Core Classes
Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Wizard

Base Classes
Alchemist, Cavalier, Gunslinger, Inquisitor, Magus, Oracle, Summoner, Witch

Core Prestige Classes
Arcane Archer, Arcane Trickster, Assassin, Dragon Disciple, Duelist, Eldritch Knight, Loremaster, Mystic Theurge, Pathfinder Chronicler, Shadowdancer
if you survive so long…

Feats

Any from Core Rulebook
cf. Feat Tree Source: CRB
Note: The base classes may need access to feats not found in the Core Rulebook. Apply unto me, and I shall list them here as they are approved.

Traits = Backgrounds

Every character can choose one Old World Background. If you have an idea for a new background, we can discuss it!

Equipment and Magic Items

Buy whatever you want. Note that, in this setting, ‘masterwork’ is ‘Mastierwork’ (pronounced the same, though, if you’re from Charn or Sync.)

Magic items are rare, valuable and all named. There are no generic magic items, and if there is a magic shop, it’s probably unique and By Appointment Only. Every magic item—owned, encountered or merely rumored—will end up in the ‘Items’ tab. If your background provides you with a magic item, give it a name!

Magic

Core
cf. Spells DB and set Source to “PFRPG Core”
Note: The base classes may need access to some spells not found in the Core Rulebook. Apply unto me, and I shall list them here as they are approved.
No psionics. That’s just silly.

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Freedom's Landing DavidalBarron