Archive for the ‘Pathfinder’ Category

LWC – Bridgetown

June 5, 2017

There are two main crossings over the Great River bisecting the Riverlands.  The first is the Old Span, about half-way up the river, connecting the northern settlements of the Grimhau, Garrison Hill and the Citadel with the Halfling settlement of Weboken in the south, near the Crater Mountains.

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The other is Bridgetown, the largest trade center and settlement in the Riverlands.  Before the Cataclysm it was known as the city of Durlan.  A massive stone bridge spanned the river there, capped at each end with impressive gatehouses.  The bridge was, for all intents, a fortress.

On the night of the Cataclysm, when fire rained down from the heavens, and the dead walked the streets of Durlan, survivors fled to the fortified bridge for sanctuary.  For days the gate guards, bolstered by a detachment of the city garrison, fought off wave after wave of undead attackers.  Even as the first snows fell the attacks continued, not stopping until their undead assailants literally froze in place from the unrelenting cold.

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In those early days of the long winters, the defenders survived by cutting fishing holes out of the frozen river, and scavenging from the rime covered ruins of Durlan.  The frozen dead were dumped onto the Great River where, after the first thaw, they eventually would be carried down to the swampy region known as the Mogg, cursing the southern Riverlands to this day.

The survivors used the detritus of their former home to build new shelters over the bridge.  Over time, the ruins of Durlan slowly disappeared, and Bridgetown grew into a ramshackle shanty town, clinging precariously to the bridge’s stonework.  Bridgetown is now home to over 3,000 people, mostly humans, the vast majority of whom make their livings either by fishing or by trade.

As the most centrally located settlement, strategically located on the Great River, Bridgetown has become the Riverlands’ greatest trade hub, and thus its largest and wealthiest community.  During the thaw, merchants and traders from all corners of the Riverlands can be found there.  Anything available for sale can be found in Bridgetown (though, perhaps, at a significant markup).

As conditions have improved, and Bridgetown has grown, the community sprawled out along the riverbanks, though not yet too far from the safety of Bridgetown’s stout gatehouses.  The ruins of old Durlan sprawl along the north side of the bank, home only to the desperate: bandits, outcasts and the odd goblin or three.

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While the city ruins are pretty well picked over, rumors persist of ancient catacombs and sewer ways that conceal the buried Imperial wealth of Durlan.  They also say that some of Durlan’s long dead inhabitants still haunt these hidden cellars and vaults, patiently awaiting adventurers to free them from their ancient tombs.

 

 

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LWC – Revised PFBB Character Sheet

June 1, 2017

A friend turned me on to a PDF editor called PDFescape.  I’ve been playing around with it to modify the standard PFBB character sheet for use with the Long Winter Campaign.  Mainly what I’ve done is change the equipment section to reflect item slots.  I’ve also altered some non-vital sections to documents backpack slots and pouch slots (see below).

Boxes J & K of page 1 have been changed to reflect items carried in the character’s hand, such as weapon and shield, coin-filled bags, a favorite staff, etc.

PFBB Revised Char Sheet Pg1

Boxes J & K changed to reflect items held in the character’s hand, such as weapons or coin-filled sacks.

Page 2 has more extensive modifications.  I’ve added a number of new inventory slot types, and consolidated the Chest and Armor slots into one (as there’s only one item in PFBB that uses the chest slot anyways).

PFBB Revised Char Sheet Pg2

Sections O & P have been modified to record pouch and backpack inventory slots, respectively.

The Back slot is ideally meant for backpacks, but could be used for a large weapon slung on the back.

The Sling slot is meant for items slung on the shoulder or across the body, such as a bow, a quiver, the Bag of Holding, a bedroll, or a bundle of some sort.

Ready slots are used for readily accessible items tucked into the belt, or possibly into a cloak or tunic, such as potions, sheathed swords, or wands, axes or hammers tucked into belts.  Ready slots also hold pouches, which can be used to carry up to two small items, like potions, caltrops, coins (50 per slot), wands, daggers and the like.

You’ll note that there’s nowhere to record coins or treasure.  The idea is that all treasure is carried somewhere in an inventory slot, whether it’s a backpack, pouch or a sack.  Naturally, valuable jewelry can be recorded in neck and ring slots (assuming the character doesn’t already have magic items in those slots).

Pouch slots hold 50 coins each; backpack slots hold 300 coins each; a sack holds around 400 coins (carried in hand, or if tied off on a belt it uses a Ready slot).

Finally, each character is restricted to carrying a single “heavy” item, such as a small chest, a marble bust, a bundle of metal armor, rolled-up tapestry, and the like.  Most likely heavy items will have to be carried in the character’s hands.

Cheers!

Weboken (LWC)

May 1, 2017

Nestled in the shadow of the Crater Mountains lies the hidden Halfling community of Weboken.  Prior to the Cataclysm, Weboken was an idyllic village of some 1,000 individuals, with cozy little homes built into the rolling hillsides.

 

halflingvillage

Weboken, during better times.

When the Long Winter came, Weboken was better prepared than most to weather the two-year long snows.  The Halflings naturally maintained impressive larders, stockpiling a vast reserve of food, “just in case.”  Their preparations served them well, for the Halflings lasted nearly the two full years of snow before they started to feel starvation’s prick.  And their isolation protected them from raiding parties during the snow’s brief intervals.

When the first thaw arrived, the industrious Halflings immediately set about replenishing their granaries and larders.  But raiders soon followed the first harvest, and that is when Weboken lost the majority of its population.  The incessant attacks wore down the poorly prepared Halflings, nearly wiping out the community.

 

ironagehillfort3

Eventually the survivors consolidated into a single, large hill.  The Halflings built their cozy little homes facing towards the interior of the hill, linked with vast open meeting chambers and a maze of tunnels.  Well hidden “light tubes” allow natural light into the hill, which is redirected by a clever system of polished metal mirrors, thus allowing Weboken to retain a portion of the charm and warmth of the pre-Cataclysmic times.  They even maintain vast, subterranean chambers to shelter their herds during winter.

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A few buildings dot the top of the hill, but most of Weboken’s surface is given over to ditches, fortifications and watch towers.  The once idyllic community is now quite formidable, at least from the outside.

Weboken is presently home to approximately 500 Halflings, and another 50 or so people of other various races.  They are prodigious farmers, being one of the few communities able to trade surplus food.  Merchants from Bridgetown and the Grimhau frequently visit Weboken during the thaws, trading weapons and tools for provisions.  There also a few nearby lumber camps, whose workers winter in Weboken, which keep the town well supplied in lumber.

By necessity virtually every adult Halfling is now a well-trained warrior, all sharing patrols and guard duty alike.  On rare occasion the community must launch punitive expeditions against larger raiding parties.  They are able to muster up to 200-300 warriors for such tasks.  Fortunately, Weboken is on good terms with all the civilized outposts of the Riverlands.

For adventurers, Weboken is a good stopover for adventuring in, and beyond, the Crater Mountains.  It’s also a good place to pick up large quantities of provisions at very reasonable prices, as well as livestock, wood and leather goods.  Unfortunately, finished goods, like weapons, armor and tools, are highly prized in isolated Weboken, so they tend to sell for a premium.

Dakka’s Story

April 28, 2017

Character background for a goblin gunslinger/alchemist character I’ll be playing in an upcoming Pathfinder game.

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Dakka’s Story

Dakka born in Firebitah tribe. Firebitah’s make fire real good. Dakka best Firebitah ever!

One day Dakka make fire in the Firebitah village. Whole village burn down. Many Firebitahs die. Other Firebitahs very angry, chase Dakka out of village. Dakka sad.

Dakka wander for long time. Make many fires to make Dakka happy. But no use! Dakka still sad.

Dakka meet the Birdeater tribe. Birdeaters eat birds! Dakka eats lots of good birds. Dakka happy.

Then, one day, Dakka make fire in the Birdeater village. Whole village burn down. Many Birdeaters die. Other Birdeaters angry, chase Dakka away. Dakka sad.

Again Dakka wander world, making many fires. But fires not make Dakka happy anymore.

One day Dakka finds human camp. Humans wear metal, have big swords. They soldiers! Dakka scared.

Dakka make fire to scare away humans. Burn down human camp. Humans angry, catch Dakka, put Dakka in cage.

Hah, stupid humans! Dakka pick lock and escape. Start fire to make humans confused. Fire burns down rest of human camp. Dakka laugh so hard, humans catch Dakka again.

Humans now VERY angry, want to kill Dakka. But the boss leader, Old Man, makes humans stop killing Dakka. He says “Hey boys, this greenskin puke seems real handy with fire. Maybe we can put ‘im to use.”

So Dakka makes fires for humans. Humans called ‘sell swords,’ teach Dakka all about war and something new called ‘guns.’ Guns make big boom, spit fire. Dakka likes guns. Dakka happy.

Humans let Dakka burn many things: farms, villages, towns, cities, castles, bridges…once even whole forest! (killing all orcs in it – orcs stupid)

One day Dakka makes itsy, bitsy fire in human camp. Really, just tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny fire. But boom powder goes BOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!! Kills many humans. Kills Old Man! (Dakka sad)

Now humans VERY VERY angry, want to kill Dakka. Old Man not here to stop them killing Dakka. Dakka run. This time, Dakka run so far away, where nobody knows Dakka.

Dakka start all over now. Dakka be adventrier? Edventorar? Avendrier?…Dakka be murder-hobo!

Starfinder RPG Interview

December 15, 2016

starfinderposter_360You’ve probably heard by now that Paizo is working on a science-fantasy version of Pathfinder they’re calling Starfinder.  It’s not out until August 2017, so I haven’t been paying too much attention to the game so far, not that there’s a lot information available just yet.

However, there was an interesting 6-page interview at gameinformer about Starfinder.  What caught my eye is that Paizo says they’re trying to streamline the rules.  Specifically mentioned in the interview are the lessons learned from Pathfinder Beginner Box!

Of course, at this point we have no idea just how much “streamlining” is happening, or what form it takes.  For all I know, Paizo’s idea of streamlining may actually make the game more crunchy and complex.  But for now I’m cautiously optimistic that Starfinder may be closer to Beginner Box than PF Core.

Of course, nothing says somebody can’t make a Starfinder Beginner Box.  Just sayin’….

Cheers!

Weapons Break

September 15, 2016

brokenblades-sword

Something Pathfinder (or most fantasy RPGs, including D&D) doesn’t touch on is the frequency with which Medieval weapons broke.  My research indicates weapons, especially swords, broke frequently, primarily due to the poor quality steel most blacksmiths had to work with during the Medieval period.  But even weapons made of high quality steel could still break with ‘robust’ use.

It bothers me that, barring unusual circumstances, RPG characters can often use the exact same weapon purchased at creation all through their adventuring careers, when history suggests it was actually fairly rare for a weapon to be used so long, let alone be passed on to one’s heirs.

brokensword

To reflect this, I am considering using the following rules next time I run a game:

  • Standard weapons break on a natural attack roll of 1 or 2.
  • Masterwork weapons break on a natural attack roll of 1.
  • Magic weapons have a percentage chance of breaking on a natural attack roll of 1:
    • +1 weapons have a 5% chance of breaking
    • +2 weapons have a 4% chance of breaking
    • +3 weapons have a 3% chance of breaking
    • And so on

The purpose of these rules is to further complicate the logistics side of the game, to encourage players to carry multiple weapons (for backup), hopefully discourage the tendency of Pathfinder characters to hyper-specialize in a single weapon, thus injecting a touch more verisimilitude in the game.

If these rules seem unduly harsh to you, you may consider having normal weapons break on a natural 1, masterwork weapons having a 50% chance of breaking on a natural 1, and magic weapons break only under extraordinary circumstances.

Cheers.

Long Winter Campaign is…Go?

May 7, 2016

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Looks like I might finally have a chance to run the Long Winter Campaign in a couple of weeks.  Now it’s time to drill down from high-level concepts and ideas to specific content.

I will, of course, post campaign updates here, for those who are interested.  Cheers.

Edit:  Never mind.  Looks like the Long Winter campaign will have to wait a little longer. 🙂

PFBB Bestiary – Remorhaz and Yeti

April 29, 2016
Remorhaz_by_BenWootten

By Ben Wootten, used without permission

 

I figured the Long Winter Campaign could use a couple of new, icy monsters.  So I present Beginner Box conversions for the Remorhaz and the Yeti.

Please let me know if you have any questions or notice any errors.  Cheers!

PFBB House Rule – Aid Another

April 6, 2016

preview_alchemy

Those of you familiar with Pathfinder core recall that there is a rule for aiding another character during a skill check.  Pathfinder Beginner Box has no such rule.  This provides an opportunity to add a simple house rule that borrows from 5th Edition without affecting any other part of your BB experience.

Simply, when one character aids another during a skill check, the player making the skill check rolls two d20s and uses the higher result (in 5E this is called Advantage).  In order to aid another, the character must be trained in the skill in question.  Of course, there may be particular circumstances in which aiding another during a skill check is either impossible or highly impractical (at the GM’s discretion).

Cheers.

PFBB Expanded Deities

March 1, 2016

Kyra - Cleric

Here’s the Expanded Deities for the Pathfinder Beginner Box.  What I’ve done is take the four deities presented in the BB and add five additional ones, making 9 in all (and one deity for each alignment).

As much as possible I’ve tried to avoid duplicating abilities and spells.  Given the BB’s limited options, in some cases I had to cheat a bit with the holy weapons and bonus spells.

Technically the BB doesn’t allow PCs to be evilly aligned, so perhaps you can use the evil deities for NPCs, or change their alignments, or just ignore deity alignment altogether (as the BB seems to).

On a final note: GMs may want to use this document as a reference for creating their own deities, or allowing players to create their own deities.  Simply let your players pick two abilities they feel are appropriate for their deity (with GM approval, of course), and then a selection of appropriate bonus spells (one each of 1st, 2nd and 3rd level spells).

Please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, etc.  Cheers.


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