Helaman's Play By Post Carrion Crown
Given the gritty nature of the setting 15 points will be used for attributes. It is unlikely that characters will be able to achieve greater than an 18 in one attribute and more likely that 16’s and 14’s will be more common for most PCs. Given the level restrictions, 16’s is about as high as spell casters need for bonus spells and thus have no need to Min/Max apart from increasing spell DC’s.
Character may have only two attribute scores at 8 or lower (with a 7 or lower is permitted only after racial modifiers from a minimum stat of 8). I suggest avoiding ‘Dump’ stats… particularly Wisdom but its your call.
Keep in mind that (for this game) a 12-13 is above average and represents someone who is fit, co-ordinated, personable or quick witted depending on the attribute. A 14 or 15 would represent practiced effort or training and 16-17 is someone with exceptional ability and training… stats of 18 or even 20 are near (if not the top) of the majority of most races maximum potential.
On the flip side a 8 or 9 represents one who is underdeveloped, unfit, or slow of wit, lacking in empathy, will power or commonsense… and a 7 or 6 is someone who is actually slightly retarded in some aspect of their make up… at least compared to the ‘Human Norm’.
Race Selection: The standard races are all approved as well as Changelings, Dhampir and Tieflings. No go on Aasimar. I’d like at least 2 of the group to be human but its your call. Paizo alternate Racial Traits and Racial Subtypes are fine.
Alignment and Religious Affliation: Neutral is fine, as are the good alignments. Chaotic Neutral and Evil is out, as are gods that are of those Alignments. Ultimately I’ll give everyone a great deal of freedom within your alignments. Paladins I expect to live to a code (use Faiths of Purity as a guide) but will have some freedom within Lawful Good as long as they err on the side of ‘Good’ rather than ‘Lawful’.
Class Selection: No to the following – Gunslingers (guns do exist but no classes are built around their use), Monks, Ninja, Samurai or Summoners. Paizo Archetypes are fine. I am willing to allow the playtest classes as per the v2 of the Playtest document on a case by case basis.
Characters should take a Campaign Trait and one other non campaign trait. I am altering the campaign trait, ‘On the Payroll’ to provide a +1 trait bonus to any class skill (not a skill that is made a class skill by a trait. It seems to fit better). I am fine with minor re-skinning of traits as well.
You may pick a third trait in exchange for a Draw Back. The GM reserves the right to reject a drawback. Tiefling, Dhampir and Half Orc characters? Don’t worry about picking a drawback – you can expect I will make it your race, so just go ahead an take that third trait.
All Characters get 2 free skills. The first must be either a Craft, Knowledge or Profession skill or Linguistics (for the extra language) and must be key to the character, the second can be whatever you want. The Carrion Crown is more skill centric than other Adventure Paths and I will find ways to give you adhoc ‘synergy’ bonuses to your skill rolls based on the situation and your other skills such as craft, knowledge or profession.
Keep feat selections to the Core rules and APG.
Max hitpoints for 1st level. Average wealth by class. I am ok with you buying a potion or oil or scroll to start with if you have the money.
No eastern weapons or armour please with the exception of the Hanbo. Its a stout walking stick.
Finally All characters have a stability score of 10 + Will Save OR level (minimum 10). This represents your starting sanity. Stability checks are considered as Fear Saves. Rules covering this are in the House Rules section.
There is one significant change you need to be onboard with. The longbow is considered an Exotic Weapon for this game. Elves can use it as a Martial weapon otherwise no class or race combination grants access to it and it must be purchased separately.
Why? Two reasons, 1) The longbow, from a simulationist standpoint, took years to learn and was a specialised skill – Elves can manage the time angle, everyone else invests a feat to simulate that training 2) Crossbows and shortbows get no ‘play’ – the longbow punks them. This puts them back in play as legitimate options and gives the ‘thematic’ archer hat back to the Elves.
The Adventure path will explore the themes of prejudice and racism among other themes. Non Humans will experience some discrimination, as will spell casters. Openly practicing arcane casters and part monstrous races such as half orc’s, Tiefling or Dhampir will experience it in greater intensity. Outlanders from without Ustalavs’ borders and those not following the faiths of its people may experience it as well to some degree.
Every character needs a back story – it can come out in character generation through your trait, skill and feat choices or through the origins of the character but a back story will help you get ‘In Character’ and help you work out how you can best tackle the challenges of the overall story presented by the game. Think of the sort of personality the character has based on their back story.
Given that this is an E7 campaign, level 1 can represent anything from just out of training to a few quiet tours of duty or a single some what active tour of duty, adjusted to your character class. A rogue may have been a low level pickpocket for 2 years, a mage a university teacher with 5 years of experience, or a ranger who spent 6 months as an active member of the Border guard, keeping the Orcish hordes out of Ustalav.
Please write up 3-4 paragraphs for you to put on your character sheet about your history etc. This is more for you and for your fellow players.
I don’t need a big detailed war and peace background but I do want you to answer these and keep these handy on your character sheet in a spoiler or tucked away at the bottom. I’ll dig around in these.
a) How do you know the Professor? How close was your relationship and for how long? Why do you think, he chose to think of you among the many hundreds that he had worked with or had known? (Meeting him abroad is well and good, regular correspondence is fine and its ok to make up your own reason for him favouring you)
b) Why are you in Ustalav? Do you live here? Are you studying? Visiting relatives? Doing research? What are you doing for a living – after all it costs money unless you have something else to provide you income. (Ideally, aim for a reason that will have you no more than 2-3 weeks travel from Ravengro).
c) What drives you? What are your passions and what are your goals?
d) What do you fear? What do you hate? Do you have any secrets? (Its ok to answer ‘nothing’ to some or all of these).
e) What is your appearance and how do project yourself to others? How far removed from that is your self image.
Finally come up with 2-3 personality quirks and a catch phrase or a habit if you can.