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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    So I have in mind to try a method of doing PbP that eliminates what I find to be the number one killer of story driven games (after player disinterest) and that's combat, and to some extent in a wider context dice rolling. My thought is to try doing PbP in a manner similar to a Tell-Tale game. Players will make choices that drive the plot in whatever direction they please, but rather than rolling, and potentially failing when you did everything right, you succeed or fail based on your choices.

    This approach of course means that character creation will be very different. Rather than building super crunchy stat blocks, players will pick an archetype, such as the Dwarf Fighter or Elf Wizard, and you will be able to do things that fall into that archetype's wheel house. For example the dwarf would be able to intimidate people and hack enemies to bits but he's not going to be taking first place in the marathon or deciphering an ancient script. Archetypes can be as generic or original as you please and before play we will discuss them and their limitations and players should flesh out their base concept with a specific backstory.

    So, as the title says, the adventure I would like to run is Pathfinder's Rise of the Runelords. Any takers?



    So this is happening, maybe, hopefully

    Spoiler: The 16
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    1. What game system are you running, and if applicable what edition? Ultimately systemless but based on many of the assumptions of D&D 3.P and running a Pathfinder AP (Rise of the Runelords)

    2. What 'type' or variant of game will it be? What is the setting for the game? A roll free style of game set in Golarion.

    3. How many Players are you looking for? Will you be taking alternates, and if so, how many? 4-6

    4. What's the gaming medium (OOTS, chat, e-mail etc.)? OOTS Forums

    5. What is the characters' starting status (i.e. experience level)? Just starting out

    6. How much gold or other starting funds will the characters begin with? Roughly what a 1st level character would have but your archetype could supercede this

    7. Are there any particular character classes, professions, orders, etc. that you want... or do not want? What are your rules on 'prestige' and/or homebrewed classes? All depends on your character concept

    8. What races, subraces, species, etc. are allowed for your game? Will you allow homebrewed races or species? 'Prestige' races or species? Up for discussion, common races are approved by default of course

    9. By what method should Players generate their attributes/ability scores and Hit Points? N/A

    10. Does your game use alignment? What are your restrictions, if so? As a general guide. You can have whatever personal motivations you want but the AP is ultimately about saving the world, and direct combat between players is heavily discouraged.

    11. Do you allow multi-classing, or have any particular rules in regards to it? Blended archetypes are fine and shifting archetypes part way through the story is also fine

    12. Will you be doing all of the die rolling during the course of the game? Will die rolls be altered, or left to the honor system? If players can make die rolls, which ones do they make, how should they make the rolls, and how should they report them? This will be a non-rolling game

    13. Are there any homebrewed or optional/variant rules that your Players should know about? If so, list and explain them, or provide relevant links to learn about these new rules. This is such a departure from the norm as to make this question... not irrelevant but perhaps unanswerable

    14. Is a character background required? If so, how big? Are you looking for anything in particular (i.e. the backgrounds all ending up with the characters in the same city)? Character background is essentially all there will be to your character so, obviously it is required. It doesn't have to be novel length or anything but should clearly define what you see as your character's core identity and their main skills/abilities. Play starts in the town of Sandpoint.

    15. Does your game involve a lot of hack & slash, puzzle solving, roleplaying, or a combination of the above? While combat will still be common for story reasons it will take a back seat to the actual narrative of the campaign. Roleplaying will be the central focus.

    16. Are your Players restricted to particular rulebooks and supplements, or will you be allowing access to non-standard material? What sources can Players use for their characters? Inspiration can be drawn from any D&D 3rd edition or pathfinder splatbook and of course pretty much any fantasy story has the potential to be adapted into this style of play.

    A quick note about limits: This experiment has the potential to devolve into "I can do anything/I can do everything." But as I'm sure we all know, playing with god mode enabled gets incredibly boring incredibly quickly, so I would ask that people keep this in mind and realize that your characters limitations, those things outside their narrative wheelhouse, are likely to be more interesting than what they can do. This absolutely won't work if we pull a Justice League and have a Batman, a Wonder Woman, a Cyborg, a Flash, and a Superman.

    A quick note about capabilities: In D&D/Pathfinder terms I think the best way to think about what falls within your character's abilities is to ask (for tasks within your archetype): "Would this work in a normal game if I took 20?" And for tasks outside your archetype: "Would this work in a normal game if I took 10?"
    While these aren't hard and fast rules they are good for ball parking things.


    Spoiler: Setting Details
    Show
    So there is a 16 page player's guide available from Paizo, that gives specifics relevant to the campaign without spoiling anything too major (this may come as a shock but Runelords might rise over the course of the campaign).

    As for the setting of Golarion, it's kinda like asking for the short version of The Realms or Eberron, and it's a setting that I'm not super familiar with myself but I have the reference books. I found a few short summaries with a quick search:

    The inner sea region of Golarion is made up of two continents; Avistan to the north and Garund to the south. Spread across Avistan are many nations of varying peoples and beliefs; these include the frozen kingdoms occupying the Land of Linnorm Kings; devil-aligned Cheliax, freedom-loving Andoran, the fading former empire of Taldor and the city-states of Varisia. While the majority of the area's nations may be on its northern neighbor, Garund contains the dark jungle of the Mwangi Expanse which is surrounded by such as the pyramids of the celestial monarchy Orision, the grasslands of undead-run Geb, the bazaars and markets of Katapesh and the magic-blasted wasteland of Nex.

    These nations are peopled with gnomes, refuges of the First World who constantly look for new experiences and wonders to stave off the Bleaching; dwarves, grim and determined warriors and craftsman who find joy in hard work; elves, masters of arcane magic who share a bond with the natural world and whose long lives lead some to believe they are unpredictable and flighty; halflings, often overlooked because of their small stature but are filled with unparalleled optimism and a willingness to endure; and most populous of all, humans. The light skinned and pale haired Ulfen sailor and traders; the cultured and aggressive Chelaxian aristocrats and wizards, the proud and noble Garundi clans; and the colorfully clothed Varisian wanderers are just some of the many human cultures on Golarion. There are also numerous other humanoids living in the area. Humans have cross bred with several of these species with the most successful pairings resulting in half elves who live “in between” their parent cultures and half orcs who are often seen as unfortunate or unwanted.

    The peoples of Golarion pay homage to scores, perhaps hundreds, of gods. While the gods do not walk amongst their worshippers, the do talk an active role in the world. Some of the more widely spread deities are Iomendae, goddess of justice and valor; the drunken hero, Cayden Cailean patron of freedom; Desna, goddess of travelers and good luck; the goddess of beauty and love, Shelyn; the uncaring Nethys, god of magic; and diabolical Asmodeus, god of tyranny.

    Ten thousand years ago the Starstone fell to Golarion, creating the Inner Sea, obliterating the human civilizations of Thassilon and Azlant, seeing the elves depart to parts unknown, and kicking off a thousand years of darkness from dust and ash in the atmosphere. During this Age of Darkness, dwarves and orcs migrated from the Darklands below to claim territories on the surface. Aroden, the Last Azlanti, used the Starstone to gain divinity and housed it in his own temple at the center of Absalom, the island city he brought into being in the heart of the Inner Sea. As the darkness lifted, the following ages saw human cultures rebuild along the edge of the Inner Sea. On Avistan, the Taldor Empire sprang up under the watchful eye of Aroden. While on Garund Osirion developed under the rule of the Four Pharaohs of Ascension, Taldor expanded across Avistan under a number of Armies of Exploration, settling the lands to the west that would later become Cheliax and Andoran, and coming into conflict with Katapesh to the east and the returning elves seeking to reclaim their abandoned holdings to the north. Growing decadence within Taldor lead to Cheliax seceding from the Empire. Cheliax become the heart of Aroden worship and awaited the First Man’s return to reclaim the crown of the empire. One hundred years ago, the day of Aroden’s prophesied return was instead met by the god’s death. Storms raged across Golarion and prophecy itself became unreliable, ushering in the Age of Lost Omens. In the absence of its god, Cheliax fell to devil worship under the banner of Asmodeus. In the chaos, Chelaxian territories, such as Andoren to the east and Varisia to the north, asserted their independence.
    And

    Ten Things Everyone Knows About the World
    The world is called Golarion.
    10,000 years ago, the Starstone fell to Golarion, creating the Inner Sea, obliterating the human civilizations of Thassilon and Azlant, sending the elves packing to parts unknown, and kicking of 1,000 years of darkness from dust and ash in the atmosphere.
    During the darkness, dwarves and orcs migrated from the Darklands below to claim territories on the surface.
    The Inner Sea now separates the continents of Avistan to the north and Garund to the south.
    Aroden, the Last Azlanti, used the Starstone to gain divinity and housed it in his own temple at the center of Absalom, the island city he brought into being in the heart of the Inner Sea.
    As the darkness lifted, human cultures began rebuilding along the edge of the Inner Sea. On Avistan, the Taldor Empire sprang up under the watchful eye of Aroden, while on Garund, Osirion developed under the rule of the Four Pharaohs of Ascension.
    Taldor expanded across Avistan under a number of Armies of Exploration, settling the lands to the west that would later become Cheliax and Andoran, and coming into conflict with Katapesh to the east and the returning elves seeking to reclaim their abandoned holdings to the north.
    Growing decadence within Taldor lead to Cheliax seceding from the Empire and becoming the heart of Aroden worship, awaiting the First Man’s return to reclaim the crown of the empire.
    100 years ago, the day of Aroden’s prophesied return was instead met by the god’s death. Storms raged across Golarion and prophecy itself became unreliable, ushering in the Age of Lost Omens.
    In the absence of its god, Cheliax fell to devil worship under the banner of Asmodeus. In the chaos, Chelaxian territories, such as Andoren to the east and Varisia to the north, asserted their independence.
    Rise of the Runelords is set in the region of Varisia and begins in the small coastal town of Sandpoint with the Festival of the Dreamer, which is a holy day for the goddess Desna, and an excuse to throw a big party. Characters can be from the town, in which case I have more details about its recent history, or passing through for whatever reason, be it to attend the festival, see a friend (quite a list of those if you want to know somebody in town but not be a local), investigate a local landmark (several of these too).

    If players can get a rough outline together I will be more than happy to help fit a character into the campaign in a meaningful way.

    Edit: Also the PathfinderWiki is a very useful site, however one does have to be wary of potential spoilers. The article on Varisia is rather small but still decent

    Spoiler: Golarion Inner Sea Map
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    Spoiler: Varisia Region Close-up
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    Spoiler: Applicants
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchivesRat View Post
    Spoiler: Kith
    Show
    Name: Kith
    Age: 13
    Race: Human; Chelaxian-Shoanti mix
    Class: Thief
    Profession: Street urchin (pick pockets, beg, run messages, etc.)
    Motivation: Money. Providing for himself and his mother.

    Spoiler: History
    Show
    Kith’s mother was a naive Shontai maiden when she ran into a silver-tongued merchant out of Chelax. A year later found her cut off from her clan, living in Sandpoint and raising an infant. Kith grew up as a neither-nor child; never a perfect fit with any social group. His mother is a strong fisherwoman, excellent with spearfishing, and has kept them both fed and housed. But Kith realized at an early age that it was a tenuous existence, and that he needed to help. His definition of “help” is not particularly mature.

    Kith is a common sight around Sandpoint. He’s quick to show up whenever a coin hits the ground. Sometimes that coin needs a little help from a sharp knife. He’s already wise enough to avoid targeting locals, and instead preys on visitors, particularly Chelaxian merchants (for some reason). He can give a startlingly good impression of a blind beggar when a religious company comes through town, and he knows the city and its various shortcuts by heart if you need a guide.

    For now, Kith is too young of have long term goals. Part of him dreams of joining a Varisian caravan, or maybe a merchant convoy, and seeing the world. Or at least more than the little corner he inhabits now.


    Strengths: Like the other young “Lovable Rogue” characters that he’s based on, Kith is unreasonably skilled at most aspects of thievery, particular pickpocketing, climbing and stealth. Quick on his feet. Good with a dagger. Disguises.

    Weaknesses: Not a stand-up fighter. Below average strength (for an adventurer). Uneducated. Impulsive. About to hit puberty hard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramsus View Post
    Spoiler: Seirsha Garnet
    Show

    Name: Seirsha Garnet
    Age: 15
    Race: Half-elf, half-Varisian
    Class: Wizard
    Profession: Gemologist & Entomologist
    Motivation/Goal: To discover more gems, bugs, and gem/bug magic. To see the world and explore ancient ruins. Learning other stuff along the way.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Personality: Seirsha is a friendly enough person. But she's also a bit weird. She isn't as interested in other people anywhere near as much as she's interested with tomes, artifacts, ruins, plants, creatures (especially bugs), and stones.
    It's not due to any particular dislike of people, she's just not very used to dealing with them and she doesn't find them as exciting (and distracting) as the things she's interested in. Like that rock over there!
    Her most social aspect is that she greets people politely (except when she fails to notice they exist) and that she likes making jewelry and appreciates jewelry others are wearing and will like to talk about that.
    Of course she's also interested in talking about other subjects of her interests as well, but she doesn't come across too many people very interested in those things.

    Backstory: Seirsha is the third of four children born to her father Ambrose Garnet (a gem merchant and geologist) and mother Hasquel Ulfeine (a wizard and scholar).

    Like her other siblings, she's spent some time with her father when he travels around, but most of her time at home with her mother in the family tower that's in the woods (west of the Sanos Forest) just outside of their home town of Nybor. Which isn't to say Ambrose isn't frequently at home as well.

    Seirsha like her eldest sibling and brother, Berdenal, has been more concerned with the studious side of things than the mercantile side.
    However like her elder sister, Xifillia, she also enjoys traveling and seeing new things and places with her own eyes.
    Xifillia wasn't much interested in magic, though she knows a few more traditional spells. Mostly she was interested in trade and looking pretty. This wound up with her married to Edward Eastwind, the second youngest scion of the Eastwind clan hailing from Magnimar.
    No comparison with the youngest brother, Nimet, is really possible as he's only seven and he's currently mostly interested in lizards, amphibians, and bugs and has only just begun any magical studies to see if he has any interest in them.

    Seirsha decided it was time for her to go on journey of her own. This didn't stop her from traveling with her father part way, who then headed north up to Galduria (and will probably travel a ways beyond before returning). When they parted ways she was, ostensibly, on her way to visit Xifillia in Magnimar which is why she's in Sandpoint. Though nobody in her family has an illusions that she could just as easily get distracted and wind up in Crystilan, Crystalrock, or anywhere in-between. (They'd probably be a bit surprised if she left Varisia without at least sending a letter though.)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hellbug View Post
    Spoiler: Olivier Brun
    Show

    Name: Olivier Brun
    Age: 26
    Race: Tiefling (Taldan)
    Class: Bard
    Occupation: Itinerant Storyteller/Entertainer

    Spoiler: Appearance (In lieu of a picture)
    Show
    Olivier is fairly short and lean for a human. He has straight, black hair that is fairly unkempt and reaches about halfway down to his shoulders. His face has a sharpness to it, especially in his brow line and nose. Small horns at the crown of his head and slightly pointed ears mark his fiendish ancestry here. His skin is a tanned light brown, with a hint of red again perhaps marking him as a tiefling. He wears a cotton shirt under a padded leather cuirass and breeches. In an attempt to hide the features that totally give away his status as a tiefling, he wears gloves to cover his claw-tipped fingers, a long cloak to hide his tail, and a black tricorne to cover the horns.

    On first meeting Olivier, he appears somewhat strange and foreign (a product of his heritage), although his travel experience makes him rather cosmopolitan. Though the features of his face lend themselves toward a severe appearance, you are much more likely to see a grin on Olivier's face. When he plays on his lute, he closes his eyes and rocks slightly with the rhythm, totally engrossed in his craft. When he tells stories, his enthusiasm often causes him to gesture and flourish with his hands as well as his words.


    Spoiler: Personality
    Show
    Unlike that of many tieflings, Olivier's upbringing never fully put him in a position for the normal racial prejudices to be a problem for him. Therefore, he has been able to cultivate a pleasant optimism. When small misfortunes befall him, he enjoys being able to see the funny side of his problems. He is enthusiastic and constantly seeks new experiences.

    Olivier has a great love of stories, particularly those of clever heroes outsmarting and defeating wicked villains. This makes him something of a romantic, and it causes him to be disappointed when things just cannot turn out the way he wants them to. However, it also makes him happy to play the hero.

    On the other hand, he does carry a few flaws. First of all, while he is clever, he is very willing to use the first solution to a problem he can think of and has problems giving up on that solution if it appears to not be working. Second, he covers up any anxiety he has with bravado and so is easily led into bad situations, not wanting to admit his reservations. Finally, while generally easygoing, his fiendish blood really boils when he's angry, which can lead him to rash decisions.


    Spoiler: Background
    Show
    Olivier Brun was born to Daria Brun, a fortune teller in an itinerant circus. Though he had no other family besides her growing up, the circus was a very tight-knit group, and he was never scorned for his fiendish blood among them, allowing him to grow up without becoming jaded with the world as many other tieflings are. Throughout his childhood, he trained as a tumbler and a clown in that very circus and was very passable at it, but that was never his true calling. His primary interest was in the spoken word.

    The circus to which Olivier belonged contained an old storyteller. Every night, the children of the group would gather around him, and he would entertain them with tales of knights and heroes and travelers and great treasures. Olivier was fascinated with these stories, and perhaps this fascination what caused his fiendish heritage to manifest as an ability to move people with his words, to make them work harder and take more pleasure in their leisure. The storyteller recognized Olivier's talent for performance and began to teach him his stories alongside his duties as a performer in the circus shows. After a few years of learning these stories, however, he told Olivier that he could not teach him any more, and that no one could learn every part of his craft from a master, that the experiences of a lifetime flavor a teller's stories--experiences that Olivier could not merely be taught. His mentor insisted that, if this was the path that Olivier was meant to follow, he would have to cast off from his home at the circus and find his own way in the world as a traveler. Olivier was at first disappointed to hear that his master had nothing more to teach him but soon looked up with a spark in his eye. Travelling the world would give him an opportunity to write his own story and make his own mark on the world, fiendish blood be damned. Within a few weeks, he set out and has been traveling since.


    Reason for being in Sandpoint: A follower of Desna himself, it would be impossible to miss such a celebration as the Swallowtail Festival if fate permitted his presence. He has come to Sandpoint by way of Magnimar, where he had taken a short break from his travels to delve into the city's history.

    Skills and whatnot: A somewhat seasoned traveler at this point, Olivier is something of a jack of all trades. He knows his way on the road, dabbles in a little bit of magic (small things to enhance his acts), and is a nimble and spirited combatant (though not the most skilled one and, partially because of this, given to tiring easily). Where he does excel, though, is in performance. He's a talented musician and a likable speaker, which translates well to dealing with disagreeable people. He's also lightly run the gamut of acting and tumbling due to his time in the circus. Finally, his knowledge of stories is a toss-up between practical knowledge and useless anecdotes. His lack of focus outside of these things is apparent, though, and while he's frequently enthusiastic about things in which he only has small knowledge, he can have trouble following through on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by UselessBlob View Post
    Spoiler: Watzel Rumplethump
    Show
    Name: Watzel Rumplethump
    Age: 49
    Race: Gnome (Raised by Halflings)
    Class: Alchemist
    Profession: Travelling medicine peddler, doctor, and mixologist
    Motivation: Experiences, specifically finding out what it's like to be under the influence of different intoxicants.
    Spoiler: Appearance
    Show
    Small and oddly proportioned like all gnomes, Watzel has large brown eyes frequently covered by goggles that make them appear even bigger. His short straight hair is the same mundane brown as his eyes, but he is distinguished by the color of his skin: a minty shade of green, unusual even for gnomes. Watzel wears a tattered leather coat marked by burns and chemical spills, with extra pockets sewn on for holding ingredients.

    Spoiler: Background
    Show
    Watzel was abandoned in Magnimar as a baby, but luckily he was found and taken in by a large halfling family who taught him the values of enjoying life and living to the fullest.
    The Rumplethump family owns the Tubthumper, a pub in which he spent much of his youth (as a gnome, that's considerably long) and learned about the wonderful world of chemistry. His parents, being both supportive and shrewd businesspeople saw his interest in brewing and apprenticed him to a master brewer. Having eventually mastered the art himself, he then spent some time learning from other scientists and alchemists. At age 46, Watzel finally decided to go on a journey throughout the continent, searching for new and rare ingredients with which he will make the perfect beverage.

    Watzel has come to Sandpoint for the festival, in particular the bountiful bevy of booze for sale. He's currently working part time as a bartender at Risa's place, both to get money for the festival and to hopefully get his hands on that cider recipe.

    Skills: Watzel is a master of medicine production, able to replicate any drug typically found in an apothecary, as well as a few of his own devising. He's also reasonably skilled at applying his medicines, though not professionally trained. He's dabbled in explosives and poison, but isn't specialized in them. He makes a mean pint, too.

    Weaknesses: As a gnome he is physically small and weak. He's also victim to the perception of his race as alien and incomprehensible, one he partially earns with his impenetrable optimism and lack of concern about silly things like safety or financial responsibility.
    Last edited by TheBarbecueChip; Today at 12:29 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Sounds interesting. Would you be providing the choices like in TellTale games, or will it essentially be a regular forum RP? Also, what's the limit on races? Would it just be the core ones (human, half-orc, halfling, etc.) or would more unusual ones like goblins and lizardfolk be options?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Jul 2017

    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    This... Sounds very interesting. I like it! I think a more definitive Big 16 could help answer most questions, like Blob's.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ramsus's Avatar

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    This is absolutely intriguing. Especially if the choices are more involved than simply being secretly "correct/incorrect".

    I assume you'll be providing archetypes for us to pick from and describing them and not requiring us to know Pathfinder stuff? Because I really don't. Never looked at a Pathfinder book even once.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    I'm interested. I'd like to play some sort of Druid, maybe Aasimar if that's a choice.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Dotting super interest!

    Would definitely be interested in the Big 16, though.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Interested. I think ditching combat opens up more options for archetypes.

    I'd like to play the lovable thieving scamp (Feist's Jimmy the Hand, Eddings' Talen, Lackey's early version of Skif)
    Last edited by ArchivesRat; 2019-06-07 at 09:02 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Potentially interested. I don't know Rise of the Runelords, but I know Pathfinder and thus would be familiar with some of the background stuff.

    What "level" of power would the PCs be, and would that grow as we progress? That is, is there something similar to "leveling up" in D&D or Pathfinder but it unlocks more avenues of action or makes things more likely to occur, as opposed to actual mechanics?

    Would there be something like a percentile roll to represent random chance, or do you just succeed if it fits your archetype and fail otherwise?
    Personally, I'd prefer something percentile, or even auto-success if it strongly fits your archetype, auto-fail is strongly against, and a chance if it is neutral. So a shadowy rogue could try to intimidate someone by implying late-night assassinations and showing his knives--might work, might not--but the guff barbarian auto-succeeds and the puny wizard auto-fails. (Maybe that's a bad example, but I hope it expresses the idea.)

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    CasualViking's Avatar

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    You are having BadWrongFun and should be ashamed of yourselves.
    Semper ludens.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBarbecueChip View Post
    So, as the title says, the adventure I would like to run is Pathfinder's Rise of the Runelords. Any takers?
    This sounds great, I would be interested in playing a male Half-Elf Ranger.
    Last edited by Wulfnor; 2019-06-07 at 07:18 PM.
    Wisdom & Courage,
    <==)=+Wulfnor+=(==>

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Dec 2014

    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Oh ****! This came back to life

    I'll check back and read everything when I'm not on shift.

    Cool

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Dec 2014

    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by UselessBlob View Post
    Would you be providing the choices like in TellTale games, or will it essentially be a regular forum RP? Also, what's the limit on races? Would it just be the core ones (human, half-orc, halfling, etc.) or would more unusual ones like goblins and lizardfolk be options?
    I would prefer that players make their own decisions but if people get stuck I'm happy to provided suggestions, so forum RP.
    We can talk about races, since the mechanics are going to be pretty heavily de-emphasized some of the reasons for taking an unusual race are removed, and the need to a solid narrative justification are magnified.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramsus View Post
    This is absolutely intriguing. Especially if the choices are more involved than simply being secretly "correct/incorrect".

    I assume you'll be providing archetypes for us to pick from and describing them and not requiring us to know Pathfinder stuff? Because I really don't. Never looked at a Pathfinder book even once.
    Of course, I hope to provide exactly the same narrative flexibility as a normal game would have, rather than putting things on rails, keeping in mind that it is an adventure path with a story to tell rather than a sandbox.
    I can certainly provide some basic archetypes and people can also submit their own, too. Specific knowledge of Pathfinder is not necessary to play, but a general knowledge of what is possible in D&D 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder will be helpful in setting expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    I'm interested. I'd like to play some sort of Druid, maybe Aasimar if that's a choice.
    Sure, that sounds like something that can fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    Potentially interested. I don't know Rise of the Runelords, but I know Pathfinder and thus would be familiar with some of the background stuff.

    What "level" of power would the PCs be, and would that grow as we progress? That is, is there something similar to "leveling up" in D&D or Pathfinder but it unlocks more avenues of action or makes things more likely to occur, as opposed to actual mechanics?

    Would there be something like a percentile roll to represent random chance, or do you just succeed if it fits your archetype and fail otherwise?
    Personally, I'd prefer something percentile, or even auto-success if it strongly fits your archetype, auto-fail is strongly against, and a chance if it is neutral. So a shadowy rogue could try to intimidate someone by implying late-night assassinations and showing his knives--might work, might not--but the guff barbarian auto-succeeds and the puny wizard auto-fails. (Maybe that's a bad example, but I hope it expresses the idea.)
    So PCs start at the beginning of their careers as adventurers and by the end of the campaign can command world shaping powers (the adventure is written for 1st-17th level). I hope to find a way to naturally increase the scope of characters' capabilities as we go along rather than saying "You are now level 2. You are now level 3. Etc."

    So I do think that there are certain things, those that fall within a character's archetype, that they should just be able to succeed at, no questions asked. As for how to define what is or is not one of these things... well that gets more difficult. Your example is well taken and I think the best way to draw the distinction is to communicate and air on the side of player/character ability, especially if a plausible justification is put forward. I think that the archetype should inform success but also the scenario presented. Big, hairy, smelly man growls = most people crack. Sneaky dude makes veiled threats in broad daylight = most people blow him off or call the guard, but Sneaky dude makes veiled threats in a dark alley at night = most people crack. And puny wizard makes veiled threats in a dark alley = most people make fun of him for using polysyllabic words.

    However, regardless, I'm hesitant to do much rolling of any kind. The point of this kind of play would be to remove uncertainty and to eliminate the risk of a bad die roll killing what should be a perfectly sound plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by CasualViking View Post
    You are having BadWrongFun and should be ashamed of yourselves.
    Shame is my kink



    THE SIXTEEN!

    1. What game system are you running, and if applicable what edition? Ultimately systemless but based on many of the assumptions of D&D 3.P and running a Pathfinder AP (Rise of the Runelords)

    2. What 'type' or variant of game will it be? What is the setting for the game? A roll free style of game set in Golarion.

    3. How many Players are you looking for? Will you be taking alternates, and if so, how many? 4-6

    4. What's the gaming medium (OOTS, chat, e-mail etc.)? OOTS Forums

    5. What is the characters' starting status (i.e. experience level)? Just starting out

    6. How much gold or other starting funds will the characters begin with? Roughly what a 1st level character would have but your archetype could supercede this

    7. Are there any particular character classes, professions, orders, etc. that you want... or do not want? What are your rules on 'prestige' and/or homebrewed classes? All depends on your character concept

    8. What races, subraces, species, etc. are allowed for your game? Will you allow homebrewed races or species? 'Prestige' races or species? Up for discussion, common races are approved by default of course

    9. By what method should Players generate their attributes/ability scores and Hit Points? N/A

    10. Does your game use alignment? What are your restrictions, if so? As a general guide. You can have whatever personal motivations you want but the AP is ultimately about saving the world, and direct combat between players is heavily discouraged.

    11. Do you allow multi-classing, or have any particular rules in regards to it? Blended archetypes are fine and shifting archetypes part way through the story is also fine

    12. Will you be doing all of the die rolling during the course of the game? Will die rolls be altered, or left to the honor system? If players can make die rolls, which ones do they make, how should they make the rolls, and how should they report them? This will be a non-rolling game

    13. Are there any homebrewed or optional/variant rules that your Players should know about? If so, list and explain them, or provide relevant links to learn about these new rules.

    14. Is a character background required? If so, how big? Are you looking for anything in particular (i.e. the backgrounds all ending up with the characters in the same city)? Character background is essentially all there will be to your character so, obviously it is required. It doesn't have to be novel length or anything but should clearly define what you see as your character's core identity and their main skills/abilities

    15. Does your game involve a lot of hack & slash, puzzle solving, roleplaying, or a combination of the above? While combat will still be common for story reasons it will take a back seat to the actual narrative of the campaign. Roleplaying will be the central focus.

    16. Are your Players restricted to particular rulebooks and supplements, or will you be allowing access to non-standard material? What sources can Players use for their characters? Inspiration can be drawn from any D&D 3rd edition or pathfinder splatbook and of course pretty much any fantasy story has the potential to be adapted into this style of play.

    A quick note about limits: This experiment has the potential to devolve into "I can do anything/I can do everything." But as I'm sure we all know, playing with god mode enabled gets incredibly boring incredibly quickly, so I would ask that people keep this in mind and realize that your characters limitations, those things outside their narrative wheelhouse, are likely to be more interesting than what they can do. This absolutely won't work if we pull a Justice League and have a Batman, a Wonder Woman, a Cyborg, a Flash, and a Superman.

    A quick note about capabilities: In D&D/Pathfinder terms I think the best way to think about what falls within your character's abilities is to ask (for tasks within your archetype): "Would this work in a normal game if I took 20?" And for tasks outside your archetype: "Would this work in a normal game if I took 10?"
    While these aren't hard and fast rules they are good for ball parking things.

    Hopefully this has clarified what I have in mind. Let me know if there are any further questions. I suppose I should start thinking about how I would actually write up archetypes...

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Not really a question, but (if you weren't planning to already) will you provide some setting/campaign information so we can more easily make characters that make sense?
    Last edited by Ramsus; 2019-06-09 at 09:45 PM.

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramsus View Post
    Not really a question, but (if you weren't planning to already) will you provide some setting/campaign information so we can more easily make characters that make sense?
    Ah, right. I got so caught up in the how of the campaign I forgot to actually provide any story components great start huh?

    So there is a 16 page player's guide available from Paizo, that gives specifics relevant to the campaign without spoiling anything too major (this may come as a shock but Runelords might rise over the course of the campaign).

    As for the setting of Golarion, it's kinda like asking for the short version of The Realms or Eberron, and it's a setting that I'm not super familiar with myself but I have the reference books. I found a few short summaries with a quick search:

    The inner sea region of Golarion is made up of two continents; Avistan to the north and Garund to the south. Spread across Avistan are many nations of varying peoples and beliefs; these include the frozen kingdoms occupying the Land of Linnorm Kings; devil-aligned Cheliax, freedom-loving Andoran, the fading former empire of Taldor and the city-states of Varisia. While the majority of the area's nations may be on its northern neighbor, Garund contains the dark jungle of the Mwangi Expanse which is surrounded by such as the pyramids of the celestial monarchy Orision, the grasslands of undead-run Geb, the bazaars and markets of Katapesh and the magic-blasted wasteland of Nex.

    These nations are peopled with gnomes, refuges of the First World who constantly look for new experiences and wonders to stave off the Bleaching; dwarves, grim and determined warriors and craftsman who find joy in hard work; elves, masters of arcane magic who share a bond with the natural world and whose long lives lead some to believe they are unpredictable and flighty; halflings, often overlooked because of their small stature but are filled with unparalleled optimism and a willingness to endure; and most populous of all, humans. The light skinned and pale haired Ulfen sailor and traders; the cultured and aggressive Chelaxian aristocrats and wizards, the proud and noble Garundi clans; and the colorfully clothed Varisian wanderers are just some of the many human cultures on Golarion. There are also numerous other humanoids living in the area. Humans have cross bred with several of these species with the most successful pairings resulting in half elves who live “in between” their parent cultures and half orcs who are often seen as unfortunate or unwanted.

    The peoples of Golarion pay homage to scores, perhaps hundreds, of gods. While the gods do not walk amongst their worshippers, the do talk an active role in the world. Some of the more widely spread deities are Iomendae, goddess of justice and valor; the drunken hero, Cayden Cailean patron of freedom; Desna, goddess of travelers and good luck; the goddess of beauty and love, Shelyn; the uncaring Nethys, god of magic; and diabolical Asmodeus, god of tyranny.

    Ten thousand years ago the Starstone fell to Golarion, creating the Inner Sea, obliterating the human civilizations of Thassilon and Azlant, seeing the elves depart to parts unknown, and kicking off a thousand years of darkness from dust and ash in the atmosphere. During this Age of Darkness, dwarves and orcs migrated from the Darklands below to claim territories on the surface. Aroden, the Last Azlanti, used the Starstone to gain divinity and housed it in his own temple at the center of Absalom, the island city he brought into being in the heart of the Inner Sea. As the darkness lifted, the following ages saw human cultures rebuild along the edge of the Inner Sea. On Avistan, the Taldor Empire sprang up under the watchful eye of Aroden. While on Garund Osirion developed under the rule of the Four Pharaohs of Ascension, Taldor expanded across Avistan under a number of Armies of Exploration, settling the lands to the west that would later become Cheliax and Andoran, and coming into conflict with Katapesh to the east and the returning elves seeking to reclaim their abandoned holdings to the north. Growing decadence within Taldor lead to Cheliax seceding from the Empire. Cheliax become the heart of Aroden worship and awaited the First Man’s return to reclaim the crown of the empire. One hundred years ago, the day of Aroden’s prophesied return was instead met by the god’s death. Storms raged across Golarion and prophecy itself became unreliable, ushering in the Age of Lost Omens. In the absence of its god, Cheliax fell to devil worship under the banner of Asmodeus. In the chaos, Chelaxian territories, such as Andoren to the east and Varisia to the north, asserted their independence.
    And

    Ten Things Everyone Knows About the World
    The world is called Golarion.
    10,000 years ago, the Starstone fell to Golarion, creating the Inner Sea, obliterating the human civilizations of Thassilon and Azlant, sending the elves packing to parts unknown, and kicking of 1,000 years of darkness from dust and ash in the atmosphere.
    During the darkness, dwarves and orcs migrated from the Darklands below to claim territories on the surface.
    The Inner Sea now separates the continents of Avistan to the north and Garund to the south.
    Aroden, the Last Azlanti, used the Starstone to gain divinity and housed it in his own temple at the center of Absalom, the island city he brought into being in the heart of the Inner Sea.
    As the darkness lifted, human cultures began rebuilding along the edge of the Inner Sea. On Avistan, the Taldor Empire sprang up under the watchful eye of Aroden, while on Garund, Osirion developed under the rule of the Four Pharaohs of Ascension.
    Taldor expanded across Avistan under a number of Armies of Exploration, settling the lands to the west that would later become Cheliax and Andoran, and coming into conflict with Katapesh to the east and the returning elves seeking to reclaim their abandoned holdings to the north.
    Growing decadence within Taldor lead to Cheliax seceding from the Empire and becoming the heart of Aroden worship, awaiting the First Man’s return to reclaim the crown of the empire.
    100 years ago, the day of Aroden’s prophesied return was instead met by the god’s death. Storms raged across Golarion and prophecy itself became unreliable, ushering in the Age of Lost Omens.
    In the absence of its god, Cheliax fell to devil worship under the banner of Asmodeus. In the chaos, Chelaxian territories, such as Andoren to the east and Varisia to the north, asserted their independence.
    Rise of the Runelords is set in the region of Varisia and begins in the small coastal town of Sandpoint with the Festival of the Dreamer, which is a holy day for the goddess Desna, and an excuse to throw a big party. Characters can be from the town, in which case I have more details about its recent history, or passing through for whatever reason, be it to attend the festival, see a friend (quite a list of those if you want to know somebody in town but not be a local), investigate a local landmark (several of these too).

    If players can get a rough outline together I will be more than happy to help fit a character into the campaign in a meaningful way.

    Edit: Also the PathfinderWiki is a very useful site, however one does have to be wary of potential spoilers. The article on Varisia is rather small but still decent

    2nd Edit:
    Spoiler: Golarion Inner Sea Map
    Show

    Spoiler: Varisia Region Close-up
    Show
    Last edited by TheBarbecueChip; 2019-06-09 at 10:39 PM.

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Alright, here's a funny little question: I understand that you are trying to de-emphasize mechanics, particularly around dice rolls, but how does this interact with spellcasters? Will they still be Vancian casters who are limited by spells per day? Will the mechanics of spells that just generally add numbers to stuff all just be considered narratively instead? You said that you will be looking to sort of abandon 'leveling' in the traditional sense, but learning spells (especially for spontaneous casters) is extremely tied to this--will spells still sort of be learned in the same quantity and manner?

    I ask because I think this could definitely be up my alley--making combat quicker is almost always a plus for me and I've never been hugely into 'builds' and whatnot, but I want to have a little firmer understanding of what you're planning to help me when I'm making a character.
    Last edited by The Hellbug; 2019-06-10 at 11:52 AM.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hellbug View Post
    Alright, here's a funny little question: I understand that you are trying to de-emphasize mechanics, particularly around dice rolls, but how does this interact with spellcasters? Will they still be Vancian casters who are limited by spells per day? Will the mechanics of spells that just generally add numbers to stuff all just be considered narratively instead? You said that you will be looking to sort of abandon 'leveling' in the traditional sense, but learning spells (especially for spontaneous casters) is extremely tied to this--will spells still sort of be learned in the same quantity and manner?

    I ask because I think this could definitely be up my alley--making combat quicker is almost always a plus for me and I've never been hugely into 'builds' and whatnot, but I want to have a little firmer understanding of what you're planning to help me when I'm making a character.
    The Vancian system can take a hike off a tall cliff. It works well for novel writing but is considerably less applicable to emergent story-telling.

    Once again I'd like to use 3.P spells and magical abilities as templates and inspiration for what a character might be capable of, but if magic is in your archetype then you are magical and can generally assume that you can call up a spell in any given scenario. Of course I want to avoid players who become "magic hammers" who see every encounter of any type as a nail. And I would also ask players to narrow and limit their magic, e.g. pick a school of specialization if you are an arcane caster or consider when your magic would be thematically appropriate such as emphasizing a druid's connection to nature or a priest's connection to their deity.

    The short version is magic should be a piece of your archetype, not the whole thing, and it should be specialized rather than general.

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    That answer works well for my current thoughts. I'm thinking my character would be some kind of wizardy type whose focus is gemology and etymology.

    This picture is my inspiration for the character:
    Spoiler
    Show


    As far as magical "school" goes, I wasn't exactly thinking in that direction. I was more thinking that she'd get different effects from different gems and bugs and a combination of the two.
    I was figuring for her magical limitation that using gems for spellcasting strains them so she'd risk breaking them if used too often. (And I'd be perfectly happy to not know what the limits are.)

    While not as limiting as being focused on a single school, I figure all the limitations the come with being a kid would make for some fun.

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramsus View Post
    That answer works well for my current thoughts. I'm thinking my character would be some kind of wizardy type whose focus is gemology and etymology.

    This picture is my inspiration for the character:
    Spoiler
    Show


    As far as magical "school" goes, I wasn't exactly thinking in that direction. I was more thinking that she'd get different effects from different gems and bugs and a combination of the two.
    I was figuring for her magical limitation that using gems for spellcasting strains them so she'd risk breaking them if used too often. (And I'd be perfectly happy to not know what the limits are.)

    While not as limiting as being focused on a single school, I figure all the limitations the come with being a kid would make for some fun.
    Oooooh, shiny. I like the thought so gem/bug magic it is! From the picture I'm guessing that the character would also be friendly/inquisitive/maybe a bit naive? Maybe something along the lines of an apprentice sent out into the world as part of her training?

    So I want multi-faceted (heh gem joke) archetypes. I'm thinking a good place to start would be [Personality] [Race] [Class] [Profession] [Motivation/Goal], and of course people can build on these with their characters. You seem to have chosen Class: Arcanist/Magician/Mage/(insert favorite noncommittal magic user name here), so I'd love to get more on those other aspects and also hear about how you would like to be tied into the world/campaign.
    Last edited by TheBarbecueChip; 2019-06-11 at 04:06 AM.

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBarbecueChip View Post
    The Vancian system can take a hike off a tall cliff. It works well for novel writing but is considerably less applicable to emergent story-telling.

    Once again I'd like to use 3.P spells and magical abilities as templates and inspiration for what a character might be capable of, but if magic is in your archetype then you are magical and can generally assume that you can call up a spell in any given scenario. Of course I want to avoid players who become "magic hammers" who see every encounter of any type as a nail. And I would also ask players to narrow and limit their magic, e.g. pick a school of specialization if you are an arcane caster or consider when your magic would be thematically appropriate such as emphasizing a druid's connection to nature or a priest's connection to their deity.

    The short version is magic should be a piece of your archetype, not the whole thing, and it should be specialized rather than general.
    Cool, glad I asked. I've got a bit of a concept floating around in my head, then. Alright, to start, I'll say that the pathfinder class it jumps off of is bard so the basic concept is a little bit of a jack-of-all trades (some useful skills, a little bit of arcane dabbling, fighting ability that would impress a commoner but not really anyone else) with an emphasis on enhancing what other people already do well on their own. He'd be a travelling collector and teller of stories, though, so would probably have a large collection of practical and impractical knowledge.

    If this sounds like something you think would match up with what you're planning on running, I'd like to make a race request for tiefling. I'm thinking 'grew up in a traveling circus before setting out on his own' as the specific origin.
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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Cool.
    So given my character's picture, what races are reasonable options? I'm not familiar with Pathfinder races. So I'm not sure how many look close enough to humans so that they'd be options.
    (I know in D&D 5e I'd have at least the options of human, half-elf, and maybe elf.)

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramsus View Post
    Cool.
    So given my character's picture, what races are reasonable options? I'm not familiar with Pathfinder races. So I'm not sure how many look close enough to humans so that they'd be options.
    (I know in D&D 5e I'd have at least the options of human, half-elf, and maybe elf.)
    There's Aasimar (celestial ancestry), but they usually have weird metallic hair and lips. There's also Sylphs, which look like anime characters complete with dramatic wind following them everywhere, but they have blue marks like Airbenders on their skin. Your best bet for a humanish race would be skinwalker. They're pretty much Shifters from 4e, i.e. half-assed lycanthropes.

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramsus View Post
    Cool.
    So given my character's picture, what races are reasonable options? I'm not familiar with Pathfinder races. So I'm not sure how many look close enough to humans so that they'd be options.
    (I know in D&D 5e I'd have at least the options of human, half-elf, and maybe elf.)
    Human, half-elf and elf are all appropriate options in Pathfinder.

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Name: Kith
    Age: 13
    Race: Human; Chelaxian-Shoanti mix
    Class: Thief
    Profession: Street urchin (pick pockets, beg, run messages, etc.)
    Motivation: Money. Providing for himself and his mother.

    Spoiler: History
    Show
    Kith’s mother was a naive Shontai maiden when she ran into a silver-tongued merchant out of Chelax. A year later found her cut off from her clan, living in Sandpoint and raising an infant. Kith grew up as a neither-nor child; never a perfect fit with any social group. His mother is a strong fisherwoman, excellent with spearfishing, and has kept them both fed and housed. But Kith realized at an early age that it was a tenuous existence, and that he needed to help. His definition of “help” is not particularly mature.

    Kith is a common sight around Sandpoint. He’s quick to show up whenever a coin hits the ground. Sometimes that coin needs a little help from a sharp knife. He’s already wise enough to avoid targeting locals, and instead preys on visitors, particularly Chelaxian merchants (for some reason). He can give a startlingly good impression of a blind beggar when a religious company comes through town, and he knows the city and its various shortcuts by heart if you need a guide.

    For now, Kith is too young of have long term goals. Part of him dreams of joining a Varisian caravan, or maybe a merchant convoy, and seeing the world. Or at least more than the little corner he inhabits now.


    Strengths: Like the other young “Lovable Rogue” characters that he’s based on, Kith is unreasonably skilled at most aspects of thievery, particular pickpocketing, climbing and stealth. Quick on his feet. Good with a dagger. Disguises.

    Weaknesses: Not a stand-up fighter. Below average strength (for an adventurer). Uneducated. Impulsive. About to hit puberty hard.

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hellbug View Post
    Cool, glad I asked. I've got a bit of a concept floating around in my head, then. Alright, to start, I'll say that the pathfinder class it jumps off of is bard so the basic concept is a little bit of a jack-of-all trades (some useful skills, a little bit of arcane dabbling, fighting ability that would impress a commoner but not really anyone else) with an emphasis on enhancing what other people already do well on their own. He'd be a travelling collector and teller of stories, though, so would probably have a large collection of practical and impractical knowledge.

    If this sounds like something you think would match up with what you're planning on running, I'd like to make a race request for tiefling. I'm thinking 'grew up in a traveling circus before setting out on his own' as the specific origin.
    That could work. I see a bard's arcane skill set, plus a circus background, as riding the line between a convincing bit of RL "magic" and the real thing. Ex: the ability to physically transport a palm sized object between a pocket and your hand, or to make a container appear empty when there's actually something in it as well as ingratiating yourself with strangers similar to various cold reading techniques. And of course all of this ramping up to full laser light shows and straight mind control at later levels.

    I'm okay with tieflings, but for clarity's sake:

    Spoiler: Do you mean tiefling or tiefling?
    Show

    That is, with a little effort, under casual scrutiny, can you pass for human or not?


    Quote Originally Posted by Ramsus View Post
    Cool.
    So given my character's picture, what races are reasonable options? I'm not familiar with Pathfinder races. So I'm not sure how many look close enough to humans so that they'd be options.
    (I know in D&D 5e I'd have at least the options of human, half-elf, and maybe elf.)
    There are lots and lots of racial options in pathfinder and 3.5. It would be easier to narrow it by how you want your race to relate to your character concept.

    If you want to be tied to nature in a fundamental way then you could be as, Blob suggested, a Sylph (half human-half air elemental) or a Shifter (a family with a weak form of lycanthropy) or perhaps even a Gnome. In Golarion Gnomes come from the First World which is/was populated purely by the fey. In the modern age Gnomes retain a small vestige of fairy magic but also face a racial curse called the bleaching where if they do not seek out new and interesting experiences they literally begin to fade and eventually slip into depression, followed shortly by madness and death.

    Of course if you'd rather focus on your magical ability then an elven heritage makes sense because of elves' long lives and associations with magic.

    Human is sort of a generic do anything kind of race, so if you want to focus more on other aspects of the character or if you want to broaden your archetype it's a good choice. If you went with this we would have to figure out what kind of human you are, there are really three options that make sense: Varisian (think gypsy by popular imagination), Shoanti (strong native american flavor), and Chelaxian (cosmopolitan devil-worshiping failing empire)

    Other races that could fit are Changlings (children of humans and doppelgangers), who can alter their physical appearance at will, tall-short, fat-thin, ugly-beautiful, male-female. Depending on the scale of the picture once again, you could be a halfling (literally hobbits). Aasimar and Tieflings are individuals with angelic or fiendish heritages respectively, and while in Pathfinder their other-worldly features tend to be very pronounced, they don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchivesRat View Post
    Name: Kith
    Age: 13
    Race: Human; Chelaxian-Shoanti mix
    Class: Thief
    Profession: Street urchin (pick pockets, beg, run messages, etc.)
    Motivation: Money. Providing for himself and his mother.

    Spoiler: History
    Show
    Kith’s mother was a naive Shontai maiden when she ran into a silver-tongued merchant out of Chelax. A year later found her cut off from her clan, living in Sandpoint and raising an infant. Kith grew up as a neither-nor child; never a perfect fit with any social group. His mother is a strong fisherwoman, excellent with spearfishing, and has kept them both fed and housed. But Kith realized at an early age that it was a tenuous existence, and that he needed to help. His definition of “help” is not particularly mature.

    Kith is a common sight around Sandpoint. He’s quick to show up whenever a coin hits the ground. Sometimes that coin needs a little help from a sharp knife. He’s already wise enough to avoid targeting locals, and instead preys on visitors, particularly Chelaxian merchants (for some reason). He can give a startlingly good impression of a blind beggar when a religious company comes through town, and he knows the city and its various shortcuts by heart if you need a guide.

    For now, Kith is too young of have long term goals. Part of him dreams of joining a Varisian caravan, or maybe a merchant convoy, and seeing the world. Or at least more than the little corner he inhabits now.


    Strengths: Like the other young “Lovable Rogue” characters that he’s based on, Kith is unreasonably skilled at most aspects of thievery, particular pickpocketing, climbing and stealth. Quick on his feet. Good with a dagger. Disguises.

    Weaknesses: Not a stand-up fighter. Below average strength (for an adventurer). Uneducated. Impulsive. About to hit puberty hard.
    Looks good to me for the most part. I have some names and details for you about Sandpoint. Could we age you up a couple years to 15 or 16? The adventure is going to require a lot of hand waving if one of the heroes is 13, less so if you're just a bit older.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    I'm okay with tieflings, but for clarity's sake:

    Spoiler: Do you mean tiefling or tiefling?
    Show

    That is, with a little effort, under casual scrutiny, can you pass for human or not?
    Definitely more towards the one on the right. Hat can cover horns, gloves and boots get hands and feet etc. Tail can be problematic but a cloak or cape can help, leaning towards minor magic to alter appearance once we get rolling a bit (think disguise self-tier stuff). Attitude-wise, he doesn't like hiding it (and he's certain that he can get people to look past it with a little bit of time), but frequently it's better to be practical.

    Also, that's about what I was going for magic-wise.
    Last edited by The Hellbug; 2019-06-11 at 11:07 PM.
    Coach, owner, manager, and gentleman of Hellbug's Heroes, GITP Blood Bowl Season II and III Cup Runners Up.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Ramsus's Avatar

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Hmmm while a lot of those are lovely options, I think I'll go for something a bit simpler here since there's already a lot to focus on in my core concept.

    And... you said no to someone else being a child character so it'd be unfair for me to ask allowance to be one.

    So.... those combined, I'm thinking Half-elf. Varisian being the human half.

    So being a half-elf my character might reasonably look (and maybe act) a bit younger than they are. So I could put them around 15 or 16 and say they look a few years younger than that.

    Given what the stuff you gave us to read about the setting said about half-elves... Half-elf + child = society largely will not care what I think or how I feel about things. Which I think will be great fun for a character who is probably too absorbed with looking at shiny rocks and bugs to pay attention to what society thinks or feels.
    Lots of potential friction or mutual apathy.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBarbecueChip View Post
    The adventure is going to require a lot of hand waving if one of the heroes is 13, less so if you're just a bit older.
    There are tropes for dealing with that (I.e the other adventurers refuse to take the child thief along, but the child thief follows along behind, but eventually gets caught, but "it would take time to run you back to town, and we're in a hurry, so just stay out of the way," and so forth) but we can skip them and make him 16 years old.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    This sounds truly entertaining, and something that can easily be followed/updated without resorting to switching between sheets a thousand times an hour. I have great interest in playing.

    And if the GM allows it, could a parent figure happen to bring along their recently "adult age" teenager work for having a 13 year old or something into the story? I am familiar with Pathfinder and Golarion, but having the option to work outside its mechanical constraints has set my mind ablaze.

    I'm thinking of an "ex-bandit elven arcanist" as my archetype, following closely with what an arcanist actually is: a wizard who cheats at magic.

    Also, Ramsus... can I be your mother or father?

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Ramsus's Avatar

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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Let me know how this looks.

    Spoiler: Seirsha Garnet
    Show

    Name: Seirsha Garnet
    Age: 15
    Race: Half-elf, half-Varisian
    Class: Wizard
    Profession: Gemologist & Entomologist
    Motivation/Goal: To discover more gems, bugs, and gem/bug magic. To see the world and explore ancient ruins. Learning other stuff along the way.

    Spoiler: Picture
    Show




    Personality: Seirsha is a friendly enough person. But she's also a bit weird. She isn't as interested in other people anywhere near as much as she's interested with tomes, artifacts, ruins, plants, creatures (especially bugs), and stones.
    It's not due to any particular dislike of people, she's just not very used to dealing with them and she doesn't find them as exciting (and distracting) as the things she's interested in. Like that rock over there!
    Her most social aspect is that she greets people politely (except when she fails to notice they exist) and that she likes making jewelry and appreciates jewelry others are wearing and will like to talk about that.
    Of course she's also interested in talking about other subjects of her interests as well, but she doesn't come across too many people very interested in those things.

    Backstory: Seirsha is the third of four children born to her father Ambrose Garnet (a gem merchant and geologist) and mother Hasquel Ulfeine (a wizard and scholar).

    Like her other siblings, she's spent some time with her father when he travels around, but most of her time at home with her mother in the family tower that's in the woods (west of the Sanos Forest) just outside of their home town of Nybor. Which isn't to say Ambrose isn't frequently at home as well.

    Seirsha like her eldest sibling and brother, Berdenal, has been more concerned with the studious side of things than the mercantile side.
    However like her elder sister, Xifillia, she also enjoys traveling and seeing new things and places with her own eyes.
    Xifillia wasn't much interested in magic, though she knows a few more traditional spells. Mostly she was interested in trade and looking pretty. This wound up with her married to Edward Eastwind, the second youngest scion of the Eastwind clan hailing from Magnimar.
    No comparison with the youngest brother, Nimet, is really possible as he's only seven and he's currently mostly interested in lizards, amphibians, and bugs and has only just begun any magical studies to see if he has any interest in them.

    Seirsha decided it was time for her to go on journey of her own. This didn't stop her from traveling with her father part way, who then headed north up to Galduria (and will probably travel a ways beyond before returning). When they parted ways she was, ostensibly, on her way to visit Xifillia in Magnimar which is why she's in Sandpoint. Though nobody in her family has an illusions that she could just as easily get distracted and wind up in Crystilan, Crystalrock, or anywhere in-between. (They'd probably be a bit surprised if she left Varisia without at least sending a letter though.)



    Edit:@cameronpants: Unfortunate you didn't show up and ask before I spent a few hours writing up stuff. Which I like a good deal.
    I could see another relation though. Maybe an older cousin or aunt/uncle? Or step-relation though the sister. (Though I'm not sure how an ex-bandit would figure into a mercantile clan.)
    Last edited by Ramsus; 2019-06-12 at 07:17 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A narrative experiment, Rise of the Runelords [Systemless]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramsus View Post
    Let me know how this looks.

    Spoiler: Seirsha Garnet
    Show

    Name: Seirsha Garnet
    Age: 15
    Race: Half-elf, half-Varisian
    Class: Wizard
    Profession: Gemologist & Entomologist
    Motivation/Goal: To discover more gems, bugs, and gem/bug magic. To see the world and explore ancient ruins. Learning other stuff along the way.

    Spoiler: Picture
    Show




    Personality: Seirsha is a friendly enough person. But she's also a bit weird. She isn't as interested in other people anywhere near as much as she's interested with tomes, artifacts, ruins, plants, creatures (especially bugs), and stones.
    It's not due to any particular dislike of people, she's just not very used to dealing with them and she doesn't find them as exciting (and distracting) as the things she's interested in. Like that rock over there!
    Her most social aspect is that she greets people politely (except when she fails to notice they exist) and that she likes making jewelry and appreciates jewelry others are wearing and will like to talk about that.
    Of course she's also interested in talking about other subjects of her interests as well, but she doesn't come across too many people very interested in those things.

    Backstory: Seirsha is the third of four children born to her father Ambrose Garnet (a gem merchant and geologist) and mother Hasquel Ulfeine (a wizard and scholar).

    Like her other siblings, she's spent some time with her father when he travels around, but most of her time at home with her mother in the family tower that's in the woods (west of the Sanos Forest) just outside of their home town of Nybor. Which isn't to say Ambrose isn't frequently at home as well.

    Seirsha like her eldest sibling and brother, Berdenal, has been more concerned with the studious side of things than the mercantile side.
    However like her elder sister, Xifillia, she also enjoys traveling and seeing new things and places with her own eyes.
    Xifillia wasn't much interested in magic, though she knows a few more traditional spells. Mostly she was interested in trade and looking pretty. This wound up with her married to Edward Eastwind, the second youngest scion of the Eastwind clan hailing from Magnimar.
    No comparison with the youngest brother, Nimet, is really possible as he's only seven and he's currently mostly interested in lizards, amphibians, and bugs and has only just begun any magical studies to see if he has any interest in them.

    Seirsha decided it was time for her to go on journey of her own. This didn't stop her from traveling with her father part way, who then headed north up to Galduria (and will probably travel a ways beyond before returning). When they parted ways she was, ostensibly, on her way to visit Xifillia in Magnimar which is why she's in Sandpoint. Though nobody in her family has an illusions that she could just as easily get distracted and wind up in Crystilan, Crystalrock, or anywhere in-between. (They'd probably be a bit surprised if she left Varisia without at least sending a letter though.)



    Edit:@cameronpants: Unfortunate you didn't show up and ask before I spent a few hours writing up stuff. Which I like a good deal.
    I could see another relation though. Maybe an older cousin or aunt/uncle? Or step-relation though the sister. (Though I'm not sure how an ex-bandit would figure into a mercantile clan.)
    No worries at all! Was just a suggestion to help provide the context to play a character you would like to.

    And what's a mercantile clan other than a well established bandit?

    I've got plenty of other ideas to work with.

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