War of the Elements
Character Creation, Rules, and General Campaign Foundation:
Your characters will need to have a backstory with unfinished elements. My advice for a backstory is to only write what your character knows, and don’t create information that only you as the player knows. This allows me to fill in the blanks with details in the world and tie you further into plots and NPCs. Your character is starting at level 4, so they aren’t a total scrub. You have proven that you can handle yourself at some capacity.
Stats: Roll 4d6, drop one roll. Repeat 7 times, drop lowest total.
There are many options for character stories. You can be a part of the three factions, or not tied to any of them. But it’s very likely that you’ve grown up around at least one of those factions, so have an idea of what surroundings would work best for your character. I have no inherent rule against evil characters, but don’t leave it up to me to figure out why you would be travelling with a party of non-evil people. You should have a solid reason for being an adventurer.
Your character will have a gift. This gift is an ability or item that is outside the standard rules. This gift will evolve as you gain power. I leave this relatively up to your imagination, but when you have an idea for your gift talk to me and I’ll put the stats/effects for it. Here are two examples:
1. There is a character that is a life oracle. His gift starts off as the ability to heal people from a distance using his bow. To heal at range, he must succeed an attack roll on the ally he is attempting to heal. The gift will evolve as he gains strength to reduce the attack needed to a touch attack. Later it will include mass healing spells by using the person he fires the spell at as the casting point of the spell.
2. The second gift that I’m sharing is of another NPC. This NPC could be a villain depending on your characters’ personalities. This character started off with curse of accidentally activating magical abilities by touching the person with those abilities. It was entirely random what ability they might activate, and the target was random. This was accompanied by the ability to see magical auras at will, but identifying them depended on their knowledge of magic as normal (sort of a psuedo-arcane sight). As this person gained strength, they learned to control what ability the person would use, and later the target of that ability. That evolved into the ability to steal that ability temporarily, blocking the person from using that ability.
Gifts are not intended to be overly oppressive, and they should not grant stats at any capacity. They should not change action economy (i.e. using a spell as a swift action). But, it should be used to give your character extra options. It should also complement your class skills, not dominate them. A good gauge if something is too powerful is to keep gestalt characters in mind. If your gift would make your character feel like a gestalt character, you’ve gone way too far.
All Paizo Pathfinder 1st Edition classes are allowed. There is one third-party class used by an NPC, and it is used entirely for one half-baked joke, and will not be used against you (unless you really mess up). I would prefer you not use a third-party class, but if you really want to, I can review a class to see if it would work.
Races are limited to 15 RP. Avoid races that have no place in a fantasy setting (AKA Androids).
In terms of combat/gameplay, the only things altered are crafting rules and death effects. Death effects suck because as a GM, I have time to meticulously plan ambushes and fights, whereas the party doesn’t always have that same option. So, if Death Effects are in the game, it’s heavily in my favor to use them. So, any spell or effect does not carry a death effect. If you gain a class feature or spell that has a death effect, let me know and I will work out an alternate effect that would be helpful but not a death effect.
The Pathfinder crafting rules suck. I don’t use them. If you choose to take a crafting feat, the DCs for crafting will be based on the gold/time it would likely take to create the item, but it won’t take you 3 years to make a fucking sword.
The first main arc of the campaign will be designed to give the party a common goal. Outside of that arc, the world is fairly open. There is an overarching story, but you’re more than welcome to ignore it. But the story doesn’t wait for you guys to pick back up. If sidequests are what you really focus on, the story will progress on branches that may affect what happens later. The party can affect the story significantly, and inaction has effects as well.
You decide where to go and what to do. This also means that the party may bite off more than they can chew. There are encounters in the game that you can pursue that your characters cannot realistically handle. So, you’ll need to be willing to run if you find yourselves overwhelmed. My intention is not to kill your characters. If you end up in a situation that I don’t expect your characters to survive, there will be clues to that fact before the hammer comes down.