Author Topic: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition  (Read 196380 times)

sirpercival

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Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« on: January 02, 2013, 11:57:47 PM »
OK, while the boards are down, I'll start up a PbP here for anyone who is suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Heroes Reborn

Your undying soul felt the call across time, and now you've been returned to the world of the living, without your consent... or any memory of your past life.  You've been brought back to the mountain city of Borean to defend the God-King Singorn's lands and his worshippers from perils unknown, and in the process you'll rediscover the answer to the riddle of your legendary heritage -- and affirm (or question) your dedication to the cause you've been conscripted into.

Number of Players: TBD, I'll take at least 8 if there's enough interest.
System: D&D 3.5 (homebrew setting), gestalt.
Style of Play: Balance of RP and combat, a lot of both.
Allowed Content: Homebrew encouraged.  Port over anything from mmx that you want to use.  I'm not altering the published base classes for this campaign, I'd just rather you only use them when strictly necessary.  Homebrew fixes are fine.

Character Creation
Backstory: You're a typical (or atypical?) adventurer, though you've always felt drawn elsewhere... and unfulfilled, like a half-remembered dream.
Experience: 8th level
Wealth: Standard WBL.
Ability Scores: 10, 12, 14, 16, 16, 18 (pre-racial of course).
Hitpoints: Max.
Alignment: Evil discouraged.  Must work well as a team.
Flaws/Traits: 2 flaws, 1 trait, SRD only.

Gestalt Rules: PrC's are allowed on both sides, and you may take dual-progression PrCs as long as you don't go for triple 9s. You don't get to double-count progressions (i.e., no wizard//mystic theurge).  If you take PrCs on both sides at the same time, both sides of the gestalt must be independently valid -- that is, you can't use class features on side A to qualify for the PrC on side B (feats and skills count for both sides).  Dual progression PrCs must be gestalted with base classes.

Background: When writing a background for your character, pick one of the two sides of the gestalt to be your "ancestor" side, and the other to be your "descendant" side.  This has no mechanical effect whatsoever, but over your character's pre-campaign lifetime, they began with only the descendant side.  In recent times (over the past year or two), the ancestor side has been awakened, and they're not sure why.  They find themselves with new skills and abilities that they never had before: muscle memory, instinctive magic, etc.  You can go in-depth about how the transformation and growth affected them, or just include it as one line, but I want to make sure that it's part of their experience and history.

Other Notes:
This is a traditional, high-magic epic heroic fantasy campaign.  Medium-to-high optimization (none of the borderline TO tricks from High Arcana, but be effective at what you want to do).

Houserules
Spoiler
General
  • Whenever there is an effect based on one-half of an ability modifier (when the modifier is odd), round down if you have an even ability score, and up if you have an odd ability score.  This grants a very minor benefit to having odd ability scores, and makes things scale more smoothly.  For example, a character with a 20 or 21 Strength wielding a greatsword would do either 2d6+7 or 2d6+8 damage, respectively.
  • The number of iterative attacks is determined as normal, but all extra iterative attacks are treated similarly to secondary natural attacks (max penalty of -5, and reduced by Multistrike and Improved Multistrike, see below), though with full Strength bonus to damage as normal.
  • Feinting in combat is a move action.
  • You can Power Attack with light weapons.

SkillsFeats
  • Toughness now grants the effect of Improved Toughness.  There is no Improved Toughness.
  • Weapon Focus grants the benefit of WS at 4HD, GWF at 8HD, and GWS at 12HD.  All three of those feats no longer exist.
  • Two Weapon Fighting grants you a number of offhand attacks equal to the number of main hand attacks you are entitled to, and does not impose additional to hit penalties for a one handed weapon in the off hand.  ITWF and GTWF therefore do not exist.
  • Two Weapon Defense provides a Competence bonus to AC equal to the number of mainhand attacks you can make derived from BAB (i.e., +2 at BAB +6, etc.).
  • Point Blank Shot grants +Dexmod to damage w/in 30 feet with ranged attacks, and you don't provoke AoOs for firing in melee.
  • Improved Feint lets you feint as a swift action.
  • All three of the feats that give +2 to a save still do, except that if your base save bonus of that type is at least +6 you also no longer auto fail saves of that type on a natural 1. You must still actually roll high enough to save normally.
  • The prereq for Steadfast Determination can be met by any of Endurance, Iron Will, or Great Fortitude.
  • Devotion feats grant an additional use for every 5HD.
  • Weapon Finesse now requires Dex 15+ instead of BAB +1, and grants Dex-to-damage as well (stacks with Shadow Blade where applicable).
  • Able Learner lets you designate Int mod skills (min 1) as forever class skills.
  • Dodge and Mobility have been combined, and Dodge now grants you HD/3 (min 1) as a dodge bonus against all attacks. Mobility doesn't exist, and anything which had Mobility as a prereq no longer does.
  • IUS and its chain are updated to dman11235; could someone port that please?
  • Extra Readied Manuever is now more widely applicable. (see below)
New Feats
Spoiler
Multistrike
Prerequisites: BAB +6
Benefit: Your iterative attacks beyond the first suffer only a -2 penalty to BAB.
Normal: All of your iterative attacks suffer a -5 penalty to BAB.

Improved Multistrike
Prerequisites: Multistrike
Benefit: Your iterative attacks beyond the first are made at your full BAB.
Normal: All of your iterative attacks suffer a -5 penalty to BAB (or -2 with Multistrike).

Extra Readied Maneuver
Prerequisites: Must know more maneuvers than you can ready, ability to recover expended maneuvers
Benefit: You can ready one additional maneuver.

Equipment
Spending gold for enhancement bonuses sucks. So, let's not.  Instead, you can enchant a masterwork weapon, armor, or shield directly with properties, instead of needing a +1 enhancement bonus first.  Each property grants an enhancement bonus to the item equal to the plus of the property.  For example, a keen flaming longsword functions as +3 (+2 from keen and +1 from flaming), and a ghost ward shield has a +1 enhancement bonus.  The maximum total bonus on equipment is still +10, meaning you can get up to a +10 enhancement bonus.

Setting Info
Spoiler

The Empire of Amanatanea

Amantanea, Singorn, and the Titans

Then Singorn from his mountain keep
held reign o'er wind and water low --
the titans in their troubled sleep
dreamed what to reap
and what to sow.


The Empire of Amantanea has existed for thousands of years, ruled by the God-king from his current capitol in Borean.  The quality of living is relatively high; Singorn cares about the welfare of his people, and they worship him in turn.  Singorn has thus far turned back every danger, be it mundane or supernatural, which has threatened the stability of his Empire -- sometimes single-handedly, often with armies, and, when the situation is dire, with the help of his Titans.

The Titans are three gigantic statues behind the Throne in the God-king's Great Hall.  Legend says that they are extremely powerful creatures that Singorn trapped within stone, and keeps under his control for emergencies.  Whenever there is a threat (usually supernatural in origin) which overmatches Singorn personally, and cannot be stopped by his armies, he releases the Titans from their binding, and they deal with the problem, after which they resume their monolithic posts.

The Titans
All three statues are roughly humanoid (arms, legs, head, torso), 40-50 feet tall, and made out of single, enormous pieces of grey stone with veins of multicolored crystal running through it. 

The one on the left, called Aos, has three-fingered hands with the right one outstretched, and three closed eyes spaced evenly across its face.  The mouth is closed, and it has no nose or ears.  The carving suggests fur over the legs and not the torso or arms.  Legends refer to Aos as male.

The one on the right, Yrs, has three legs covered in scaly ridges, and a spiked stump where the left arm used to be.  Its hand has seven digits (a thumb on either side of 5 fingers).  It has two open eyes, and two open mouths (one below each eye). On top of its head are several interlocking bony crests.  Yrs is also referred to as male.

The center statue, called Sthyne, is traditionally referred to as female.  It's the smallest of the three (at just over 40 feet), and has two legs and three arms.  The surface of the statue is glass-smooth.  Sthyne has a beautiful (but enormous) female human face, which is set in the center of the torso; the head is featureless.

When Singorn unleashes them, stories say that the statues turn back to flesh and fur.  The Titans seem to be beings of incredible physical might, much stronger than even their size would indicate, and seemingly impervious to magic -- some even say that it makes them stronger.  No one knows where they came from or how Singorn acquired them; the history books say that he simply appeared with them already bound.

Singorn himself is taller than a normal human (over 7 feet), built lean like an athlete, and is known to be the most handsome and striking man in the Empire, though he has no known progeny.  He has an extremely forceful personality, and has been said to cow very powerful men with nothing but a look.  He disdains regal finery for everything but unavoidable ceremonies, usually wearing simple clothes of the purest white silk.  As a rule he is neither armed nor armored, though it is said that no assassin or warrior has ever even managed to pierce his skin with arrow, blade, or needle.

The God-king's rule is absolute, and he is not often given over to whim; he has said in passing that he feels the same compulsions as any man, but that over his extremely long lifetime, he has experienced everything, and takes the long view.  He is known to be cunning and far-sighted, making elaborate plans spanning decades and seeing them to fruition.  He is an excellent tactician, though he listens to the advice of those from the Warmonger's College whom he respects.  Singorn also is a shrewd politician, and is not above manipulating both enemy and ally to achieve his goals.

Politics, Neighbors, and the Brotherhood of Night
Currently, and for some time, the Empire has had generally good official relations with its neighbors, though it's possible that much of the good feeling is due to a sense of inevitability that the Empire has acquired over its long tenure: the God-king and his Titans are stronger than anything that came before or has come since, and so what's the point of fighting?  There are malcontents, certainly, but nothing has come of their stirring but failure and eventual demise.

The most recent source of unease for citizens of the Empire is a group spoken about in only the most secret of places, called the Brotherhood of Night.  It is whispered that they arose from Wrusk, a desert country far to the southeast which has long been envious of Amantanea's fertile riches.  However, it seems that thus far their goal is simply to infiltrate and observe, looking for information on the God-king's capabilities and possible weaknesses.  Presumably Singorn has heard of the Brotherhood; however, thus far he has taken no action against it, other than being even more paranoid about meetings with his most trusted advisors.

Amantanea's closest ally is Suul, to the west, where he has been friends with the ruling family for many generations.  (Some say this is why that family continues to rule.)  Herx, immediately east of the Empire, has no central government, and is simply a loose collection of continuous civil wars which the God-king does not interfere with, provided they do not spill over the border.  To the north lies the Great Ocean and the Curtain, where ships dare not travel.

The Fall of Regnus
The last major threat to the Empire was some 300 years ago, when a cult of powerful mages infiltrated the city of Regnus.  At the time, Regnus had been Singorn's capitol since the founding of the Empire, and was widely regarded as the most beautiful city in all of creation.  Right under Singorn's nose, the cult began a plague which caused major devastation elsewhere in the Empire; while Singorn was away dealing with the pestilence, the cult rounded up many citizens of Regnus, and in the chaos sacrificed them to summon the Demon Prince Graz'zt, hoping to topple Singorn's rule.

When the God-king returned and found the Dark Prince sitting on his throne, he released the Titans and fought Graz'zt in the streets of Regnus.  With the help of the Titans, Singorn managed to banish Graz'zt back to the depths of the Abyss; however, during the combat, somehow the Titan Sthyne slipped her bonds and began to wreak havoc on the city.  Nearly a third of the city was destroyed before the God-king could recapture her.

Between plague, sacrifice, Graz'zt, and Sthyne, the city of Regnus was decimated.  With regret, Singorn declared the city abandoned and moved his capitol to Borean, a more utilitarian and defensible location.  He declared a week-long holiday of mourning for the people and city of Regnus, called the Days of Ashes.

The Shadow War
Over the past three years, rumors reports have come in from the edges of the Empire, especially the open border with the Obsidian Desert to the south, past the Tinbar Mountains.  These stories tell of strange beasts appearing in the night to ravage towns and outposts, then disappearing with the light, leaving only a few survivors to carry the tale.  The tales have been getting worse, and children speak of nightmares which do not end when the sun rises.

Uncharacteristically, Singorn has not traveled south to investigate the stories.  It is whispered that he fears to leave Borean, half convinced that this is another misdirection like that which led to Regnus's downfall.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 03:44:29 PM by sirpercival »
It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

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phaedrusxy

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 12:24:40 AM »
Woo! count me in!   :P

VennDygrem

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 12:38:56 AM »
Ooh, I feel like a kid in some kind of store...  ;)

Littha

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 12:50:21 AM »
sign me up

Linklord231

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 12:52:50 AM »
Ooh ooh pick me pick me!

I've never done Gestalt before, so you'll have to bear with me while I get the nuances down.

Edit:  I'm thinking Spellshape Champion//Totemist, possibly taking the spellshape aura feat to qualify for Azure Ascetic on the Totemist side.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 02:15:17 AM by Linklord231 »

Bozwevial

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 01:34:40 AM »
I'm in. Let's see now, what to do...

Valixes

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 02:13:40 AM »
Oooooh yessss. I'd very much like to get in on this.

Jackinthegreen

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 03:28:09 AM »
Gestalt eh?  This should be interesting.  Sign me up!

What to play, what to play...  hehe
Boredom is just the time and space between ideas

The-Mage-King

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 04:13:32 AM »
My attention. You has it.


This'll be good for getting me to pay attention to this forum... :p


Sentai//ACF'd Spellshaper sound good? Both have escaped the terror of Minmax's disabling intact- Don's set up a direct link to the pdf of Spellshaping over on gitp, and sentai was originally (and re)posted there, after all.


sirpercival

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 08:39:33 AM »
Woo! count me in!   :P
Ooh, I feel like a kid in some kind of store...  ;)
sign me up
I'm in. Let's see now, what to do...
Oooooh yessss. I'd very much like to get in on this.
Gestalt eh?  This should be interesting.  Sign me up!

What to play, what to play...  hehe
Rock on.

Ooh ooh pick me pick me!

I've never done Gestalt before, so you'll have to bear with me while I get the nuances down.

Edit:  I'm thinking Spellshape Champion//Totemist, possibly taking the spellshape aura feat to qualify for Azure Ascetic on the Totemist side.
Not too shabby!  I wonder if there's something other than Totemist that would work for you... something homebrew, that is. :D  If not, go for Totemist.  I think both Spellshape Champion (has that been revised yet?) and Azure Ascetic are on GitP, so you're okay there.

Note that Azure Ascetic requires you to have spellshape auras; I don't remember whether the revisions allow you to get said auras from Spellshape Champion, or if you still need to be an Anchorite...

My attention. You has it.
:o lol


Quote
This'll be good for getting me to pay attention to this forum... :p


Sentai//ACF'd Spellshaper sound good? Both have escaped the terror of Minmax's disabling intact- Don's set up a direct link to the pdf of Spellshaping over on gitp, and sentai was originally (and re)posted there, after all.

Both of those are fine.  Spellshaping is automatically approved, and I've seen your Sentai stuff around.



EVERYONE: I added a line to the gestalt rules that I had forgotten -- you have to gestalt a dual-progression prc with a base class.  Just to keep you in the loop.  :D
It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

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Greybender

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 10:16:49 AM »
Interesting, I'd like to join on this, if there is still some space?!....Could I use Oslecamo's improved monster classes on both sides of gestalt?
The game would implode into rocket tag in a twisted mockery of all that is wrong with 3.5, angels would weep and the skies would fall, and it would all be your fault. Yours and yours alone.

Jackinthegreen

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 10:23:01 AM »
Apologies if I don't use a homebrew class.  They tend to give me a bit more of a headache than published classes.

For this campaign, are you inclined to use the quick class fixes you posted in my thread?

Also, I'm guessing your mention of mid to high op meaning no stuff like aptitude boomerang daze?  lol
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 10:24:41 AM by Jackinthegreen »
Boredom is just the time and space between ideas

phaedrusxy

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 11:09:33 AM »
Gestalt always throws me for a loop, as usually much of my efforts at optimization are made to cover multiple roles or archetypes, and shore up weaknesses. Gestalting makes that trivial... Also, although I know spellcasters are of course more powerful than everyone else, they are also a pain to build and play. So after ruminating over it for a night, I'm thinking of going for a "classic" hero archetype like Cú Chulainn, Herakles, Perseus, etc. Basically, someone who is a super-badass and can do "impossible" things, but because they are "just that good", not because they have magic powers somehow (other than perhaps being a demigod, etc :P ).

Right now I'm thinking of making something similar to my "Loptr" character, perhaps a gestalting of Paragon, Nord's Blade, and some barbarian or something else for pounce, rage, and other suitable abilities. Throwing in something "bardlike" (without spells) for the "skald" angle might be interesting, also.

Edit: More inspirational material.  8) (Maybe I should go with Stormcaster on one side? :P )
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 11:28:50 AM by phaedrusxy »

sirpercival

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 11:31:36 AM »
Interesting, I'd like to join on this, if there is still some space?!....Could I use Oslecamo's improved monster classes on both sides of gestalt?
Sure, I'm okay with running multiple parties for this one (not to the scale of High Arcana, but certainly two or maybe three).

Apologies if I don't use a homebrew class.  They tend to give me a bit more of a headache than published classes.
No worries.

Quote
For this campaign, are you inclined to use the quick class fixes you posted in my thread?
Well, I hadn't been going to, but if you'd like to use one then go for it.  Lol.  If I'm going to allow homebrew no reason not to allow my own crap.

Quote
Also, I'm guessing your mention of mid to high op meaning no stuff like aptitude boomerang daze?  lol
Right.  No Incarnate Construct shenanigans, no Unseelie Fey, no Sickstone lanterns, etc.
It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

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sirpercival

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Re: Play By Post: Withdrawal Edition
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2013, 11:32:30 AM »
Gestalt always throws me for a loop, as usually much of my efforts at optimization are made to cover multiple roles or archetypes, and shore up weaknesses. Gestalting makes that trivial... Also, although I know spellcasters are of course more powerful than everyone else, they are also a pain to build and play. So after ruminating over it for a night, I'm thinking of going for a "classic" hero archetype like Cú Chulainn, Herakles, Perseus, etc. Basically, someone who is a super-badass and can do "impossible" things, but because they are "just that good", not because they have magic powers somehow (other than perhaps being a demigod, etc :P ).

Right now I'm thinking of making something similar to my "Loptr" character, perhaps a gestalting of Paragon, Nord's Blade, and some barbarian or something else for pounce, rage, and other suitable abilities. Throwing in something "bardlike" (without spells) for the "skald" angle might be interesting, also.

Edit: More inspirational material.  8) (Maybe I should go with Stormcaster on one side? :P )

I would suggest Warrior-Poet, to give you a kinda bardic/martial adept thing.
It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

Homebrew Notebook
PbP Char Notebook