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Pathfinder Society Core Campaign

January 29, 2015 1 comment

With the announcement of the new Core Campaign option for Paizo’s Pathfinder Society Organized Play comes a new way to play. The Core Campaign only allows the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, the Character Traits Web Enhancement, and the Guide to Pathfinder Organized Play. This is a perfect opportunity for new players to jump in on the fun and learn the game without being overwhelmed with all of the different options and tricked-out characters of current players. It is also an opportunity for veteran players to take the challenge to create characters with less mechanical fluff and play characters with more role-playing substance.

It seems like they have taken a page from Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons to create a sort of ‘Pathfinder Simplified’ where it is still Pathfinder, but on a much more simplified scale. But the advantage that Pathfinder has over D&D 5th Edition is the amount of original, quality adventures available to play. Granted the veteran players have played a large number of these adventures, but returning to them in the Core Campaign will have a decidedly different feel of play, especially if they are played from the beginning and in order (not randomly).

Now to present the Core Campaign Pregens (what you really came for). The challenge was to create characters that could still rock and not have a watered-down or too simple of a feel. The results came out better than expected; an archer, an undead controlling, fire-slinging cleric, a dwarven berserker, a gnomish sorcerer-wizard, a beautiful noblewoman paladin, and a slippery half-orc rogue with a big sword. Each character has a little gold left over to purchase traveling gear (backpacks, pouches, etc.) as a player deems appropriate. And you can always change the sex, ethnicity, etc. to fit your play style. Have fun!

Click on their name to view their character sheet:

Vrandall Greenleaf (Human Fighter)

Tall and thin, Vrandall has left the forests and his home of Falcon’s Hollow for the bustling city of Absalom and the Pathfinder Society. Known as one of the best young archers of any militia in Andoran, he has pledged bow and sword to Major Colson Maldris, a fellow countryman, to preserve freedom and expose corruption throughout the region.

Notes: Vrandall can deal damage, plain and simple. With Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot and Deadly Aim at 1st level, he is the quintessential archer. As he advances in levels, he should take feats and equipment that enhance his capabilities. The first order of business would be to purchase a composite longbow (Str +2) to take advantage of his strength.

Claudiss of Egorian (Human Cleric)

Dressed in red and black robes draped over his armor and tapping the heavy mace on his belt, the glib-tongued young barrister Claudiss is an expert at crafting contracts. Hailing from Egorian in Cheliax, he calls on the fires of Hell to execute the contracts made by undead creatures and turn them to Asmodeus’ service. He has heard of the vast vaults of magical items held by the Pathfinder Society and joined them for the chance to research the magics of Golarion.

Notes: Claudiss is an interesting build for a cleric. He channels negative energy, throws fire bolts and his mace and commands undead. He has decent damage dealing capabilities in melee and at range and is tough enough to handle several roles in a party. He may not be able to channel energy to heal in a pinch, but he can perform those duties outside combat with ease.

Durn Trueaxe (Dwarf Barbarian)

One of the toughest dwarves he knows, Durn is a warrior at heart. He learned early to channel his anger into the swing of his waraxe and crush evil under the heel of his boots. Originally joining the Pathfinder Society as hired muscle, he decided to stay on as the temptation to adventure had overtaken him.

Notes: Durn is tough. He is a decent damage dealer with a good Armor Class, but his hit points set him apart. You could alter him to be a human (Bonus Feat = Toughness; 20 hit points at level 1) or half-orc, but dwarves need some barbarian action every so often. You could also lose the waraxe and shield to wield a greataxe or greatsword for more damage, but you lower his Armor Class considerably (especially when raging).

Zerkesite and Wart (Gnome Sorcerer and Toad)

Always too exciteable to sit down and learn wizardry, Zerkesite found that he was a gifted natural and was able to do many of the things his wizard friends had to study so hard to accomplish. He is a curious young gnome with a thirst for knowledge that has led him (and his faithful toad, Wart) to the Grand Lodge of the Pathfinder Society in Absalom.

Notes: To keep the wizard role in this party somewhat simple and without some of the technical parts of the wizard class, he is actually a sorcerer with the Arcane bloodline. He may have less spells, but he is more flexible and that will help newer players until they get used to the game.

Tenisha Reacklin (Half-Elf Paladin)

The beautiful red-headed Tenisha of the noble Reacklin family in Absalom heard the calling of Shelyn early in life. After observing some of the more destitute and unsavory conditions in the city, her temperment led her to take on a more militant stance in expousing her faith to become a paladin.

Notes: This may be an interesting one to play. She’s a noble, interested in pretty things, and used to the good life. Yet, she has a hot-head and wants to help those in need. There are plenty of role-playing opportunities here. She has a reach weapon (Shelyn’s favored weapon; a glaive) and a high Charisma. As she levels and gains more paladin abilities, she will be quite the thorn in a GM’s side.

Haddock the Sly (Half-Orc Rogue)

Once an enforcer and security for several Qadiran trade princes, Haddock had had enough of the ‘nothing-but-a-dumb-orc’ attitude towards him. Still large and intimidating with this trusty falchion, he realized that he had to carve his own fortune out of Golarion. Seeking the knowledge he needed, he joined the Pathfinder Society with a new purpose.

Notes: Half-orcs are always the bruisers of the party, but Haddock is more. He is still strong and can deal damage with a high-crit weapon (a falchion; a racial weapon) and sneak attack. Taking Power Attack as soon as possible would add to that damage considerably. He is also tough and has the other abilities of a rogue (trap-finding, disable device).

 

Star Wars Stay on Target review

January 4, 2015 Comments off

ISWA25-book-leftn some ways, I wish Fantasy Flight would make some kind of misstep, so these reviews would sound less like a broken record. Alas, the latest FFG Star Wars Age of Rebellion sourcebook for Aces ‘Stay on Target‘ is fantastic. It makes great use of the standard 96 pages allotted, and is an awesome resource for both players and GMs. This review is going to be fairly extensive, so if this is all you have time for: this book is a must-buy for Age of Rebellion fans.

The book is broken down into three parts, the first, Behind the Stick, focuses on the PC side of things with new Ace-specific backgrounds, specializations, new species, talents, motivations, and a couple of signature abilities. Very similar to what we’ve seen in other career sourcebooks, but if it ain’t broke… This book introduces the Beast Rider, Hotshot, and Rigger specializations to the existing Ace specializations of Driver, Gunner, and Pilot.

The Beast Rider is probably the furthest departure from my preconceptions of an Ace in the book. At first glance it seems like it would be too specific and situational to be effective unless you were running a wilderness campaign. However, the Ace’s core skills of Astrogation, Cool, Gunnery, Mechanics, Perception, Piloting (Planetary), Piloting (Space) and Ranged (Light) allows you to fill the roll of a traditional wheelman, while supplementing that role with outdoorsy talents and skills like Athletics, Knowledge (Xenology), Perception, and Survival. That makes for a really well-rounded character, especially suited to smaller parties. Not to mention having a massive beast in your cargo hold instead of a landspeeder for getting around planets is just awesome.

The Hotshot is a much more traditional archetype when considering the role of an Ace. To the typical skills all Aces have access to, hotshots can double up in Cool, Piloting (Planetary and Space) and start with a rank in Coordination if they like. Coordination is a fairly rare skill, and can come in really handy out of the cockpit. Almost all the hotshot talents are firmly in the pilot seat, and as a result, they are fantastic at being specialists behind the controls of any craft. Hotshots thrive on taking risks, and pushing both their ships and themselves beyond normal limits.

The rigger is a very compelling blend of a mechanical innovator, who isn’t afraid to find the parts he needs from unsavory sources. Much like the Outlaw Tech, but for ships rather than gear, Riggers get the typical Ace skill options, as well as the option to choose to ranks from Gunnery, Knowledge (Underworld), Mechanics, and Resilience. They benefit from working on their “signature vehicle” and have lots of cool talents about customizing vehicles, as well as black market contacts. This is a really valuable addition to any party, as most games I have run you always need a mechanic, and you always need somebody who can find parts and equipment. This is probably my favorite of the three.

SWA25-SpeciesNew playable races introduced in this book are the short, bat-like Chadra-Fan, the many wrinkled masters of the outdoors Dressellian, and the six-limbed Area 51 looking Xexto. Chadra-Fans start with a 3 in agility and intellect, as well as a rank in mechanics; Perfect for the rigger. Dressellians seem similarly purpose-built to be beast riders. They start with a rank in survival and upgrade checks involving advanced technology due to being primitive. Xextos get a free maneuver each turn, but are still bound by the 2 maneuvers per round rule. That could really save a lot of strain and help out in combat, either space or ground.

The second section, Cleared for Launch, details some pilot and beast rider specific equipment, as well as a lot of ships and vehicles. The weapons include a couple of beast-taming melee weapons, and a few interesting blaster. The armor section has a really cool armored flight suit that can be used in space in emergencies. The gear is a little bit sparse but does include a few astromech droids, and later in the book details how to use them as NPCs as well as additional maneuvers and options for PC astromechs in a fighter with an Ace.

This section really shines once we get to vehicles. It includes land vehicles with flak cannon anti-aircraft stats, a very fast and rare two-seater speeder, and a 1-L Light repulsor tank. Air vehicles include a very fast two person airspeeder, a racing swoop, and the big bomber featured on the cover: the PTB-625. This fairly massive silhouette 4 relic from the clone wars has plenty of armament and crew positions to allow the whole party a chance to soften Imperial installations and infrastructure. I just hope you have a good fighter escort or a better gunner.

SWX25-Heavy95Starships include stats for the E-wing starfighter, the H-60 bomber (precursor to the B-wing), the ugly duckling H-wing, the very cool looking R-41 starchaser, and R-60 T-wing interceptor, the Heavy95 upgraded headhunter (shown here with awesome P-40 warhawk paintjob), V-wing interceptor, and a whole page of new and specialty TIEs (Hunter, Interdictor, Aggresor, and the cloaking Phantom). Also included are three battleships, the Ton-Falk escort carrier, the quasar fire-class escort carrier, and the massive Silhouette 8 secutor-class battlecarrier.

After the vehicles there are a few modifications for ships, including adding an astromech socket, a gravity mine launcher, hardened circuits, physical countermeasures, and a slave circuit to allow remote control and activation of ships systems including weapons!

The third section ‘Dangerous Sorties’ is geared towards the GM. Interestingly the first section deals with integrating Aces not only from the Rebellion military, but Aces from the civil side of government as well as privateers, with a letter of marque from the Alliance. The Astromech section is really cool, because not only does it give you specific actions you can take as an Astromech PC like Watch Your Back and Target Lock, it provides rules for running an Astromech NPC if your Ace is in a fighter with an astromech, but there is no droid in the party.SWA25-WatchingBattle

This section also details some great adventure ideas using different aspects of the Ace’s skill set, as well as advice about what other PCs can be doing during space combat. Later, it goes into dogfight terrain ideas like asteroid or debris fields, and nebulas, with some great tables of suggestions on how to spend advantage, threat, triumphs and despairs for those particular terrains. I really like that they included despair results for both successful and unsuccessful checks, as those mixed result rolls can be the most difficult to come up with the narrative. There is also a table for large space battles, as a capital ship clash is much more likely in Age than it is in Edge.

The next part is on beast riding rules, as well as a fairly extensive catalog of potential mounts. The book wraps up with a section on Ace mission ideas, and also addresses that while the career may be called Ace, to become an Ace in a particular organization it may require a certain number of confirmed kills, and having an allied or enemy rival Ace could provide some awesome roleplaying opportunities.

This book is excellent. While I’m still waiting for a Bounty Hunter sourcebook for Edge of the Empire, awesome releases like this will keep me busy until then!

Categories: Books, Character, RPGs, Star Wars

The Inselberg Clan – Dwarven Occult Playtest Characters

November 18, 2014 Comments off

To cap off last week’s reviews of the Occult Adventures Playtest material, we are presenting a group of pre-generated characters (PFS legal) to help get you in the mood to play. We chose to make a group of dwarves just because the occult does not always have to be represented by humans. As a group, this group is tough, well armored and has good damage potential, but the lack of specialized skills and abilities of the traditional roles (cleric, rogue, etc.) of an adventuring party may make them seem weaker. But, they are dwarves and dwarves are cool.

Click on each individual dwarf’s name to see their character sheet and hopefully the two done by hand are correct. Even though they are PFS legal, we did not give them factions because you may envision a different way to depict these characters. And if you aren’t quite sure about an ability or power, check out the Occult Adventures Playtest reviews here:

Now presenting the Inselberg Clan:

The Inselberg Clan is a small group of dwarves brought together because of their strange abilities. Possessing abilities not of the divine or the arcane, they struggle to find a place in dwarven society where they are accepted and can continue to develop their powerful abilities.

Samas Goldeye (Dwarf Kineticist 1) : Buried in a cave-in deep underneath the clan hall, Samas was given up for dead. Thoughts of death and dying caused Samas to exhibit sudden control over rock and earth, aiding in his escape from his rocky tomb. He now spends his days trying to control his newfound abilities as a geokineticist, or at least that’s what Jargas calls him.

Bogurr Deepearth (Dwarf Medium 1) : Bogurr found that he had gift to commune with his ancestors during a visit to his familial clan’s vaults where he heard voices calling out to him. These voices turned out to be the voices of his closest ancestors and Bogurr is allowing them to channel their energy through him to finish things that they were unable to before death.

Turk Granitesides (Dwarf Mesmerist 1) : Having served time in the militia and establishing a name for him as a capable leader, Turk became aware of his abilities as a surprise to many, including himself. He had a reputation for a steely gaze that unnerved his enemies and a calming, compassionate way with his troops that seemed to always yield surprising results.

Bogarr Deepearth (Dwarf Occultist 1) : Brother to Bogurr, Bogarr Deepearth is deeply proud of his ancestors. Noticing Bogurr’s gift with communing with his long-dead family, he discovered a way to manifest his ancestors’ might through items they held dear, from his great-grandfather’s waraxe to his grandfather’s shield.

Jargas Greystone (Dwarf Psychic 1) : The studious Jargas keeps close tabs on his fellow Inselbergs. Having discovered his own increased mental faculties, he researches ways to help both his comrades and develop his own abilities.

Burgand Midearth (Dwarf Spiritualist 1) : As the Deepearths’ first cousin, Burgand seemed to be the most in tune with his family’s ancestors. While Bugarr channels them through his body and Bogarr channels them through their possessions, Burgand has actually become a vessel for his great-great-great-grandfather, Fregan Greenstone, one of the first battleragers ever known. Burgand struggles to keep his angry grandfather from getting out of control and he depends on his fellows for guidance and understanding.

 

Occult Adventures Playtest Review – Day 2

November 11, 2014 5 comments

Here we are with Day 2 of the playtest review! Today’s class is the Medium:

Medium Description: “Mediums channel spirits into themselves, using their own bodies as vessels for astral entities. Whether the spirits represent the souls of the departed, mental archetypes, or disembodies outsiders, the medium balances his need for the spirits’ power with the danger of allowing such beings influence over his mind.” – Occult Adventures Playtest

First Glance: We will finally be able to use that Harrow Deck that’s been gathering dust on the bookshelf.

Delving Deeper: By channeling spirits the Medium at first glance seems to be very versatile. But after choosing the number of spirits that you are allowed to channel, you quickly find that you have to be extremely saavy in how they interact with each other in order to gain the most benefits. With a possible 54 spirits up for grabs in later releases, the 18 spirits in the playtest do not seem as daunting, but that is still a lot of data to cull character options from. Heads may explode from information overload…

There are other issues with this class that need to be addressed. The spell progression is possibly too slow and the ‘Trance’ ability needs to be more often. It seems to need a few tweaks to make it take off. See what people are saying on the Playtest Messageboard and see if you agree.

After all the negative, I can see this class being extremely fun and diverse. I can envision an entire party of mediums channeling their spirits in many different ways with different effects (See Character Suggestions below). By carefully choosing which spirits you channel, every role of an adventuring party could be covered.

Character Suggestions: Some characters to think about on Day 2 is the dwarven medium who channels the spirits of his deceased herioc ancestors, whether they be of his clan or all of the dwarven people. Another option could be the medium who is unable to properly summon demons or devils and offers his body as a vessel to make them able to interact with the physical world. There are options beyond the Harrow Deck!

3 out of 5 Rating: If you are about flavor, this class is a can’t miss. But with that being said, this class needs some oomph; maybe not a full BAB, but better saves or a quicker spell progression could possibly get it to a level on par with other classes.

Did you read Day 1’s Review of the Kineticist?

Star Wars – The Bounty Hunter Code

November 3, 2014 2 comments

BHC I’m a big fan of both Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion, but I have to admit, I’m a bit surprised the sourcebook for the Colonist career came out before the Bounty Hunter. As I was perusing the fantasy/sci-fi section of a bookstore, the Bounty Hunter Code caught my eye. I’ve read a few Star Wars novels, and outside the Timothy Zahn Thrawn trilogy, they are generally not great. Despite this, I picked it up and flipped through it, and low and behold, it is a treasure trove of easily adaptable equipment, mission ideas, and could be a great basis for an ongoing game at an FLGS.

The book is supposed to be a manual that has passed around the bounty hunter community, as such it has “notes” in the margins in different handwriting that provide additional insight on some of the points made in the book. Boba Fett is prominent among them, as well as Greedo, Dengar, Bossk, as well as General Solo once the handbook was seized by the rebels with Slave I orbiting Tatooine. It has full color illustrations and a ragged edge to the pages that gives it a well-worn feel. Apparently there is a special edition that has a case and a Kamino saber dart, but its a lot more money for not a lot more actual product.

Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 11.52.46 AMThere is a wealth of information in here for the Edge game is how it breaks down how to become a bounty hunter, what rules the guild specifies, and the details of how one would find a bounty and how much it would be, depending on the crime. There are also lots of details about what permits and documents the Empire would require, Imperial bounties through the Imperial Office of Criminal Investigation, as well as corporate sector and underworld bounties. It goes into the history of bounty hunting in the galaxy, selection, evaluation, preparation and implementation of a bounty. Further sections detail tactics, equipment and survival techniques, as well as the advantages of being a guild member, rather than an independent hunter.

It could work extremely well for an ongoing, public or living campaign thanks to the concept of a Guild Contractor selecting a hunter for a particular bounty. Also the resources of such a huge organization could provide specialized equipment for the mission (for a price), and the natural progression of more successful hunters being assigned higher profile jobs.

This book can be of great benefit to both Bounty Hunter players, and GMs who want some fuel for some bounty hunter missions, or are looking for some more flavor for their existing Edge campaigns. I’ve got some games to plan!

5e pregens – Arcane Elves

October 27, 2014 Comments off
Half Moon Elf Ranger by Aaron B Miller

Half Moon Elf Ranger by Aaron B Miller

One of the strengths of the Players Handbook is the amount of options included for both classes and races. Not only are there all the major races that you typically think of when you think about D&D, there are subraces that allow for the different types of those races that have been portrayed over the years and worlds of D&D. One of the most enjoyable long-running campaigns I’ve ever been in was a party of dwarves (and an adopted gnome with a fake beard.) Being from the same dwarven clan was a fantastic reason to have the party adventuring together, and strengthened the bonds between the PCs.

In the spirit of a racially themed party, I’ve created a party of elves that use the standard array of ability scores, and form a complete, diverse party, despite all being elves. Since they do use the standard array they would all be Adventurer’s League ready, if you needed a character fast and didn’t want to use one of the established pregens.

Elves in 5e come in three flavors: High Elf, Wood Elf, and Dark Elf (Drow). I tried to avoid the typical elven archetypes with one exception: the Ranger. You can’t have a party of elves without a Ranger! Being elves, they are all inclined towards magic, and by 3rd level, every one of them can cast spells of some type. I’ve included both the 1st level and 3rd level pregens, as I’ve found most classes don’t really hit their stride in 5e until about 3rd level. (Maybe a sideways homage to Dark Sun?)

I’ve chosen to create a High Elf Eldrich Knight (one of the fighter archetypes), a Dark Elf Fey Knight (or Green Knight, Paladin Oath of the Ancients), a Wood Elf Cleric of Nature (like a druid, but more armor and less shape shifting), a Wood Elf Ranger (Hunter, archer-supreme), a High Elf Rogue (arcane trickster), and a Dark Elf Sorcerer (Wild magic).

It was fantastically fun to use the backgrounds to create personalities, bonds, flaws, and ideals for them. High, Wood, and Dark elves probably have less in common with each other than Mountain and Hill dwarves, but I leave it to you to flesh out any backstories of how they met and began adventuring together.

Without further ado, the Elves:

1st Level Sorcerer Rogue FeyKnight Ranger NatureCleric EldritchKnight

3rd Level Sorcerer3 Rogue3 FeyKnight3 Ranger3  NatureCleric3 EldritchKnight3

 

 

Categories: 5e, Character, DnD, DnDnext, RPGs

Star Wars: Far Horizons Review

September 15, 2014 3 comments

SWE10-Book-leftBefore we get to the review, Asheville Comic Expo is this Saturday! Your favorite local gaming bloggers (FLGB?!) will be organizing and running a lot of the RPG tables. If you haven’t reserved your seat for a game or two, check out the warhorn! Never signed up for any public games on warhorn before? Check out our handy guide from last week.

The most recent sourcebook for Star Wars Edge of the Empire is Far Horizons, which expounds upon the colonist career. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know if I would pick this one up. Out of all the careers colonist is probably the least exciting option, and having to follow the awesome Dangerous Covenants? Good luck.

After flipping through it I became a lot more interested. From the core book the colonist specializations are Doctor, Politico, and Scholar. This book adds Entrepreneur, Marshall, and Performer. It also goes into some really great detail for new obligations and backgrounds for the existing specializations, as well as the new ones. New species are Arcona, Gran and Chevin.

Entrepreneur is similar to the trader, but with some talents that actually depend on the flow of credits. Sound Investments gains you 100 credits per rank at the start of every session. Greased Palms allows you to spend 50 credits per rank to upgrade a social check (Charm, Deception etc.) and Throwing Credits allows you to ignore the strain penalty from a triggered obligation. Most of the other talents on the tree have to do with finding items, and getting a better price for what you sell.

Marshall is a very intriguing class, especially for those smaller parties that need PCs with a balance of combat and social skills. Essentially the sheriff of a colony, how you would come to be part of a band of adventures can pose some very interesting plot hooks and obligations! There are plenty of talents in the tree to make sure your character can do well in combat like durable, grit, point blank, and quick draw. The most intriguing new additions are Good Cop and Bad Cop. Good Cop allows you to spend two advantage from a Charm or Negotiation check to upgrade a single ally’s subsequent social check, per rank. Bad Cop is similar, but you spend the two advantage on a subsequent Deception or Coercion check per rank.

Last of the new specializations is Performer. I had thought this would be the least interesting of the three, but with nice mix of social and melee skills, you can create quite an intriguing and well-balanced character. Not to mention all the interesting narrative benefits and complications that can come with being even a small-time celebrity. One of the interesting new talents for the performer is Biggest Fan. Once a session, a performer can make a hard charm check and if successful, an NPC in the current encounter becomes that character’s biggest fan. This can drastically decrease difficulty checks for social encounters, or the NPC may be willing to do favors for the character at the GM’s discretion. There is a big caveat that GM’s may rule some NPCs ineligible to be targeted by this if they are central to the plot.

There are two new signature abilities, which haven’t come in to play at my Star Wars tables yet, but are somewhat interesting. Insightful revelation allows a PC to learn valuable information about the current situation they did not previously have. All it will cost you is two destiny points and a hard knowledge education check. I get the spirit of this power, but it doesn’t seem like it would come up very much and doesn’t seem to me to be an apex ability if you’re telling a good story. The other one in Unmatched Expertise, which allows a PC to reduce the difficulty of all career skill checks by one for the rest of the encounter, again for two destiny points. This could be cool, but by the time you unlock this you are going to be pretty amazing at most of what you can do, and may have the unintended consequence of making boss fights a cake walk, or starting a difficulty arms race between the players and the GM.

SWE10_8148_Chapterplate1_MattBradburyThe next section in the book is new equipment and vehicles. Once of the most intriguing weapons is the sonic rilfe, which has the unique quality not being subject to light-saber deflection. This could prove handy for GMs looking to challenge young Jedi in the upcoming Force and Destiny chapter of the Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG. Also interesting is the Riot Shield which adds to melee characters defensive options as well as the alternate version that allows for a slot to support a rifle, albeit at the cost of a setback die. The gear section includes a forensics kit if you want some CSI in your Star Wars, as well as a Thunderhead Portable Entertainment System which is sound amplification and lights for performers that would make one heck of a distraction.

The vehicles add a few options for parties that need a landspeeder, or one that is designed as more of a paddy wagon with six holding cells. There is also stats for a police interceptor landspeeder, as well as a few automated vehicles that include the stats for the vehicle in addition to the droid that drives it. There are a couple of light-freighter ships appropriate for PCs, most notably the HWK-290 from Dark Forces and flown by Kyle Katarn. The capital ships include a unarmed silhouette 6 freighter, and a silhouette 7 Luxury Starliner. A lot of awesome missions could happen on a star-cruise.

SWX12_5932_RoarkGarnet_TimothyBenZweifelThe third section of the book is geared toward the GM, but has a bunch of great advice for coming up with hooks and backgrounds for every colonist specialization. It also has some great advice about keeping social interactions interesting, and making medicine check more compelling for doctors by adding pressure based on location, time constraints, or triage. Towards the back of the section are Colonist Contracts, which are short 3-act synopses of adventures that include a twist or unexpected complication. This is a GM gold mine for ANY group, especially an episodic gathering at a friendly local gaming store. It also includes some longer campaign outlines with several episodes planned out.

Furthermore, there are rules and a system to setup a homestead or business as a base of operations. One of the most fun experiences I’ve had with a homebrew D&D campaign is when our party of Dwarves bought a tavern, and used it for a base of operations, and as a revenue stream. The same idea applies here and is really well laid out. It gives you prices in obligation or credits for upgrades and upkeep, as well as plenty of ideas for what the business could be about. Beyond that, there are colonist jobs, and what the typical pay would be if you have a day job, as well as suggestions at the very back for multiclassing in interesting combinations. Cybernetic Chop Doc? Start as a doctor, then add outlaw tech. Sector Ranger? Start as Marshall, then add Scout. Intelligence Agent? Start as a scholar then add thief.

Overall I’m way more impressed than I thought I would be with this book. It has excellent value for both PC and GM alike, and may be the best sourcebook yet. Fantasy Flight continues to hit homeruns!

Exercise in Character Creation, Part 3

May 12, 2014 Comments off

We have finally made it to the end of this little journey! If you have not been following along for the past month or so, read up on these two past articles (Part 1 and Part 2). Here are the results from the last round of voting (from 33 responses):

  • Personality – Lady Redfalcon (39%), Adris Redwing (33%), Longfang (27%)
  • Class – Slayer (39%), Urban Ranger (33%), Swashbuckler (27%)

I now present Adrian Redfeather’s alternate persona while adventuring with the Pathfinder Society; Lady Redfalcon. To disguise himself from his father’s peers and keep his identity an upmost secret, Adrian decided to make over himself the most drastic way he could think of; as a woman. Borrowing a pair of fighting fans from his father’s collection of the Far East along with a kimono that was given to his mother and a long, black-haired wig, he is incorporating them into his new persona. Drawing upon skills learned from his father, Adrian is able to combine aspects of rangers and rogues to create the mystique of the shy and demure, yet positively deadly, woman known only as Lady Redfalcon.

I want to thank everyone who voted for voting. I think this was kind of an interesting process that I will definitely have fun with the results. Thank you all again!

Korsairs of Kortos – Pathfinder Swashbucklers

May 12, 2014 Comments off

Here’s another themed adventuring party by yours truly. This week we take a look at the swashbuckler playtest class. I am probably behind presenting anything with playtest material, but I thought I would give the class the same treatment as I gave the gunslinger party (Thundersmoke) since the two classes are close cousins. I wanted to show everyone what types of characters you could create as a swashbuckler and break the traditional mold of The Three Musketeers.

I normally only create six characters for a party, but Grogg the half-orc came to me late to make seven. Out of this group I think that Taichyu may be the deadliest (Daisho at level 3 with Improved Critical for both blades at level 5) and the Princess may be the most fun to roleplay. Take a look at Bashir to see how Improved Trip would work with a swashbuckler then at Baedley and Johnas for the more Golarion-specific duelist types. And do not forget about Friedl the rabble rouser; he may be the most interesting of them all.

Now presenting for all you fun-loving swashbuckler-types; the Korsairs of Kortos!


Baedley Leafrunner (Male Half-Elf Swashbuckler)

A recent product of the academy in Taldor, Baedle Leafrunner has brought his formidable dueling abilities to Absalom in a sort of wanderlust. Wielding his falcata Chakre and buckler in the traditional Taldan style of Rondelero, he has subtly altered his style to focus more on blade speed than brute strength.

Advancement – Weapon Focus: Falcata (3rd), Taldan Duelist (4th), Endurance (5th)

Class Advancement – Horizon Walker (7th CL)


Johnas Northsun (Male Human Swashbuckler)

Hailing from the northern nation of Brevoy, Johnas Northsun took up dueling early in his life. After defeating many of those his age with his blade Excuri, he has sought out new challenges and adventure in Absalom at the Grand Lodge.

Advancement – Piranha Strike (3rd), Weapon Focus: Aldori Dueling Sword (4th), Dazzling Display (5th)

Class Advancement – Aldori Swordlord (6th CL)


Friedl Baredas (Male Human Swashbuckler)

The witty and carefree Friedl Baredas lives for the open sea and drinking the latest ale. Sailing the Inner Sea for Andoran, he sometimes (inadvertently, of course) blurs the line between pirate and privateer. With his rapier Geonal raised up high, he has pledged his blade to ending slavery on the open waters.

Advancement – Combat Reflexes (3rd), Extra Penache (4th), Sea Legs (5th)

Class Advancement – Inner Sea Pirate (6th CL)


‘Princess’ Furasha Busha (Female Human Swashbuckler)

The beautiful and intelligent Furasha Busha is a fiery swordswoman from Qadira. Trying to stand apart from her two hundred and eighty-eight siblings, she has become quite the master with her scimitar Jakia and strives to become the princess that she is destined to be.

Advancement – Retrain Slashing Strike with Dervish Dance (3rd), Combat Reflexes (3rd), Dodge (4th), Mobility (5th)

Class Advancement – Duelist (7th CL)


Bashir Narenan (Male Human Swashbuckler)

The quiet Bashir Narenan secretly revels in the dangers of explorating the unknown. He was once wrongly imprisoned in Osirion for exploring the wrong tomb and is now more attentive to who hires him and his khopesh Dread Talon.

Advancement – Combat Expertise (3rd), Improved Trip (4th), Piranha Strike (5th)

Class Advancement – Pathfinder Delver (6th CL)


Taichyu (Male Tengu Swashbuckler)

The pious Taichyu hails from the Far East and lives a code that almost mirrors that of the samurai. With his well-honed katana Yurashi, he intends to spread goodwill in the name of Grandmother Crow, Andoletta, and the Silver Crusade.

Advancement – Two Weapon Fighting (3rd; purchase wakizashi), Combat Reflexes (4th), Piranha Strike (5th)

Class Advancement – Paladin (6th CL)


Grogg Ironfist (Male Half-Orc Swashbuckler)

While growing up in the slums of Absalom, Grogg Ironfist did whatever he had to do to survive. Having been an enforcer, a gladiator and now an adventurer, he bears his morningstar and gladius seeking fame and fortune in the Worldwound for the Sczarni families.

Advancement – Piranha Strike (3rd), Weapon Focus: Gladius (4th), Mounted Combat (5th)

Class Advancement – Low Templar (6th CL)


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Exercise in Character Creation, Part 2

May 5, 2014 1 comment

In last month’s ARTICLE I asked for help in creating my next character who would be the son of my very first PFS character, Danaris Redfeather. Over 50 people took the survey and the RESULTS came out great! After analysis, the proud and determined Adrian Redfeather will be a quick and agile (yet physically weak) swordsman from Andoran who is secretly joining the Pathfinder Society contrary to his parents’ wishes. Such interesting possibilities for this character! But we are not quite there, just two pieces of the puzzle remain; Adrian’s secret identity and his final class.

So, onto the final voting (only 2 questions this time!). This will determine the secret identity (and signature weapons) that Adrian will adopt and the class that he will proceed through his adventuring career through. Two of the classes are playtests and this could give me an opportunity (or excuse) to play one. We will not be worrying about a prestige class since voting was so close, but it could come up later if I think he needs some sort of boost. I will post Adrian’s final character sheet next week along with another one of my famous Pathfinder pre-gen parties – The Korsairs of Kortos.

 **** SURVEY ****

Thank you again for voting!