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Author Topic: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.  (Read 6965 times)

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Offline LtFoxTopic starter

In the bustling city of Sacrafel, where the Noble Houses rule with an iron fist from their lavish keeps and the common people are little more than slaves catering to their desires, the ultimate heist is going down.  A single, intrepid commonborn thief decides to do something about the social order by staging the robbery of the century.  The plan is simple, yet incredibly daring.  To destroy the Noble Houses forever by driving them into ruin with cunningly calculated high-profile thieveries.  And to do that, he will need some help.  His plan is utterly insane, everybody believes.  Yet, he has a reputation for making the insane doable.  Now he's looking for some others to join in his madness...



************************

This is the premise for the game, a kind of hybrid between political intrigue and backalley thieving action.  This setting is fairly light on the magic, and gods are all but forgotten, so factor that into your character planning.  In fact, a popular swearphrase is 'By the Forgotten Gods!'

Some information on the city and setting in general:
The city of Sacrafel is a huge metropolis, with a population nearing two million, of which the vast majority are commonborn humans.  The nobility make up only a few percent of the total population, but they have near absolute control of the city.  The reason for this is very simple:  They are the only ones with magic and armies.  The practice of several forms of magic, while not common, is also not frowned upon or forbidden among the nobility.  It is indeed regarded as a valuable talent.  The near-slavish mindset has been impressed upon the commoners for several generations now, and most have lost their will to try and change anything.  The nobles also keep a close watch on any commoners who might be trying to learn magic, or have some inborn talent.  Those people tend to disappear without a trace in short order.  This has led magical bloodlines all but dying out in the common people, and magic itself becoming something of a myth, most people no longer believe it even exists.

The culture is mostly a mix between Victorian-style and Gothic as far as architecture and fashions go.  Sacrafel is a city-state in it's own right, and easily the largest city on the continent, serving as a hub for the outlying small fiefdoms which all profess fealty to Sacrafel.  The nobles hold lavish parties in the keeps that dot the city, and run the city's administration and armies, as well as most of the economy.  Nearly all the rest of the work is left to commoners.   The city is easily divided into the noble's areas which cluster near the keeps marking the High Families and are all high-class manors at the least, and the commoner's area which is mostly made up of hovels and other semi-decent buildings.  Commoners have very few rights, are given no education which does not directly pertain to their chosen profession, and generally get treated like dirt.  However, they still have a marginally better position than other races.  Those who are not human are outright slaves, treated as possessions instead of individuals.  Centuries ago, the humans of Sacrafel conquered and nearly drove to extinction the other races on the continent.  Now the remnant of those destroyed races are used as slaves for all imaginable purposes, as happen to suit their racial traits.

However, even after the centuries of oppression by the nobility, a few of the commoners resist falling completely in line, thus the city has a bustling underground.  Groups of thieves, prostitute rings (some which even minor nobles like to frequent, as it's considerable cheaper than their own higher-class brothels), smuggling and other kinds of shady businesses go on under nobility's collective noses.

One particularly charismatic thief and con artist named Asleod has made a career in pulling off insane and impossible heists often hitting the higher tiers of the nobility.  Many whisper of him, but none know how he pulls of his insane miracles.  And now he's looking for some suitable candidates to join in his latest lunacy.

******************

The band of thieves Asleod is putting together is where you'll come in.  Your characters can be just about anyone who can fit the roles, nothing is set in stone beyond the general concepts. 

Looking for players for the following:

-Boss Asleod (Played by me as a semi-NPC.  Runs the crew, plans out the operations and has hoards of secrets.)

-Fixer/logistics person (Someone needs to ship off and turn into money all the things you steal, as well as keep you supplied.  Also acts as a general second-in-command and planner.  Mostly involves negotiating with other parts of the underground and help Asleod plan things.)

-Muscle (What it says on the tin.  For the times when you need someone to look really intimidating and kick the shit out inconvenient people.  Asleod also appreciates some intelligence and initiative in his people, so he won't pick up just any two-bit thug with the intelligence of a toad for this job either.)

-Breaking and entering specialist (For when you actually need to get to places.  Mostly involves spying, gathering information discreetly and of course stealing lots of stuff.)

-Spy among the nobility (A member of the crew posing as a noble to gather information directly and plant rumors, get into confidences and carry out the occasional other misdeeds.  Will be going to a lot of balls and parties; Fixer needs to beware the wardrobe budget.) - Role taken by Healergirl

-Any other role you feel will fit in with the game. (Anything beyond the roles described above go here.  If your idea is more on the esoteric side, discuss with me first.  Depending on the interest in the primary roles, I may take 1-2 of these extras into the game.)


Character creation
The game uses the Pathfinder rules, also known as D&D 3.75E.  You don't need any books, all the info required for playing is readily available at the SRD: http://www.d20pfsrd.com.
No earlier knowledge is required, though experienced Pathfinders are more than welcome.
Players of 3E and 3.5E of D&D are also entirely welcome, you should have an easy time transitioning to these rules.
Advocates of D&D 4E system are also welcome, as long as they don't gripe about the superiority of their chosen system vs this one.  In that case, go away.  This is a Pathfinder game.
Everybody else, RP experience not an issue: Most welcome!  Hopefully you have a positive experience learning the Pathfinder system.

As for mechanics,

1st level characters to start with.

Max starting HP and Gold.

25 point buy for abilities.

Races in the setting are mainly human, though other races are present in minorities, mostly as slaves.

Class and other material: Everything on the SRD is fine, as is stuff from Core Book and Advanced Player's guide.  Everything else, run it by me first.  Remember though, that magic is rare and highly controlled by the upper strata of citizens, if you play a magic-heavy character, prepare to be heavily persecuted.  You should also consider the role you will be playing in the group when picking a class and skills.

Considering the game's genre and type, direct combat will likely be of lesser import than intelligence gathering and social skills.  There will still be combat, though, and probably at the times you least expect it.

That should be all for now.  Once I get some interest and hopefully character applications, I will make an OOC and later the actual game thread.  Also, don't hesitate to put any questions up in this thread or shoot me a pm if it works better.

_LF_
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 05:32:12 PM by LtFox »

Offline Healergirl

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 05:11:31 PM »
Yay for the official announcement!

Come one, come all, this will be fun!

Offline Wintercat

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 05:31:05 PM »
Got a bit of interest for the breaking and entering specialist. Could become an interesting game afterall. Already involved in a few things, but should have time for this, depending on when the actual launch occurs.

On a side note, also got some interest in a bit of a more esoteric character, an alchemist to be more precise, if there's someone else also keen on playing the breaking-and-entering fellow. I understand I'd need to have a word with Fox first about it, but the Alchemist could be the sort of a 'low-bit-low-magic' esoteric talent that could occasionally add a little surprise to the mix, and perhaps help the fellows pull off something that supposedly shouldn't be able to those 'dumb common thieves' and so on.

Anyhow, waiting to hear how it turns out, and how the game fills up. If there's another B&E specialist candidate around, I'll ask about the alchemist, otherwise, I figure the listed roles are more important to fill up.

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 05:38:29 PM »
I think I want to be the breaking & entering specialist.

Offline Starlequin

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 05:54:17 PM »
I've never played a D&D system before, but this seems really cool. I'll have to check out those rules, but i think I might really like to play the fixer / logistics man.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 06:01:20 PM »
Hi there folks, and thanks for the interest!

Healer, you had an almost ready character concept done.  Now I'm only waiting for the numbers.

Winter, Alchemist slides into the acceptable 'grey zone' where the magic of the lower classes is concerned.  Considerably easier to play than any pure caster, for sure.  As long as he doesn't flaunt this skills, he probably will not get picked up by the searches for magic the nobles perform on regular basis.  As for the role, he might be able to fill in as a de facto healer and item supplier, if you have any inclinations towards it.  If not, he could probably slide in easily anyway, alchemists are versatile.

Phantom, Nice to hear from you!  Are you planning on going straight thief, or something more exotic for the B&E specialist?

Star, Pathfinder is a fairly simple D&D system to learn!  As the game's focus won't be combat, instant grasp of the battle mechanics isn't all that important either.  So, take your time and ask if unsure.  Myself or others familiar with PF will be glad to answer.

Best regards,
_LF_

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 06:02:57 PM »
I'm planning to be a half-elf rogue.  I understand that my character's ancestry might be problematic, but he is a dirty rogue.

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 06:09:16 PM »
Question:  do we get traits?

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 06:11:27 PM »
Phantom: 

Nah, it's not a problem.  Although other races are rare, there are still a fair number of them in the city, with most being slaves and a very few escaped slaves or hidden freedom fighters.  Elves in particular are very popular as pleasure slaves, so there's a fair number of half-elves running around despite the nobles frowning on halfbreeds.

Oh, I didn't mention it in the chargen guidelines, my mistake.  You get the 2 traits at character creation.

_LF_

Offline Wintercat

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2011, 06:26:45 PM »
I might have considered playing an elf (its not that unusual race for me to pick anyhow) but based on what you just said about their role, figure it would be just inviting trouble. Especially if a female character.

So probably best I pick a more standard thought, a Human Male Alchemist. Someone with a keen mind and perhaps not enough common sense to be more careful. Figure that's part of the reason why the character's gotten into the habit of making bombs too.

I figure I might consider making at least potions, seeing how that feat is free for an Alchemist, but for other things, I think it would be a bit harder to say seeing as Alchemists dont get that many of the spells that truely useful magic items would require for crafting them I think. Still, something to consider for the long run definitely.

Hmm, still, sort of tempted with the Female Elf possibility, but given the dark mood of the game, I think I'm safer off playing a Male character at least, and probably wiser to stick to a human. Just thinking out loud.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2011, 06:55:40 PM »
Winter,

As I said earlier, either is fine with me.  Whether you want to take the chances (and possible opportunities) that come with playing an elf, be my guest.  If not, that's fine too.

Also, something other players might want to know.  My world settings are always very fluid, there are very few, if any, preset story rails around.  This means your characters can have great impact on the story and the setting itself through their actions.  By the time the campaign is done, it's entirely possible you've managed to destroy half of the world somehow.  Again.

_LF_

Offline Wintercat

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 07:01:30 PM »
Fox,

Someday we'll have to explain it to a confused crowd just what those 'inside jokes' mean anyway.

But I promise not to kill any white bears while I'm at it.

Well, at least unless they're coming right at my character.

Heheh well going to keep considering my options still, the class is set, the gender and race are not, but I'm eager to see what the others come together with.

EDIT:

I just realized a question that came to mind. Which XP chart are you planning to use? Pathfinder offers 3 afterall, not that it matters to us as players as much as you as a DM, since it tells how many challenges we have to face in order to advance. Merely a bit curious which of the three you want to put to use.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 07:05:38 PM by Wintercat »

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 07:08:08 PM »
Well, incomprehensible inside jokes aside...

I'm running with the fast chart to start with, may change it later if necessary.  Remember, there will probably be less combat than usual in D&D based games, so XP will be mostly as story/roleplaying awards, with the occasional combat bonus thrown in.

_LF_

Offline Starlequin

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2011, 07:20:15 PM »
Ohmigods ok wow that's a lot of rules...I don't mind saying , I am really more than a little intimidated right now. I'm sorry Fox, but im  pretty sure i won't be nearly good enough to keep up with a game like this, so as much as id love to join, I'm gonna have to back out now. I hope your game goes well.

Offline Foxfyr

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 09:02:56 PM »
I'm interested in joining this, though my experience with D&D is rather low at this point (I've only played between 10-15 sessions) and am still learning the finer aspects to the game.  I am pretty quick to pick things up and don't see this as being an issue in the long term.

As for the character/role I'm interested in playing; I was thinking of playing as a human Ranger (or Urban Ranger archetype) who is the muscle/lookout for the group.  I'm looking into a character that is efficient at both ranged and melee combat, able to transition in the middle of battle with relative ease where his help is needed.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 10:33:05 PM by Loki Aesir »

Offline Black Howling

  • Lady Luna's Werewolf, Blitzy's Otis, Lizzy's Alpha Comfort, Sephy's Cloak, Vampy's Other man, Always Big and Bad
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Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 09:34:42 PM »
I have an idea for a spy among the nobility. Not sure if it will work. I was thinking one of the nobility that doesn't like the way things are going down, maybe one of the lower ended houses. Perhaps one that has recently fallen out of favor, but still seen at the local parties? Not sure if that fits your game. Since the nobility practices some magic, a sorcerer could work and give us some light areas of influence, Could also be a bard, or rogue if little to no magic is the preferred bet for the role. I'm flexible in all cases.

Let me know when you can, I'm very interested in this game.

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2011, 11:56:50 PM »
For my part, I've completed the thief's mechanics, I simply have to work on his character history.

Does everyone know one another?

Offline Black Howling

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Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 12:18:46 AM »
For my part, I've completed the thief's mechanics, I simply have to work on his character history.

Does everyone know one another?
If I can come up with a concept that Fox likes I'd be game to set up some history if it fits. That goes for anyone.

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2011, 12:29:16 AM »
Half-Elf Rogue:
Lebanon Faltir
Master of Locks and Thievery
Character Sheet; 10 HP (Current 10); AC 15
Bolts:  10 in quiver


Court Transcript, Transcribed from Shorthand by A. Leister for the Honourable Barrister Pennilock Fern, of Fern, Noble & Noble, offices Sacrafel, regarding Mr. Lebanon Faltir, son of a slave, a half-blood, who was arrested on four counts of burglary, this afternoon, the 18th of June, in the year ----

Examiner:  I call Mr. Lebanon Faltir to the stand.

Judge:  Mr. Faltir.

Lebanon rises, approaches and is sworn in.

Bailiff:  Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, no matter what?

Lebanon:  Aw, shove it.

Judge:  Mr. Faltir!  Do you dare?  In my court?

Lebanon:  You're wig's too tight, blondie.  You must've not heard me.  I said 'shove it.'

Judge:  Take him to a cell!  I hold you in contempt, Mr. Faltir!  Unless you can behave, unless you can behave in a civilized manner in my court room, you shall not see the light of day.

Lebanon:  Good!  I'm a night person anyways.

Lebanon is dragged off by the bailiff and two constables, as he screams:  "Away to Merryville, Away; I'm a little saint, a little saint, who went to Merryville all Day!"  Then he laughs, and the Ladies in the court all bear the countenances of terror.

The Next Day

Faltir enters, accompanied by guards.  He appears to have taken a beating.  Still, he is smiling.

Judge:  Ah, I see you're doing better.

Examiner:  Your honor, I insist that we carry on the proceedings.  Mr. Faltir is incorrigible, and is prone to outbursts, but time is of the essence.

Judge:  Yes, I am aware of your employer's... needs.  Very well.  Mr. Faltir, you will speak when you are spoken to.  You will answer questions.  If you do not, you shall be beaten until you do.  But it would be best if you didn't sully my court with your blood.  Is that clear?

Faltir:  Crystal.

Judge: Very good.  Now, Inquisitor, you may proceed.

Examiner:  Thank you, your honor.  Sir, for the record, please state your name.

Faltir:  Lebanon Faltir.

Examiner:  And are you a slave?

Faltir:  No.

Examiner:  Are you certain?

Faltir: Yes.

Examiner:  But I have here that you are the bastard son of a slave, a pleasure elf.  Here is the certificate of your birth, and the certificate indicating that you belong to a noble, his eminence, Count Devon.  Is that not so?

Faltir:  No.

Examiner:  Do you refute the evidence?

Faltir:  No.  I just don't think that they're very important.

Examiner:  Ha!  But they are important, Mr. Faltir.  Documents such as these, they are important to society!  Why, what of property?  What of citizenry?  If it weren't for these documents, there wouldn't be wealth.  Only common rabble.  And we can't have that, can we?

Faltir:  The only common thing in here is you, you fat son of a bitch.

Examiner:  Testy!  Your honor, please--

Judge:  Noted.  Guards?

The guards beat Faltir down with clubs.  He is injured, but still smiling.

Faltir:  Ha ha ha ha ha.

Examiner:  And what is so funny, Mr. Faltir?

Faltir:  This.  This is funny.  It's hilarious.  This circus.  This trial.  I know I'm dead as I stand.  If it weren't for your precious stones, I would already be underground.  But you'll never get them back.  A portion of your wealth just went up in smoke.  Disappeared.  Never to be used by the likes of you again.  No, ha ha ha, to be used against you.  If only you hadn't done away with the Gods!  If only you hadn't disappeared those who could wield magic!  Perhaps then you might get a shred of information from me.  But your ignorance, your indignation, all of these have doomed you.

Examiner:  So you are not a common thief?  You are one of these anarchists?

Faltir:  Anarchist?  No.

Examiner:  But you hate the nobility!

Faltir:  Yes.  I passionately hate all of you.  I wouldn't give you my urine if you were dying of thirst.

TBC:  Will Update on this Post

« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 11:23:05 AM by PhantomPistoleer »

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2011, 12:35:54 AM »
I think that I'm going to do it so that Lebanon's just about to get hooked to the good old noose for a crime he is very much guilty for.  It'd be nice if your character, Howl, was the person Lebanon didn't snitch out.  It'd also be neat if your character saved my character from getting executed just at the last moment.

At any rate, I don't want to write out a history, so I'm just going to simulate a court trial.  I guess it'll expose the character's personality, and his motives for thievery-- which make him a perfect fit for the job squad, because he totally hates the noble houses.

Offline Wintercat

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2011, 02:52:26 AM »
So, thinking of what we have then.

-Fixer/Logistics: Still looking

-Muscle: Loki Aesir

-Breaking and Entering Specialist: PhantomPistoleer

-Spy Among the Nobility: Healergirl & Black Howling

And as for the 1-2 'other' possibilities,

-Alchemist: Wintercat


Once we get a fixer to our side the team would seem to be assembled then. Of course, that's just my look as a player here, waiting to hear what Fox is plotting.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2011, 05:32:46 AM »
Wow!  A lot more people here than I first expected.

Let's address things in order.

Since Star withdrew, the fixer role is open.  Winter, do you have any inclinations towards this?  Your alchemist could fit the role fairly easily.

Loki:  Welcome!  Like I said in the intro post, this is fairly simple game even for the D&D newbies, as there won't be that much combat, more intimidation and intrigue.  Ranger is fine , the magic abilities are small and thus slide fairly easily beneath the radar, as long as he's careful about using them.

Howl:  The idea is workable.  Nobility is allowed, even encouraged to practice magic, and indeed try to preserve magical bloodlines.  Thus, sorcerer is a valid class for a nobleborn.  You may want to consider how your character got involved with the underworld, though, as even for nobility the penalty for magical felonies is death.  Commoners get death penalty simply for knowing magic, and without any trial involved.  There is some hurdle in that Asleod has a rather deep hatred for all nobility, he will have to be careful in dealing with him.

Phantom: Lebanon looks good, only one question, was his non-slave parent a noble?  As commoners tend to not get fair trials in the first place, where they are not summarily executed on the spot when arrested.  Other than that, very good!  The trial gives him instant depth, it's fine if you use it as a replacement for deeper background info.  I'll be making a Character archive thread soon, repost him there afterwards.

As for the rest, It's fine if some of the characters are acquainted from before, Asleod will probably be familiar to the ones involved in underground activities as well, at least by reputation.  He's something of a minor legend among other thieves.

In any case, things seem to be rolling on just fine.  All the character concepts I've seen thus far are fine, you can start working on the numbers.  I don't necessarily need a lot of background for the characters, just something which will highlight why Asleod decided to pick them for his insanity of a job.

_LF_

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2011, 08:35:59 AM »
LtFox,

Yes.  He is the son of a noble.  I'm not sure which parent will be the slave, though.

However, the trial is happening because someone is calculating that he'll give up his accomplices and tell of where the stolen was stashed.  They know Lebanon to be a boastful sort, even if he is mad, and all he needs is a public venue to flaunt his successes.

Offline Healergirl

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2011, 10:09:04 AM »
Ltfox,

Just as a clarification:  the 25 point Ability buy, is 25 points using the Pathfinder ability purchase system, not 25 ability points themselves?

Offline Mysterica

Re: Heist of the Century: A Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue game.
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2011, 11:30:58 AM »
Hey.  This idea intrigues me and I was curious if an elf rogue would fit somewhere into this game.  the idea would be for her to have grown up a pleasure slave in a pillow house, but taking learning how to disguise herself well using mainly cosmetics given to her to help make herself look pretty for her clients.  It would take a fair bit of time to master the art, but as an elf, she's had plenty of time.  the idea for this game would be an escaped slave playing as the spy subtype for the rogue class.