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Author Topic: Heist of the Century: Resurrection. Pathfinder cloak & dagger intrigue action!  (Read 3774 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 Inquisitors which hold a considerable amount of power in the city's hierarchy patrol the streets looking for unaccounted magic.  Encounters with them tend to go very badly for the commoners.

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.  Elves are especially desirable as pleasure slaves, and dwarves are nearly always found near hard labor.

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 and miscreants 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.   Most slots are filled already, as the game was supposed to start last year but got delayed by various circumstances.  I'm still looking for 1-3 players more, though.

The game itself will in fact run as two concurrent, side-by-side adventures, split into the Nobility's Path and Underground's Path.  Most of the time, the group will be split between those two Paths according to their position in the group.  Folks who mingle with nobility will mostly spend time at balls and parties, and the underground thieves will mostly be using the cover created by those selfsame balls and parties to move in under the radar and clean out the vaults of whatever House is the target that time.  Of course, between the jobs and on some special occasions, the whole group will be mingling together, probably mainly at the safe house.

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 (Currently occupied by Wintercat's alchemist, who is something of an all-rounder and a general go-to guy of the group.)

-Muscle (Loki Aesir has this covered.  A combat-type rogue, I believe.)

-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.) <- Looking

-Urban expert (Shihong's Urban Druid is holding the job.)

-Spy among the nobility (Have a few people with various skills already on the job.  Thus far, we got at least a Summoner(Zaer Darkwail) and an open-minded elven pleasure slave(Elven Sex Goddess).  Seeing as the Nobility's Path will run on it's own, a person or two more in this category might not hurt.  This is a rather flexible role, as there are no defined 'duties' you need to deal with other than gathering information and investigating things.)

-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.

2 starting traits as normal.

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.  The underground Path, in particular, may wind up in a scuffle or two with guards of one place or another.

The start of the game will be retconned slightly to accommodate new players, so I'll be starting fresh game threads once this kicks off the ground, though the old ones can still be used for reference purposes.

That should be all for now.  I will provide links to the other threads soon enough, in the meantime, old players feel free to say hello and check if your characters need a tune-up.  New players: WELCOME!

_LF_

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Reserved for info.

Offline DRoux

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I'd be interested in the B&E rogue.


Also, to clarify on this. Non-humans are subjugated, but would a half-elf be the same way?

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Hi there!

Glad to see some interest right off the bat.

To address that issue:  It depends a lot on who the non-elf parent was in that case.  There are a considerable number of half-elves among the nobility's lower strata, the result of using considerable numbers of elven pleasure slaves during the last centuries.  A noble bastard might be tolerated even if he or she is a 'half', but no matter the station, half-humans will always be ostracized as outcasts and second-class citizens at best and slaves like their elven parent at worst.

And if you'd like to make a B&E rogue, that's fine.  Although the role can be filled by other classes with appropriate skills and abilities, it's probably easiest as a rogue.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.  I'll be posting more information about the setting in general and the campaign start in specific over the next couple of days.

_LF_

Online Foxfyr

Desh M'Raviir, Male Catfolk Rogue (Knife Master/Scout) 1st
Character Sheet
HP:11 (Current: 11)  AC: 16, touch: 14, flatfooted: 12, CMD: 15
Fort:+2 Ref:+4 Will:+0



Growing up living in the darker portions of Sacrafel, Desh's skill at navigating the city streets and blending seamlessly into society is only surpassed by his ability with a dagger.  He had been a slave ever since he was a young kit, the closest thing he had to parents being a sylph slave who had raised him as her own.  Through a fortunate twist of fate, his contract of servitude was misfiled resulting in him being a slave without an owner.  To help prevent attention from being drawn to this fact, he behaves like any other slave would in the public eye and the situation largely goes unnoticed since nobody has reason to second guess it.  That is if they even notice him at all.  To help garner a living since his lack of ownership prevents him from holding a normal job lest his risks his secret, he performs on the street for coin by day and involves himself with more shady affairs by night.  Even among those back-alley compatriots, only one or two know his true situation to help him preserve that secret while also limiting the number of people who could blackmail him.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Lookin' good, Loki.

Although you might want to note that catfolk are quite rare even among the nonhumans, and people with nonhuman bloodlines in them, such as Sylphs, are not exactly well-looked upon either, as I explained with the half-elf question earlier.  Might not impact your character much, but it might be smart to keep in mind that low profile is the way to a long life.

_LF_

Online Foxfyr

I've already taken that into account.  Desh's first master was most interested in attaining exotic slaves, considering them to be a way to distinguish himself among the other wealthy houses.  Hence why he had both a catfolk and a sylph to name a few.  A hobby that got a little too pricy resulting in a rapid liquidation of several assets, which created the clerical error in Desh's favor.  I also fully expect and am actually planning on playing out scenes where humans will be rather rough/abusive with him.  In the public eye he is very submissive and will play the part of a slave who is only there for the entertainment of his 'human masters'.  Basically be heard and not so much scene with his street performance.  Though that meek and subservient nature is all a front to his true savage and powerful persona that he displays whenever he isn't so concerned about his cover.

Offline DRoux

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Image

Bio
Born to an escaped slave (who went right back into servitude as a prostitute) and a father she never knew, Lislaith grew up deliberately avoiding her mother's profession. Most of the time she begged as a child, until she started to learn to pick pockets. Started to become self-conscious about her "assets" around age 16 in the slums, three years after her mother's death. Around that same time, a traumatic event that she absolutely refuses to discuss took place, and she became much more introverted. She found, however, in her line of work that looking boyish from a distance wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It helped her to avoid getting harassed when she was following a promising mark. She started full-time burglary at 19, and has been largely working small-time until now. Hates nobles with a passion.

Character Sheet

Offline Marie Reynolds

So I would be interested in this game would a bard who is a daughter of a Lesser Noble who is a Lord of a fiefdom of  Sacrafel and she is a lady in waiting at the court but also represents her fathers secret wish to see the Nobility change and have their powers curtailed by a document that would provide rights to the commoner and hold the Nobility responsible to the people and her father and her both work with the Thief NPC and support their plan to rob the higher nobles in exchange for their help in discretely freeing slaves and such. Also she her self does provide some charitable organizations with in the city on her own. Please let me know if this would be an acceptable concept to play in the game.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

A-Okay, let's see how things are going.

DRoux,
your character concept seems solid enough, you just need to flesh out the equipment for Lislaith.  After should be fine to go.

Marie,
that idea would be acceptable.  The outlying fiefs don't have that much dealings with major Sacrafel nobility, but on occasion some of the outside nobles come to the city, and it's especially common among the lesser nobility, so your character would fit right in.  And although Asleod (the boss of the thief crew) is somewhat leery on  trusting nobles, he can look to the future enough to work with some to further his own goals.
So, go ahead and work out a character.

_LF_

Offline Zaer Darkwail

Hi, as one the old regulars I welcome all new faces to the game :). As note my char is perhaps only real major noble in whole scenario as he is from major noble bloodline and also arcane caster (years the arcane arts or spellcasting in general has been noble only privileged after all). I work mostly in parties and provide occasional aid and once I learn send my eidolon farther distance she could tag along to some jobs so long she can cover her identity (as eidolon is default rather unique creature and there is screaming out loud glowing pentagram in their foreheads which is unique as finger print).

Offline Katina Tarask

I'm in.  I have to go out soon, but I should be able to work on a breaker later tonight.

Any objection to decreeing a Ninja archetype that trades weapon and armor proficiencies for a Monk's unarmed strike (and their weapon proficiencies) and AC?

Offline Katina Tarask

Draft, pending answers.

Super short version: Raised in what was left of an orc tribe that'd been assimilated and subjugated, some of the few worshipers of the old gods.  Kurohime is one of the last bearers of divine blood (which comes with little magic tricks that aren't at all impressive, but are still unaccounted magic), and most of her clan's been wiped out in the search for her.  She's since gone underground as a thief, spy, and sometime assassin, thoroughly pissed with the establishment.  She's been channeling funds to resistance movements for years, trying to stay under the radar.

Thoughts so far?

Offline Question Mark

Was hoping I could reserve a spot.  I just started Pathfinder IRL, never knew what it was before.  Now I want nothing but Pathfinder >:)

I skimmed the intro post, looks like something I'd be interested in.  I even have the perfect character in mind for the breaking and entering/spying/info gathering/etc. spot.  I'm going to give this thread a thorough read through now; Ijust wanted to grab a spot before I commit.  If I lose interest for w/e reason, I'll just delete this post.

Thanks!


EDIT: And here's my Character Sheet.  Meet Mirren Stone: acrobat, thief, Raven...
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 09:20:22 PM by Question Mark »

Offline Zaer Darkwail

Only 9 skill points? You sure you took into account 1 SP per level what humans get and 1 SP for having level in favored class? Or is my memory failing and rogues have now 6 SP per level as basis?

Anyways otherwise looks good to me but GM decides :).

Offline Question Mark

Ah, you're right, should be 10.  Guess I forgot about the racial.  I used favored class to grab an extra HP by the way.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 08:22:33 AM by Question Mark »

Online Wintercat

Looking forward to the game resurrecting, recall it had a lot of intrigue waiting to happen and curious on how it all plays out. Nonetheless, wondering what all will come to be seen, either way, a long way ahead still. Cant wait to hear more again.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Welcome, all new faces.

Nice to see we've garnered some interest.

I have no problem with character archetype variants, as long as it's a documented one and not something made up on the spot.  Unless I made it, of course.

Now, though we seem to have quite a few players popping up wanting to play the B&E specialist.  Generally, I don't have a problem with player interest, and I may even consider taking more than one for that role, might be handy.

Thus far, I haven't made a decision about that yet, but at first glance the characters submitted seem to be mostly okay, after the fixes mentioned in the thread.

Unless someone wants to play a role among the nobility in some function (A commonborn spy infiltrating the nobility is also a valid concept, had one before but sadly never returned.), I will likely make a decision about the B&E spot, and how many of them I will take, in the next day or two.

Till then,
Happy plotting!
_LF_

Offline Meliai

I've been keeping an eye on this thread for a while but was having a hard time thinking of an appropriate character, but I think I could fill your spy position!

What do you think of a foreign-born sorceress who's come to the city to investigate the disappearance of some extended family members? She could be posing as a minor noble & wizard visiting while abroad, or she could be hiding her magic and working under the story that she's the daughter of a wealthy merchant lord looking to make business contacts in the city.

Maybe at the start of the campaign she's not actually affiliated with Asleod and his group, but they coincidentally end up working the crowd at the same party?

[edit] On second thought the Sorcerer's super low skill point allotment would really limit her versatility in a game like this. A re-fluffed Archaeologist-bard might be a better choice [/edit]
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 01:23:10 PM by Meliai »

Offline Katina Tarask

Crunchy bits more-or-less done.  Fluffy bits to be hammered out.

The 'archetype' I was talking about was something to be slapped together on the spot; ninjas don't get archetypes, and the only way they have to get kung fu is ridiculously overpriced.  As in a Rogue Talent and an Advanced Rogue Talent to get a weapon that deals one point of damage more than my wakizashi with worse crits, a list of liabilities, and an immunity to disarm that you can get close enough to with a locked gauntlet.

But since that's out, I have weapons, and plenty of them.

One last potential tweak to the mechanics, given my character looks like this.  Homebrew trait: Androgynous.  +2 to Disguise checks as the opposite gender (thus negating the penalty).  Yay or nay?

Offline Question Mark

@Katina

That's a lot of weapons.  Interesting selection; I could find many uses for a blowgun.  Question though: what's an Aasimar?

Offline Meliai

An Aasimar is a demi-human with celestial blood or something similar! If you know what a tiefling is, they'r sort of the opposite.

Quote
Aasimars are humans with a significant amount of celestial or other good outsider blood in their ancestry. Aasimars are not always good, but it is a natural tendency for them, and they gravitate to good faiths or organizations associated with celestials. Aasimar heritage can hide for generations, only to appear suddenly in the child of two apparently human parents. Most societies interpret aasimar births as good omens. Aasimars look mostly human except for some minor physical trait that reveals their unusual heritage. Typical aasimar features are hair that shines like metal, unusual eye or skin color, or even glowing golden halos.

Offline Question Mark

Ah, I knew they were something like "Good Tieflings," but the whole Celestial outsider thing makes sense.

Does Kuro have any obvious Aasimar traits that I missed in my once over of the char sheet?

Online ShadowFox89

 Would you be open to a homebrew class? There's one I would like to test out.

Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Well then, lets take things in order.

Katina: that trait's fine.  I have no problems with it.
Also. The cosmology of Scyllia (the game world) is somewhat different from pathfinder standard, but it's of no concern for a tiefling or aasimar.  Fiends and celestials still walk the world on occasion, although it is generally rarer occurence than in standard games.

Meliai:  you could go with sorcerer or bard, your choice.  I don't mind either way, as more people on the Nobility Path is good.

ShadowFox:  that really depends.  In general, I somewhat frown upon most homebrew classes, as they tend to be unbalanced.  However, I find them useful on occasion, if well-made enough and an asset to the story.  Send me the specs of the class, if you think it can add something to the game.  Also, I want your reasoning why exactly that class would be beneficial to the story.  (my standard op for homebrew classes)  After that, we'll see.

_LF_