I'm still considering, but not 100% committed to, the idea of running a PF-based, small-group game.
The premise teaser is this:
Explorers first noted the island of Kraken seventy years ago, two months from an island where provisions could be had, and four from the mainland of Argyris. The first ships to traverse these waters reported that the seas nearby were a hell-spawned combination of torrential wind and lightning. Observers and scholars speculated that Kraken's mountainous terrain and apparent volcanic activity were the cause, though some of the landforms that could be identified-- through dangerous, and distant, study-- were reminiscent of a nation told of in the most ancient texts-- a land called Varvare, that in holy texts was the cradle of all civilization, a nation whose armies reached the world's shores and brought light to barbarians as surely as it enslaved or destroyed their peoples. The myth describes it as crushed by the twin gods for its arrogance and corruption, and for the blasphemies of its people. The only common references that remains in modern lingo is as a slur-- prostitutes, high-fee money lenders, and murderers are sometimes called Varvares.
Fifteen years ago, however, scholars who managed to fund an expedition observed that the ash in the water had lessened, and the strong winds were, in fact, navigable. The captains dared edging their vessels closer in the hopes of taking home some grand knowledge until one of the vessels ran aground two miles from the smoldering shores of the island-- through its ripped hull, as the sailors were evacuating their crucial supplies, a young deck-hand reported that he had clear view of the stones that split his ship's shell, and that, in the light of a sinking lantern, the peak of a great, sunken tower could be seen in the depths, stretching into the darkness below until the lantern's light was swallowed by the deep.
Players interested would be portraying characters joining a small colony that, for the past five years, has managed to assert its foothold on the shores of this strange island. Your character is called to this place by some passion that overwhelms their regard for personal safety... it may have been five years since the storms dissipated, but the island is a dangerous frontier. Ideally, we need at least a couple of specific roles filled for the story, but I am willing to be flexible on specifics. In fact, I ask that players suggest their own mythos, adding to the vague story as it grows by building history (not metagaming).
Some quirks of this game, varying greatly from Pathfinder rules:
There is no good and evil. Detect Evil, Law, etc. works to sense a person's motives at a given moment, and to give an insight into their being. Every being has both in their hearts, but some give way to one over the other-- especially given circumstances. Thus, casting such a spell gives a general feeling of a person, but there is no classification so distinct to say that Evil must be destroyed. Protection from evil aids against muggers and liars, but will not faze a criminal from lashing out in self-defense.
Magic items are exceedingly rare, and monsters that cannot be hurt except by magic items have never been proven to exist. The only source for such items is through legendary rites that were rumored to have killed the caster, or priest, whose soul was destroyed to create them... there is one rumored survivor of these rites in the known world, this generation's "Hollow One" who 'lives' in the holy city of Argyris in the imperial mainland. He is cared for by the Argyrian monks and his family is treated as high royalty.
The deities of this world are few. There are three revered: the Dead Maker, a progenitor god believed to have expired in his act of creation, the Right Hand, who puts things in order, and the Left Hand, who breaks things apart. What clerics and common-folk serve and worship are called Aspects of these two living figures-- the Red-Armored Dead, agent of Destruction... revered by warriors everywhere, whether out of a need to cull the corrupt or the desire to seize lands and power. The Green Man, agent of the wild order and growth, who tears down cities with plague or protects baby deer from overfed and lazy lions. The Veiled Flesh, the golden temptress who inspires poetry and fertility as easily as jealousy and violent lusts. ... you get the idea... the left hand and the right hand are all of these things, sometimes both at once, all in a plan set in motion by the stilled head of a dead god.
Combat will be handled in 'bursts'... as players, you would post your character's intended course of action and multiple rolls toward that outcome... for instance, a fighter might send three attack rolls consecutively, and I might determine how they fall into play. Opposing actions with other players will be adjudicated by me, etc. Once each 'burst' of combat resolves, I'll advise players of the general outcome and we can collaboratively describe the results in the frame of story. This way, I hope, combat scenes will not last more than 2 or 3 posts from each player, but we're not overlooking the balance of system-play.
Content warning: I'm comfortable working with any players' desires and limits when it comes to sex and violence. However, you must tell me what those are, in some fashion, or I will just make assumptions and you will probably be grossed out or bored to tears. I will place this in NC tentatively, unless we have to go farther, but I expect there to be descriptions of an explicit nature in the main threads of the game.
For those interested, after this rant, please feel free to express your interest. I will accept no more than 4 ... I will settle for 3 happily. Core material and Paizo supplements are generally ok. Characters are level 3, 36 point buy, with no magic equipment and 1500 gp worth of goods. Charisma is not appearance... appearance is not a stat.
This is NOT first-come, first-served... Feel free to ask questions here, but after I've answered in the main message, I may ask you to delete posts to keep the scrolling down. You're welcome to propose a concept only or a fully-made sheet, but understand that I'm looking for believably heroic characters-- more than mere mortals, yes, but characters who have personalities, quirks, fears, motives. Stand out in some way, please. Just because someone else proposes a character of a certain type doesn't mean you can't do the same, and multiple submissions are welcome. Keep it reasonable, though. Anime avatars are not really appreciated, but appearance helps. You may be asked more questions during the application stage, but please don't be angry if I tell you a concept won't work. It's almost guaranteed that I won't like many GOOD characters just because I see the game going a general direction that the PC, or a writer's style, would not fit.
Ideally, I'd like at least 1 Cleric, integral to some key plot points. A paladin also makes perfect sense, and we can have both. The holy orders of Argyris are definitely set on reaching this place.
... that's it for now. I really hope that I've sparked an interest in some of you, and please let me know if you have specific questions or ideas.
I plan to take a couple days off this weekend, but will try to respond to questions regularly and hope to start the game in about 1 week.
Thanks for reading!