Please note: this is currently just an interest check, to make sure this is worth investing time to develop and to get some feedback and suggestions. AvelineHistory:
Long ago, the world was lush and rich and bounteous; the High Races flourished in vast cities and empires. But in their hubris, they wanted more, always more: clockwork armies marched to expand the borders, but were inevitably left leaderless and mad; new weapons eradicated cities, but blackened and twisted what was left behind; great factories darkened the skies with ash until the sun was blotted out. A man known only as The Alchemist created the worst of the Weapons that ravaged the world, killing machines which used the souls of the slain to power themselves. Even as the empires crumbled, the Lords and Archmages fought over scraps like rabid dogs, until all was lost.
The land was overrun with evil. Dark races such as the drow – elves twisted by chemicals and magic – and worse things still not understood, things which move in the dark like death.
As the ivory towers were brought low, those who survived the Wars found an unlikely savior: the Alchemist turned his necromantic machinations to the salvation of the High Races, designing massive engines to raise entire cities above the clouds of ash, chemicals and disease. Floating cities such as Aveline have successfully preserved humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes and halflings for two centuries. They served less well as redemption: once complete the people turned upon the Alchemist; he became the first soul of many to feed the new machines. The world:
Aveline is a cramped, decaying Renaissance/industrial city floating above the world by necromantic power; below, an omnipresent layer of clouds has left the surface in perpetual dusk. It is given over to mushroom forests, races twisted by magic and corruption and mad automatons bent on the slaughter of anything living. The world has a strong steampunk fantasy element: it features clockworks creatures, airships, and the worst of mad science, but retains a basis in swords and sorcery. Necromancy is also considered a necessary evil: the undead are less common than traffic in souls, which power nearly every form of machinery and many magical devices. The basics:
the adventurers will form a mercenary ‘landing party’, a group which braves the dangers of the surface to protect miners, gather souls, explore ruins or any other purpose that brings coin and fame. There is definitely potential for a long term campaign, but I’m planning on a couple very short and simple sessions to begin with.
Despite the flavor, I'm not currently planning any major rules modifications. An ogre might use the same stats, but be described as a steam driven relic warrior, for instance, and there shouldn't be need for stats on flying ships or the like.
I haven't read every Paizo publication and I have no inclination to do so. Beginning characters will be limited to Core races and Core and Base classes, although some flavor can be added. I'll probably aim for Level 3 or so, point buy and so forth. Early Firearms are Commonplace, no Advanced Firearms. Smut-o-meter:
the adventure will be in the Extreme forum, mostly to cover all possibilities. I'm not planning to have this become an orgy interspersed with monster stabbings, but I expect some fun along the way. I'm open to more feedback on this, though. It is E, after all. Newbies:
I'm after good role players, not rules gurus; that said, I'm not going to coach anyone through a system, either. Players should be familiar with the basics of Pathfinder or D&D 3.5, or willing to do a lot of their own reading (the stuff is happily all online and free).