zaterdag 11 februari 2012

RPG Goodies January

Not that many releases that I found interesting in January.

Paizo Publishing

  • In Pathfinder Player Companion: Dragon Empires Primer you discover the distant continent of Tian Xia which rests on the opposite side of the world from the Inner Sea region, and it shows. From the treacherous jungles of naga-ruled Nagajor to the sorcerous kingdom of Dtang Ma, and from the trackless and unforgiving deserts of Shaguang to the wondrous city of Goka, countless opportunities can be found for any character or adventure in amazingly expansive Tian Xia. While the extensive Dragon Empires Gazetteer unveils dozens of the mystical continent’s secrets, the Dragon Empires Primer provides information pertinent to creating characters for campaigns set in this vast and diverse region. This volume of Pathfinder Player Companion provides players and Game Masters alike with all of the settingspecific traits and trappings they need to customize and play characters in the Dragon Empires.

  • The Ruby Phoenix Tournament is an event-based adventure for 11th-level characters which immediately made me think of the Legend of the Five Rings introductory adventure about the Topaz Championship. Once every 10 years, the cosmopolitan city of Goka on the western coastline of Tian Xia hosts the Ruby Phoenix Tournament on an island off the coast. Infamous for its strange spectacles and exciting mix of fighting styles, the contest draws combatants and spectators from all over the world. The tournament’s winner gets his choice of a single item from the legendary treasury of an ancient spellcaster and earns a reputation beyond imagining. But this year, not all who have come to compete do so out of respect for the traditions of battle or even out of greed for the reward. They seek instead nothing so much as red revenge and political domination!

  • Jade Regent Adventure Path book 5 - Tide of honor starts when the heroes arrive in Minkai only to discover an empire on its knees. The Jade Regent has twisted the ruling government to cater to his despotic whims, and throughout the realm the people suffer. Before the PCs can attempt to stand against the tyrant and liberate Minkai, they must first earn the trust of its people and recruit aid from across the beleaguered empire—all the while dodging murderous oni and deadly ninjas controlled by the Five Storms. Defeating bandits who ride forth from a hidden fortress, rescuing a famous geisha from a deadly island prison, and standing tall before a corrupt daimyo’s army of samurai are all in a day’s work for the hopeful liberators of the empire.

zaterdag 4 februari 2012

Campaigns & Adventures: Pathfinder - Session 2 : All aboard

~ Moonday, 1 Rova, 4711 AR ~
The evening before he'll leave for Absalom, Henricus is summoned to his father's chambers. Theodric offers him some brandy and informs Henricus of his expectations. The name Corentyn and Taldor shall be held in high honor while abroad and regular reports are due to arrive on his desk. He also returns Henricus signet ring which he had taken from him a few days earlier. The ring has now been enchanted to turn invisible when a command word is spoken. Once it's invisible, Henricus will have to return home to render it visible again. Theodric makes it very clear that this ring is not to be lost at any cost. Then one of the servants notifies Theodric that he's running late for another meeting, and after a handshake a carriage carries him off into the night.
Henricus decides to look for his mother and finds Silvianella en Viniana in the library going through some artsamples. They're trying to decide which artist will paint Viniana's wedding portrait and Henricus joins them with some advice. After a while Silvianella starts playing some music while Henricus and his sister share a small meal and some conversation. Silvianella then announces she will join Henricus towards the docks and retires for the evening. Around midnight both Henricus and Viniana head towards their chambers.
~ Toilday, 2 Rova, 4711 AR ~
In the morning Henricus bathes and joins his mother and sister for breakfast. After breakfast he and his mother ride through Oppara towards the docks, accompanied by an Ulfen bodyguard and butler Livius and his daughter. The group is the last to arrive at The Trident, the ship that will take Henricus to Absalom. While his horse and gear are brought aboard, Henricus says his goodbye and boards.
While The Trident slowly leaves port, Henricus quickly checks out the other passengers, and is shown to his quarters. The movements of the ship quickly take control of Henricus' stomach but he's able to keep his cool. In his quarters, one of the sailors informs him the captain will talk to the passengers in about an hour so Henricus spends some time sketching. An hour later, the sailor fetches him and he's brought to the quarter deck where the captain and the other passengers are waiting for him. While the captain explains the rules of the ship, Henricus observes the other passengers, a dwarf, a merchant and his bodyguard, and a somewhat posh looking gentleman leaning on a cane, holding up a hankerchief against the smell, also accompanied by a bodyguard. The gentleman looks like he just walked out of a ballroom party and seems very out of his element on the ship.
Henricus' interest is piqued more by the presence of a dwarf on a ship and decides to strike up a conversation after the captain's speech. The dwarf introduces himself as Reidan, and together they head over to the kitchen for a light meal. After the meal they head over to the dwarf's cabin where Henricus learns that he's working for a trademaster from Absalom as a specialist in packaging. Henricus pays attention as Reidan rants on about chests, iron and wood and has the dwarf appraise his own material which turns out to be of adequate quality but more geared towards looking pretty than to durability. After that they play some cards to get through the day, waiting until the evening meal in the captain's quarters.
During the meal there's a lot of general chit chat. Henricus pays attention to the dandy who's a travelling scholar who talks about some of his 'cases' and seems a bit disappointed that nobody has heared of Herkul van Poros. He retires to his quarters early while the rest crack jokes and play some more cards until it's eleven, the time for everyone to return to their cabins. Henricus did get the feeling that the captain is trying to be very friendly towards him, probably hoping for some more travels.
~ Wealday, 3 Rova, 4711 AR ~
After an uneventful night, the next day is spent talking to Reidan and sitting on deck making some sketch of the ship. Seeing this, the captain invites Henricus on the quarter deck for some small talk about art and his ship. Other than that nothing happens during the day and the evening is spent gambling in the kitchen.
In the middle of the night Henricus wakes up from a horn and screams on deck. When he looks out of the porthole, he sees some light on the water and burning pieces of wood are being thrown overboard. Thinking the ship is on fire, Henricus hurries up to the deck and finds the captain and Reidan looking over the rail. Apparently some wreckage has bumped into the ship alerting the crew who are now trying to get a better view of the ocean by throwing burning wood overboard and shining with lanterns. One of the sailors suddenly discovers a human figure in the water, on top of a large piece of wood. Some of the crew row towards the figure and find an unconscious young woman, who's brought aboard, and given some first aid in one of the spare cabins. In addition to the girl, a jambiya, a curved dagger of Qadiran make, is also found sticking in the wood. Prior to heading off to bed again, Henricus makes a quick sketch of a girl on a piece of wood floating in the ocean, to keep the image in his head. Curse those desert dogs, they'll pay for this!

Memorable moments of roleplay
  • Me announcing to the DM : "My 17 personal servants will accompany me on my travels and their names are ..."
  • Henricus informs the old butler Livius that he doesn't have to get up in the morning. "Let one of the lower ranks wake me up." Tongue-in-cheek DM reply: "Even lower than me ? You mean the cockroaches Sir?"
  • Another tongue-in-cheek moment when Henricus boards The Trident. "Did you check the name of the ship prior to boarding ? No ? Aha ! One second, let me take the lastest adventure path. You're off to China now."

The story so far

<< Previous: Pathfinder session 1: Character Creation Next: Pathfinder session 3: Aching for Absalom >>

woensdag 1 februari 2012

Campaigns & Adventures: Pathfinder - Session 1 : Character creation

We're underway. Session 1 : Character creation - 8th of December 2011.

You could read about my character write-up for Henricus Janovius Corentyn in an earlier post. That was just a rough idea for a character and DM Koen and I fleshed things out a bit more during session 1.

Character Creation

Since I lost pretty much all of my dice somewhere in the massive pile of books and junk that is my room, I bought some new D6 right before the session. As you can see in the above picture they looked very promising.


The dice turned out to do a great job and rolled 16, 14, 14, 13, 13, 11. Not bad at all I'd say. I decided to have the following stats : STR 11 (+0), DEX 16 (+3), CON 13 (+1), INT 14 (+2), WIS 13 (+1), CHA 14 (+2).


Race will be Human. In the Pathfinder world Golarion, the character will be of Taldan descent.

Being human gives me a +2 to an ability score, in my case that will be Charisma which becomes 16 (+3). It will also give me a bonus feat and an extra skill rank at 1st level and every level afterwards.


I will be going for a multiclass character with levels in Rogue, Bard, and Ranger. First level and favorite class will be Rogue. This gives me a D8 of hitpoints which are full since it's 1st level plus 1 hitpoint for my Constitution modifier for a total of 9 HP. At 1st level Rogues also gain Trapfinding and Sneak Attack +1D6 as class features. There is no Base Attack bonus yet but I do get a +2 reflex save.


Being a rogue gives me a lot of class skills and 8 skill points to start with. In addition I also get 2 extra skill points for my Intelligence modifier and an extra skill point for being Human. I will also add 1 more skill point for a level in my favorite class for a total of 12. I chose to take a rank in the following skills : Acrobatics, Appraise, Bluff, Craft (Drawing/Painting), Diplomacy, Disable Device, Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (Nobility), Perception, Profession (Taxidermist), Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.


Let's first start with a list of interesting feats before I make my choice. I'll be looking for fluff and dexterity based or ranged combat feats.

  • Core rulebook: Agile Maneuvers, Combat Reflexes, Dazzling Display, Deadly Aim, Dodge, Far Shot, Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Leadership, Manyshot, Master Craftsman, Mobility, Pin Point Targeting, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run, Throw Anything, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (Crossbow)
  • Advanced Player's Guide: Crossbow Mastery, Dastardly Finish, Disrupting Shot, Eclectic, Favored Defense, Focused Shot, Parting Shot, Point Blank Master, Shadow Strike
  • Ultimate Magic: Antagonize
  • Ultimate Combat: Clustered shots, Dramatic Display, Gory Finish, Hero's Display, Impact Critical Shot, Performance Weapon Mastery, Performing Combatant, Prone Shooter, Rapid Reload, Rhetorical Flourish, Savage Display, Slayer's Knack
  • Inner Sea World Guide: Noble Scion, Rapid Reload, Scholar, Taldan Duelist
So many interesting feats and since I'm not a fighter character I'll probably miss out on most of them. The ones I've chosen for the 1st level are Improved Initiative, since I want to be able to get out of danger as soon as possible, and Noble Scion (Patron of Lore), since that fits with the concept of the character.
Languages Since Henricus has an Intelligence of 14, he'll start off with 2 additional languages in which he's versed. The languages I have picked are Taldan (yes it's Taldan, not Common), Kelish (know your enemies), and Skald (due to the Ulfen Guard).
Equipment Since Henricus is leaving Oppara to travel to Absalom and Corentyn, the dungeon master ruled that his equipment would be limited to what his horse can carry. Moneywise there were not too many restrictions, since Henricus is of noble birth. Henricus will also be carrying around a good amount of cash in order for him to maintain the luxurious life he's used to. The equipment choices are made from a character point of view and Henricus is not at all planning a life of adventure, something that might (quite literally) come to bite him in the ass.
  • Weapons: Dagger, Masterwork rapier, Light crossbow
  • Armor: Masterwork studded leather armor
  • Gear: Tindertwigs, Hooded lantern + lantern oil, Backpack, Bedroll, Blanket, Drawing/Painting set + small wooden container with some paints and inks, Taxidermist set (includes thieving tools), Waterproof tubes (containing letters of credit, drawing paper, and maps), Corentyn family signet ring, Noble's outfit, Adventurer's outfit (highwayman's coat & tricorn), plenty of belts and pouches (including hidden pockets), Saddlebags, Jewelry, Perfume, Beard grooming set & Mirror.
A selfportrait by Henricus Janovius Corentyn including his signature in which you'll recognize the C of Corentyn and the J and H of his first names. (Disclaimer: Credit goes to Breogan at DeviantArt for drawing this. I just photoshopped the initials on it to make it look like a selfportrait.)


  • Theodric Chanador Corentyn, 60 years old, is a Taldan noble living in Oppara and is Henricus' father. Theodric holds the political office of Viceroy and is known to be a gifted public speaker. He's a ruthless politician and patriot who would like nothing more than a return to the Taldor of old. Although there are no publicly known ties to the criminal underworld, Theodric doesn't shy away from bribery, abandonning allies when they're no longer needed, or arranging an opponent's accident. He never does questionable things because he enjoys them but because, to his mind, they are necessary and Taldor's betterment is always on his mind. Theodric has a fierce hatred for everything Qadiran and has gone to great lengths to instill similar feelings upon his children. A few years ago, an assassination attempt was made on his life during a hunt and Theodric has been forced to walk with the help of a cane ever since. In cold weather, his ailment becomes even worse and he needs someone to physically support him for even the shortest walk. Although the culprit was never discovered, Theodric is convinced Qadiran spies were behind the attempt. Like all Taldan men, he doesn't hold women in high regard and he considers conducting business in a brothel quite normal as every edge that can gained must be gained. Although his marriage was a political one, he respects his wife Silvianella for her keen mind and the sound advice she often presents. Theodric has revealed his plans for all his children except Henricus. He already has offspring ready to follow his footsteps in politics, has a son in the military, a daughter to be wed to some wealthy merchant, and then there's the youngest. Signs of affection or praise are rare as his children have yet to prove their use to Taldor.
  • Silvianella Riavelli-Corentyn, 45 years old, is Theodric's wife and Henricus' mother. Through her husband she holds the title of Vicereine, although she prefers not to be openly active in Taldor's politics, in order for her husband's carreer to receive the full attention. Silvianella is a stunningly beautiful woman (CHA 17), and even at her age would have many suitors if she but wished it. She comes from the Riavelli family, a Taldan noble family of lesser station and was married to Theodric in return for a number of political favors to Theodric's father Narces. A deadly cocktail according to many, Silvianella's looks are rivalled only by her wits. Spending several hours per day in the mansion's library pouring over tome after tome, she has always encouraged her children to follow suit and learn about as many subjects as they possibly can. In addition she enjoys spending time on the family's hunting grounds, accompanied by her personal falconer and a host of birds of prey. She has studied the falcon's hunting tactics extensively and has drawn many conclusions from it towards her life in the chaotic melting pot that is Taldor's politics. Silvianella respects and admires her husband for his political achievements and will to restore the Taldor of old. Although she prefers not to step in the spotlights, everything that goes on in the Corentyn household that does not interfere with het husband's political carreer is firmly under her control.
  • Viniana Natalia Corentyn, 25 years old, is the oldest child of Silvianella and Theodric. Her father has recently started negotiations for a marriage with a wealthy Taldan merchant located in Absalom. On the homefront Viniana is being groomed by Silvianella on how to run day-to-day activities, how to make sure everything is firmly under her control, and how to be a powerful entity standing firlmy behind her future husband. Due to these preparations and due to being the only girl, Viniana has developed a great bond with her mother. She is well aware that her marriage is for the betterment of her father's carreer and has accepted this.
  • Jacobus Martinus Corentyn, 22 years old, is the oldest son and thus is being groomed to follow in his father's stead. Jacobus is a very good-natured person that wouldn't hurt a fly and is therefore continually forced by Theodric to make difficult and unpopular decisions. Since these machinations he has become more distant from the rest of the family while he's slowly being corrupted by his father and younger brother Narcius. He fears he'll never become the shrewd politician his father wants him to be but would never admit to such feelings of 'weakness'.
  • Narcius Natoli Corentyn, 21 years old, is Theodric's third child and the one to most likely make him proud. Narcius is being groomed for politics as well since he does showcase all the required traits for greatness in politics. He's shrewd, ambitious, and would love to surpass Jacobus as the oldest son. The only difference between him and his father is that Narcius cares for personal betterment, power and wealth, with Taldor's greatness trailing somewhat behind.
  • Ioseph Rolando Corentyn, 19 years old, the fourth in the race for Theodric's inheritance. Ioseph was sent into the military and thanks to Theodric's influence, currently holds the rank of Knight Captain of the 5th Taldan Horse Legion. A gifted leader, swordsman, and rider, he's looking forward to a succesful and rewarding carreer in Taldor's military. Before being sent off to the officer's academy, Ioseph and Henricus developed a good bond, with Ioseph still schooling Henricus in combat arts whenever he's on leave. He's convinced that reaching the top of the military chain will make his father proud. To do that however, another war might be needed.
  • Narces Anachio Corentyn, 86 years old, is Henricus' grandfather and lives at the Corentyn mansion. If at all possible, Narces was even more ruthless a politician than his son. Despite having retired from active politics, the former Proconsul, still tries to wield his influence through Theodric, who will have none of it. Narces' still sharp mind, is truly trapped inside of a spent body. Being confined to a wheelchair and the constant care of personal servants much to his dismay, has turned him into a bitter old man who can't cope with no longer being number one. He loathes his physical condition and still clings strongly to his glory days as a Proconsul.
  • Henricus Janovius Corentyn, 18 years old, and the youngest of the Corentyn children. He's pretty much been left to his own devices since Theodric hasn't found a purpose for him yet. Henricus has inherited his mother's quest for knowledge and loves reading and learning new things. On his father's side he has inherited a strong Taldan patriotism and a healthy distrust of all Qadiran. Even though he does prefer to judge matters by himself, his father's ideas have been shoved down his throat from a very early age and often cloud his judgement. His early years were spent in the forests with his mother and Argonius the falconer, who cared for Henricus as he would his own son. It was Argonius who thought him about plants and animals. Henricus' thirst for knowledge ran so deep, he caught and dissected many animals just to learn more about them. His love for stuffing animals raised some eyebrows in the household but Henricus wouldn't have any of it, stuffing mice, squirrels and songbirds until eventually he gained enough skill to actually make beautiful pieces of art with them. Later on Henricus was sent to the Kithadorian Academy in Oppara where his love for books and bard's tales only increased. Wanting to be a part of an elite noble's sons fraternity, he was forced to pick up some shady skills from his fellow students since the nocturnal admission ritual involved being chained naked to a tree in the middle of the Academy courtyard and having to escape before dawn. The fraternity meant living the good life, booze, women, and Henricus' ever present sketch book. Showcasing a great talent for drawing and painting, his teachers only fueled the fire, giving him more and more challenging tasks. His graduation piece, a painting of Aroden raising the Starstone from the ocean's depth and founding Absolom, currently still graces the Academy's main hall, a great honor for such a young artist.
    • Greatest ambition: To prove his worth for Taldor to his father.
    • Greatest fear: A loveless marriage in which he'll have no say. Henricus once had a small romantic endeavour with the daughter of a visiting noble's maid. When Theodric found out there was love involved, he ended the affair and the two haven't met since. Henricus fervently wrote letters for over a year, but none were ever returned.
    • Short term goals
      • Visit Absolom, visit Taldan notables in the city including his future family in law, and generally have a good time
      • Visit Corentyn and look for some family history

Family situation The Corentyn family claims to be direct descendants from the noble family that ruled Corentyn in its founding years. They have been on the forefront of Taldan politics for decades and are strong proponents for a return to the Taldor of old. To this end, Theodric wants his children in places where they are useful to him and Taldor. Their youth was spent mainly at the Corentyn mansions where they were raised by a host of personal tutors and staff. The Corentyn family resides in Oppara's West Park in a big mansion surrounded by a park. The Corentyn family also owns several buildings in Oppara as well as large farms and areas of hunting.
  • Theodric's personal scribe
  • 2 personal servants for Silvianella
  • Nanny which takes care of the day-to-day care for the children
  • A host of gardeners
  • Silvianella's falconer, a widower without children who sees Henricus as one of his own
  • Cook and kitchen staff
  • Repairman
  • Ulfen bodyguard for Theodric, Jacobus, and Narcius
  • Ulfen guard at the gates of the mansion

The story so far

<< Previous: Pathfinder session 0: Character write-up Next: Pathfinder session 2: All aboard >>