Character Creation Guidelines/Player Expectations

Character Creation Guidelines/Player Expectations

Even if you don't feel up to making a character sheet when you apply, it would be wise to read the character generation guidelines, so that you at least know what you're getting yourself into.

Personally, I enjoy making characters, even if they don't get accepted into games, and I also enjoy reading up on crunch as well as fluff; feel free to post completed or close-to-completed character sheets in the Applications thread!

So without further ado:
Character Creation Guidelines
Characters will be built using the following criteria:
  • Allowed Sources: The Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Advanced Player's Guide, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, and Pathfinder Society Fieldguide are automatically allowed; all classes and races in these books are a green light. Most official Paizo material on the Pathfinder SRD is probably allowed, but it can't help to ask me if it's okay, and siting your sources is a bonus!
  • Ability Scores: Standard 15 point buy. If you balk at this seemingly 'low' amount of points, please read further for my justifications. Complaining about this automatically earns you a frowny-face sticker!
  • Classes/Races: As mentioned above, any class, race, alternate racial trait, or archetype from the above sources is allowed. Firearms are standard 'emerging' level of availability. Most featured races should be fine, although I'm not a big fan of aasimars and tieflings; they just don't really do it for me.
  • Advancement: Characters will be using the Medium experience track.
  • Starting Wealth: You can either take the average for your class or roll it in your application thread (choose wisely!).
  • Traits: Characters begin play with 2 traits. Any official Paizo traits are legal for use, although the only Campaign Traits allowed are the ones in the free Kingmaker Player's Guide.
  • Hero Points: All characters begin play with 1 Hero Point. Making your own character portrait (drawing your own, better than stick-figure quality) earns you an additional Hero Point. Writing a good character backstory (according to my judgement) can earn you an additional Hero Point. If you do not wish to use Hero Points, you may start with 1 bonus feat that you qualify for. Update: The bonus Hero Point achievements (backstory and character portrait) can be made after you've been accepted into the game, if you don't want to waste your time doing hard work during this period of uncertainty. Of course, if you still want to put in the effort, it certainly won't go unnoticed by yours truly!

In addition, the following systems will be available to use:
  • The Words of Power variant rules from Ultimate Magic are available to use, as are any related feats, etc.
  • The Hero Points variant rules from the Advanced Player's Guide are in use. All characters begin play with 1 Hero Point. All feats, spells, and magic items related to Hero Points will be in use. If you do not wish to use Hero Points, you may begin with 1 bonus feat, as mentioned above. Heroic deeds, completion of story arcs, and the general inscrutable ebbs and flows of my whims and fancy can earn your character Hero Points, which can be spent to do extra heroic things.
  • The Leadership feat will be available for those interested; traits, prestige classes, and other abilities related to the Leadership feat will be in use. This won't be relevant until the party reaches 7th level, and I will have final control on the abilities and nature of cohorts and followers.

"Why the low point buy!?"

Along with the mechanical aspects of your character, the minimum requirements for your application are the following:

Character Name:

A brief overview of what you imagine your character to be. Examples: "A battle-hardened mercenary, trying to forget his past," etc. etc.; you don't have to get too detailed, just give me an idea of who/what your character is/will be.

Desired Kingdom Role: While your class determines your role in the adventuring party, you should have an idea what job your character would want if/when they help establish a new nation. The following roles will be available, along with the abilities that are important to each role.
  • Ruler: Charisma
  • Councilor: Wisdom or Charisma
  • General: Strength or Charisma
  • Grand Diplomat: Intelligence or Charisma
  • High Priest: Wisdom or Charisma
  • Magister: Intelligence or Charisma
  • Marshal: Dexterity or Wisdom
  • Royal Assassin: Strength or Dexterity
  • Spymaster: Dexterity or Intelligence
  • Treasurer: Intelligence or Wisdom
  • Warden: Strength or Constitution

Also, read the post below!

My GMing Style

It's important for you to know my quirks, expectations, and preferences for how I run my game; if any of the following makes you cringe, uncomfortable, or angry, I suggest you pack your things and run screaming from this game!

I live in Boston, EST, and I'm active usually in the mornings and evenings.

My GMing Manifesto of Doom
My philosophy as a Play-By-Post GM is to keep things moving. This means that if I deem a scene as 'finished,' I'm going to move the story along. If I believe a combat is just about done with (usually when there's nothing left but the 'mop-up,'), then I'm going to end it so we can move the story along. See a recurring theme? I believe the death of most PBP games is stagnation, so I try to keep things moving at all costs!

To this end, I often am prone to taking control of player characters, especially in combat; I'll never have them do something foolish or stupid, and I don't have them expend limited resources without player consent. But when things crop up that are difficult to cover in play-by-post games, such as Attacks of Opportunity, Concentration checks when a caster is hit by an attack, or even things like Saving Throws and passive Perception checks, I'm going to roll them myself.

Also, I roll dice on my end in secret. You're going to have to trust that I keep things fair and impartial (which I do).

If any of this rubs you the wrong way, again, you might want to look elsewhere. None of the above is up for debate; it's how I roll, and applying to this game means you're okay with that.

Player Expectations
Be courteous to your fellow players, and especially courteous to me. I reserve the right to boot anybody whose jib I don't like the cut of. We're all here to have fun; I'm here to have fun, answer questions, and ensure you have a good time!

I'm something of a writer, and I expect my players to be fluent in English, if not competent in it. I appreciate some pride in your writing! If English isn't a 1st language for you, you might want to look elsewhere. Spell-check/proofread your applications! People that take the time to make their characters shine, mechanically, grammatically, and fluff-wise are the ones that will pass muster.

I'm on these forums just about every day. I'm running this game in part because other games I'm playing in aren't posting fast enough for me. Are you ravenous? Do you haunt these forums like a ghost? This might be the game for you.

I expect at least 3-4 quality posts per player per week. During combat I try to keep things moving as fast as possible; as such, I encourage you to post OOC a rough strategy, plan-of-attack, or script for your character so that I can control them in your absence. Use of If-Then statements is encouraged, especially for abilities that are immediate actions. Example:
"If the troll attacks my mount, I'll use my Mounted Combat feat to try and negate the hit:
Dice Roll: 1d20+5468z
d20 Results: 12 (Total = 5480)
Ride (5480)"

You basically can't provide too much If-Thens, guidelines, strategies, or contingencies in your posts, especially combat posts. I like to take everybody's actions, resolve the round, then post a big summary post that describes the action in exciting, fun ways.

Unlike some GMs on these forums, I'm going to be using normal initiative rules. If your character isn't going until the end of the initiative order, I still encourage you to post OOC intentions as detailed above. Example: "I'm going to try and stay on the enemy mage. If possible, I'm going to try and charge him with my axe. Feel free to roll the attack if you want, and don't forget the bonus my character gets for fighting in this terrain."

If you're going to be absent for a prolonged period of time, just let me know!

Also, if you leave the game, I appreciate it if you let me know, so I can look to finding a replacement, etc.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, try to keep the story moving! Caution has its place, but actions speak louder than rumination! Be heroic! Be awesome!


I just realized that I'm not providing very much information to go on for character backgrounds, etc.; reading the free Kingmaker Player's Guide from Paizo will give you plenty of inspiration, but for those of you who don't know the early plot of Kingmaker, please read the following:

Your character has been selected to join an expedition into the Stolen Lands, a lawless swath of wilderness south of Brevoy. You have an official charter from the Swordlords of Restov to explore, map, and tame this wilderness, driving off dangerous creatures and bringing the numerous bandits to justice.

While technically operating under the patronage of the Swordlords, your party will largely be left to their own devices. Characters should be prepared for long sojourns into trackless wilds, far from civilization. Self-sufficiency, skill, and fieldcraft will win the day!

This game features environs primarily in hill, plain, forest, mountain, and swamp terrain. Good favored enemies for rangers include Humanoid (human), Fey, Animal, and Humanoid (giant). A great number of encounters will be outdoors, so characters that utilize mounted combat will have lots of room to shine. Good choices for sorcerer bloodlines in the region are: Fey, Draconic, Destined, and Verdant.

Another Update

I've been looking through some of the sheets-in-making, and things are looking good!

That said, if you want to earn super-duper-extra-bonus points, keeping track of weight and encumbrance would make me happy. In this early part of the game, you'll only have the items on your back to depend on, and things like encumbrance determine the speed with which you can explore the wilderness. Later on, when you've got your own kingdom and minions, etc., encumbrance will be less important, but I appreciate the extra effort from an immersion standpoint.

On Hirelings

If you've got the money to spare, you can hire NPCs to aid you on your journeys through the Stolen Lands.

The Stolen Lands are notoriously dangerous, and the cost listed for trained and untrained hirelings will be doubled for hazard pay. Hirelings will need to be paid in advance, and once their contract is over, they will leave unless you renew their contract.

Untrained Hirelings: These hirelings consist of menial laborers. A simple porter can be hired for 2 sp/day (14 sp/week). They will not participate in combat, but will otherwise follow your orders. If faced with danger, they will likely flee.

Trained Hirelings: These hirelings include mercenaries, bodyguards, cooks, trackers, hunters, scribes, cartographers, squires, bed warmers, and teamsters. They can provide more specialized services, for 6 sp/day (42 sp/week). Mercenaries and bodyguards will be equipped with basic weapons and armor, will follow orders, and will fight most enemies, although their morale might falter against particularly horrifying or powerful foes. Other trained hirelings are largely noncombatants, but can help you hunt game, track creatures through the wilderness, tend to animals, and help set up camp. They will flee from danger, but have better morale than untrained hirelings.

Aside from clothing and a few basic tools of their trade, you'll have to provide hirelings with equipment, supplies, etc.

On Kingdom Roles

Again, you won't be forging a new kingdom until you are around level 4 or 5, but it's not a bad idea to have an aspiration. At the very least, the following will give you a better idea of what will be expected of your character as your kingdom is made.

Also, as this will be a frontier nation, you will be going on adventures as well as governing, and there will be NPCs available to keep things running when you need to go be heroes.

Ruler: Important Ability: CHA.
The ruler (baron, duke, king, queen, duchess, tzar, emperor, or whatever title you decide upon) calls the shots! All executive decisions are made by him, and his presence directly contributes to a nation's economy, security, and morale. A nation without a ruler can claim no new territory, build new cities, roads, or farms, and slowly falls into unrest.
There can be two rulers in a nation: a married couple, whom both contribute to their nation's power.

Councilor: WIS or CHA
This trusted advisor represents the voice of the common people. They are responsible for organizing festivals and other important activities that boost the nation's morale.

General: STR or CHA
Leader of the nation's armies, the general is a public hero and inspirational figure. Wartime tactics rest largely on his shoulders. The nation's stability and security benefit from the presence of a talented general.

Grand Diplomat: INT or CHA
This advisor and statesman is head of foreign relations with other nations. This role requires knowledge of foreign customs, the ability to maintain composure and dignity, and a certain amount of neutrality, to be able to pierce veils of pride, tradition, or ignorance. The Grand Diplomat also has the power to issue promotions to individuals who have proven their worth, and deals with issues of nationality and immigration.

High Priest: WIS or CHA
The High Priest is one of the nation's most influential religious leaders, and is responsible for the spiritual wellbeing of its people. While there may be more than one faith in the nation, the High Priest's influence often determines the most popular or dominant faith. An active High Priest contributes to a nation's stability and peace of mind.

Magister: INT or CHA
Head of the nation's academic and magical fields, the Magister is a foundational element of a new nation's budding culture. A skilled Magister can draw academics, artists, and mages to their nation, increasing its economy.

Marshal: DEX or WIS
The Marshal (or sheriff, etc.) is tasked with patrolling the nation's territory and keeping the peace. Invested with the power to enforce justice within the nation's borders, the Marshal extends the reach of the ruler to outlying sectors, isolated towns, and backwaters. The security of roads and trade routes depends on a skilled Marshal, and the nation's economy benefits accordingly.

Royal Assassin: STR or DEX
The Royal Assassin is either a professional killer tasked with eliminating problematic individuals, or else a headsman, executioner, or King's Justice. Whether working behind the scenes or in the open, a Royal Assassin benefits their nation through fear (ideally striking it into the hearts of potential criminals and revolutionaries, but to the common folk as well to a certain extent). The people's loyalty to their nation can be increased by an effective Royal Assassin, and the role is unique in that it can actively reduce unrest; a nation suffers no penalty for not having a Royal Assassin, for the less squeamish ruler.

Spymaster: DEX or INT
An informant, information broker, master of whispers, and trusted councilman, the Spymaster is responsible for monitoring the nation's underworld, observing black market trade, the activity of thieves and bandits, and investigating corruption, sedition, and intrigue. Not a role for the weak of heart, the Spymaster operates alone or with a network of informants, using subtlety and skill to control crime, as well as weaseling out plots against the kingdom, from within or without. This role is unique in that the benefit it provides the nation can be altered, whether boosting the nation's economy, stability, or morale, it's all up to the Spymaster.

Treasurer: INT or WIS
Not usually a popular role, the Treasurer is nevertheless a vital individual, for without one the nation cannot collect taxes, robbing the nation of funding for defenses, public works, and expansion. A just and attentive Treasurer can become the best friend of merchants, workers, and visiting dignitaries, while a greedy or corrupt one can become a scapegoat, public effigy, or target for assassination.

Warden: STR or CON
The Warden (or Captain of the Guard/Watch, etc.), is leader of a nation's defenses, city guards, and constabulary. While the General leads the field army, the Warden often commands the garrison and standing army. The Warden also works closely with the Marshal in maintaining the peace, and benefits a nation's loyalty and morale.

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