The Haunting of Harrowstone

Game Masters

Game Information
  • Created Jul 7 '12
  • Last Post Dec 3 '12 at 7:36pm
  • Status Aborted
  • System Pathfinder
  • Setting Golarion

Game Description

The Haunting of Harrowstone is a long adventure set in the town of Ravengro in the world of Golarion. It is designed for characters levels 1-3. The characters begin at first level and are expected to reach level 4 by the end of the adventure. The adventure is the first part of Paizo's Carrion Crown adventure path. This is the only adventure, however, that I'm committing to running at this time. I'm looking to fill four character slots for this adventure, and expect it to take up to 6 months to complete, which may actually be too optimistic. Applications close on Sunday, July 15 October 21, and notice will be given to selected players on or before Tuesday, July 17 October 23

The setting for this adventure is not your traditional fantasy world. Although it uses the world of Golarion, I emphasize a more 17th to 18th century flavor (ala Nathaniel Hawthorne). Science and scholarship are emerging forces in society, with the study of the arcane losing some of its mystical interpretations and given more empirical ones. Belief in religion and the traditional gods remains strong, although a strain of Transcendentalism inspired by centuries of interest in the esoteric teachings of Irorian philosophy regarding the paths of self-perfection, has taken hold in many lands including the more intellectual circles of Ustalav.

All of the above immediately raises the question of guns. The adventure uses the rules contained in Paizo's Ultimate Combat, with the exception that it uses the Commonplace Guns convention (p. 135). There are a couple of other minor house rules regarding firearms that are available in the game forum.

I have identified the character classes that I will give primary consideration to choosing. Further clarification about character creation is given below, along with more information about the adventure itself.

  • alchemist
  • bard
  • cleric
  • fighter
  • gunslinger
  • inquisitor
  • magus
  • oracle
  • paladin
  • ranger
  • rogue
  • sorcerer
  • witch
  • wizard

For a good guide to developing a character concept for this adventure, I strongly recommend Paizo's Carrion Crown Player's Guide.

Overview of Ustalav
The Immortal Principality of Ustalav lies on the northern shore of Lake Encarthan, a grim bastion of civilization amid the barbarian north, where a harsh landscape and a history rich in tragedies inspire a wary population with skepticism, religious devotion, and superstition. A conglomeration of loosely affiliated counties, each run by feuding nobles vying for power and influence, Ustalav is a pitiful shell of its former glory, before it was subjugated to centuries of slavery at the hands of the Whispering Tyrant's undead armies. While the nation's upper classes struggle to compete with the very nations that abandoned them to fend for themselves after the Whispering Tyrant's defeat, the average Ustalavic citizen has it much worse.

Hundreds of years of subjugation and the residual horrors that plague the countryside have left the people of Ustalav suspicious of magic, religion, foreigners, and their fellow citizens. Beyond their eccentric and insular qualities, Ustalavs often have a dour worldview. They resign themselves to lives of suffering, seeing nothing in their people's history to suggest there is any hope for a better life. Despite the physical and psychological strains upon its populace, Ustalav nevertheless fosters extremely hardy and tenacious stock: men and women who firmly believe that no matter how bad it gets, history shows it could always be worse.

Although Ustalav has little to offer its rural peasants, inhabitants of its many metropolitan cities fare somewhat better, and the centers of learning and culture they provide draw trade and travelers from throughout the Inner Sea region. The capital, Caliphas, stands on the banks of Lake Encarthan, and its fog-shrouded streets host some of the nation's most esteemed centers of trade and academia. In the north, the city of Karcau boasts a thriving culture of music, theater, and other fine arts, and its opulent architecture rivals the excess of even the most exotic Taldan palace. Meanwhile, Ustalav's northwestern counties have broken from aristocratic rule and formed their own local, democratic government without nobles, calling themselves the Palatinates and providing a glimmer of hope for the downtrodden people of provincial Ustalav.

As a life-long inhabitant of Ustalav, you have witnessed first hand many of the strange occurrences commonly whispered about in taverns, theaters, guild halls, and private homes throughout the land. Unexplained noises and lights, objects that seem to relocate themselves unseen, strange feelings and sensations of apprehension and fear that creep under the skin in places said to harbor the ghosts of ancient sorrows. But unlike most of those around you, you have not succumb to fatalism and insularity. You believe that the evil which plagues your homeland can be purged through the hard work, courage and faith of the truly living. The wars, plagues, famines and unspoken evils of Ustalav have solutions, but they require the efforts and conviction of the people to successfully implement.

These are the attitudes toward life in these dark times that first attracted you to become acquainted with Professor Petros Lorrimor, one of the region's foremost experts on esoteric matters and a champion of both arcane and scientific inquiry. Over a number of years, you recently came to admire and respect the professor, and, at least for your part, to consider him a friend. It came as a great shock, therefore, to learn that the professor had been killed during a freak accident in the town of Ravengro. But an even greater shock was learning that you had been named as one of the inheritors in his will.

Traveling in Ustalav is never easy. With cut-throats, highwaymen, and brigands constantly on the lookout for marks and a host of other unnamed evils lurking in the shadows of the farms, forests, and hills, it is no wonder that most people stay close to home and regard outsiders with a mixture of suspicion and fascination. Nevertheless, Professor Lorrimor's daughter, Kendra, was most adamant in her letter to you that the final reading of the will could not take place until all of the inheritors had gathered for its unsealing. She, therefore, besought you to make haste to Ravengro and to attend the funeral of her beloved and noble father.

Character Creation Guidelines

Pathfinder SRD link

  • 20 point buy for ability scores using Pathfinder rules on p. 16 of the Core Rulebook or available on the Pathfinder SRD
  • 1st level characters
  • Max hit points
  • Max gold
  • Non-evil alignment
  • 2 traits, 1 of which must be a Campaign Trait selected from the Carrion Crown Player's Guide

  • No psionics
  • Advanced Player's Guide
  • Adventurer's Armory
  • Dwarves of Golarion
  • Elves of Golarion
  • Faiths of Purity
  • Gnomes of Golarion
  • Gods and Magic
  • Humans of Golarion
  • Rule of Fear
  • Ultimate Combat
  • Ultimate Magic

Hopefully the above range of supplements provides prospective players with enough variety to create an interesting and enjoyable character, but if there's something I've not included that you feel strongly about considering, run it by me. In general, I prefer games in which characters are defined more by their inner motivations, personalities, values and actions than by their character class and complex lists of special abilities gleaned from rare sources.

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