Iron Gods: Part One: Into the Weeping Pond

Welcome to d20 Diaries! Today we’re taking a look at my husband and mine’s first session of Iron Gods! Iron Gods is a six-part adventure path by Paizo Publishing that fuses technology and fantasy into one awesome Pathfinder campaign. The first volume, Fires of Creation, is written by Neil Spicer, and is intended to bring characters from levels one to four. The Iron Gods Player’s Guide is a free download on Paizo’s website, here. For further information on the Iron Gods campaign, check out my blog post ‘Iron Gods Adventure Path,’ and for information on our characters, check out my blog post ‘Iron Gods: Character Focus: Haji and Nix.’ If you’re going to play Iron Gods yourself, I highly recommend picking up the Iron Gods Pawn Collection, which has a ton of unique pawns for use in the campaign.


Our story begins with Haji returning to Torch after a week spent mining in the surrounding foothills. He strode into town tall and proud, olive skin slick with sweat, and long black hair and beard weighted down by the stones and gems braided into its length. He carried his trusty shovel over his shoulder and wore a heavy backpack. Beside him scurried Rothmhar, a hideously ugly, hairless rat with rocky protrusions sticking up out of his flesh.

Haji strode through town, watching the citizens with his one green eye. The other eye was nothing but a large glittering gem resting in an empty eye socket and encircled by a massive triangular brand. Despite his poor vision, Haji noticed the garbage piling up in the streets, the over-crowded bars and and the unusual amount of idle citizens. Haji popped by his tiny shack in the junkyard to drop off his gear, then visited his friend, Junkmaster Garritt Burrwaddle. After paying him a few shiny stones as rent he set off to visit his girlfriend, Nix.

Pheonix 'Nix'
Artwork discovered on Pinterest and chosen to represent Nix. If you know the name of the artist let me know in the comments so proper credit can be given!

Nix’s home was a small one-room warehouse crowded with a mess of scrap, cluttered worktables and unfinished projects. When Haji arrived, Nix was tinkering with an unfinished device–a gun that had more in common with a hunk of junk than a proper firearm. She wore massive work goggles over her eyes and was wielding a screwdriver with her large mechanical arm. After a short reunion, Nix exclaimed with a smile:

“Took you long enough, freak! Let’s go!”

“Go? Go where?”

“Go where? What?! Oh, boy, are YOU in for a surprise! Come on!”

Nix led Haji through Torch, then up the Black Hill where Haji was surprised to discover no smiths, and no labourers. And worst of all? No violet flame. The lifeblood of Torch had died. Without the violet flame atop Black Hill, the town’s economy would flounder, and they would no longer be able to pay tribute to the oppressive Technic League.

“See? What the hell, right?” Nix prodded. “When it went out people were freaking out. Screaming and crying! Haha! They’re still freaking out! It’s been… like… four days or something.”

Surmounting the hill, Haji and Nix went to check out the former site of the flame. Now little more than depression in the earth filled with a strange, rippling, black fluid, that swirled with a prismatic sheen. It smelt weird–burning wildflowers, crude oil, vinegar, citrus, even vanilla on occasion. Nix scooped some up in a bucket and carried to home to test in her alchemy lab.

“Whoah! What are you going to do with that?” Haji asked with worry. “Don’t eat it! That stuff will mess you up!”

Nix only laughed.

The next few days were busy. Nix tinkered in her lab, Haji sifted through the junkyard, did a bit of mining and stuffed himself to bursting at the local taverns. And Torch? Things weren’t looking so well for our little town.

Massive headaches plagued its citizens. Tunnels were discovered underneath Torch, where more than a few groups of adventurers had gone missing plumbing their depths. Khonnir Baine, a friend of Haji’s and one of Torch’s Councilmen entered the tunnels and returned with a disabled automaton. After speaking with the rest of the Council he headed back below ground, and hasn’t been heard from since. The Council posted a staggering reward for the rescue of Khonnir–4,000 gold! And another 4,000 gold to whoever can get the violet flame burning again.

Worried for Khonnir, Haji picked up Nix, and together they went to the Foundry to visit Khonnir’s daughter, Val. The place was closed, but as they approached they heard a scream and a lot of loud crashing noises.

“Val?!” Haji called out. He took off at a run for the Baine’s home. “This way, Nix!”

As they turned the corner a metal monstrosity came crashing out of the front door with a jerky, staggering gait. As wood splinters showered the front steps, the five-foot tall, three-legged robot reached for the house and began tearing it apart with its four-fingered hands. The automaton was a wreck. Although it’s spider-like legs allowed it to maneuver across the ground with ease, the rest of the body was in poor repair. Parts of its chassis was missing, revealing technological components and delicate circuitry within. It’s head was lop-sided, and each movement made a loud and tortured grinding noise.

From inside the house, Haji heard Val scream.

Haji growled and charged at the robot with his shovel. “I’m coming, Val!”

From behind him, Nix smiled. “Whoah! This thing is amazing! Look at it move!”

“Take it down, Nix!” Haji ordered.

Nix laughed. Pulling a clockwork device from her belt she gave it a twist, causing thin protrusions like a spider’s leg to extend from its centre. Nix placed the device against her collarbone, where the thin filaments punctured her skin. Suddenly a crackling aura of electricity sparked to life around her. A moment later it disappeared, but she could feel it around her. The air was alive with power.

“With pleasure, babe.”

Haji fought the robot with his shovel, putting his muscles to good use, while Nix drew her  morningstar and beat at the robot. Although it took the pair a while to take the mechanical marvel down, they were relatively unscathed from the battle. Haji hurried off into the house, worried over Val, while Nix stayed outside and began disabling the robot for scrap.

At the sight of Haji, Val burst out from her hiding place under a table and gave the intimidating half-orc a big hug. Haji laughed with relief.

In time, he calmed Val down and learned that the rumours were true, Khonnir Baine was missing. With hopeful eyes, Val asked Haji if he was going to save her father, and Haji assured her he would. In gratitude, Val offered Haji and Nix the use of the Foundry Tavern as a base of operations while they explored the tunnels beneath Torch. She promised them clean bedrolls on the floor, and hearty meals cooked for them whenever they desired. With more heartfelt pleas from the child to save her father, Haji went back outside to see Nix.

Poking her head up from the robots inner workings, Nix smiled widely. “Give me a hand hauling this back home! There’s all kinds of great stuff in here!”

Haji laughed. “Want to go to those deadly tunnels under Torch to find Khonnir with me?”

“Pfft! Heck yeah!”

As they dragged a broken metal automaton down the street, Nix pointed out, “Hey, we should go to the Town Hall first so we get paid for it. Isn’t there a reward for saving him?”

With their priorities set straight, Haji and Nix dropped the robot’s carcass off in Nix’s workshop and traipsed through Torch to the town hall.

Although one of the nicest buildings in the town, it was quiet today. Only one Councillor, Dolga Freddert, was present in the offices. Dolga was well-respected around Torch, and had been around since the violet flame first arced up into the sky. She was there, experimenting with smelting, while the town of Torch sprung up around her. Unfortunately, neither Haji or Nix we particularly well-versed in local history. Both were more interested in their crafts than politics and local legends.

“What do you want?” Dolga asked from her cluttered office. Despite the dwarven woman’s old age, a massive adamantine warhammer was within reach of her desk.

“We’re going to rescue Khonnir Baine.” Haji replied.

Nix raised an eyebrow and smiled. “You paying?”

Dolga frowned. She gave the duo a thorough once over, then shrugged. “Why not. You won’t be the first to die down there, and I’m getting desperate. Come in then, and I’ll tell you what I know.”

Haji and Nix spoke with Dolga for a while, learning all they could about the tunnels below Torch, the previous groups who ventured there, and what was discovered within. Of particular note? The entrance to the tunnels is in the Weeping Pond. Underwater. Could be trouble! Haji and Nix bargained with Dolga, eventually earning the group a writ good for 20% off at all shops and stalls in Torch, and the promise that Joram Kyte, a Councillor and priest of Brigh, would cast a water breathing spell upon the duo whenever they desired. Armed with information and away to avoid drowning, Haji thanked Dolga for her time, and then left with Nix.

After a quick trip to the temple of Brigh to have Joram work his magic upon them, Haji and Nix arrived at the Weeping Pond. This placid-looking pond was devoid of life. No plants grew near its banks, no fish swam within it, and no animals ventured near it. The placid waters are toxic and stunk of sulphur and other chemicals. It was enough to make their nostrils burn and their eyes water.

Haji examined the surrounding terrain, and came up with a pretty good guess of where the tunnels were most likely to be located. Then the pair plunged into the poisonous pond. Visibility was horrible, and they stuck close together to avoid getting lost.

Suddenly, the water shifted around Haji, and what looked like a circular air bubble the size of a child sped straight toward him. As it slammed into his chest its touch burned like acid. It stuck to him–or it tried to–and Haji squirmed out of its grip. He swung his shovel at it, but the water made it difficult, and although he struck the strange gelatinous blob, he barely harmed it at all.

Seeing Haji flail around like a weirdo, Nix swam a bit closer to him, but couldn’t see the creature. Haji was on his own!

As the giant amoeba (Bestiary 2) surged at Haji, sizzling away part of his flesh with it’s touch, Haji screamed–a sign to Nix that something had hurt him, even if she couldn’t see it. Changing tactics, Haji stabbed at the creature with his shovel, jabbing its tip into the weird blob just as he would dig into the earth. By the time Nix joined the battle it was half-over, and the strange creature broke apart and died shortly after.

With no further enemies barring their way, Haji Nix and Rathmhar discovered the underground tunnels and made their way inside. Eventually they reached a stony, soot-scarred beach. The dark water continued on, past the beach and into the darkness. The air in this cavern still stunk, and the walls were thick with moisture. Upon the stone beach was a head-high ledge that opened the way to a low-ceilinged cave dotted with stalagmites and stalactites.

Haji and Nix clambered up out of the water and onto the stone beach. They discovered signs of the previous explorer’s passage: footprints and scuff marks leading up the ledge and into the cavern, as well as signs of an alchemical explosion. As they looked around, Haji noticed an approaching light just before a trio of giant beetles with glowing glands on their heads burst from a fissure in the wall over the water. The beetles looked ravenous, and surged across the water at Haji, Nix and Rathmhar. But Haji wasn’t taken by surprise. He smashed his shovel into one of the bugs, crushing its head before it had a chance to bite him. The other fire beetles (Bestiary or Bestiary Pocket Edition.) put up more of a fight, but not enough to be more than a hinderance. Nix set upon their corpses with glee, carving out their glowing glands to use as a light source.

With their macabre lantern prepared, Haji led the way up onto the ledge, and into the low-ceilinged cavern. Being over six and a half feet tell, Haji had to stoop quite low just to proceed, but Nix had less trouble, being only five foot four. The cavern was filled with stalagmites and stalactites, turning it into a forest of rough stone. As they creeped forward they discovered a body. Worried, Haji immediately fell to his knees… And was relieved to see it wasn’t Khonnir Baine. It was a half-orc woman who had clearly been robbed. She had wounds on her back… Knife, perhaps? Some kind of short blade? Whatever it was she hadn’t seen it coming. Unfortunately for the corpse, neither Haji nor Nix had any idea who she was. With a shrug they continued on, eventually entering a large cavern. Haji smiled and stretched, happy to be able to stand up straight.

The cavern continued straight ahead, with a pool of water on the left and a tunnel leading deeper into the caves on the right. Haji and Nix entered the cave warily, worried about whatever had killed the half-orc. Noticing a magical aura coming from in the water, they approached the pool only to come face to face with a pale white, frog beast.

Recognizing it as a blindheim (Bestiary 2 or Bestiary 2 Pocket Edition), Haji warned Nix: “Close one eye! They can blind you!”

Despite the warning, Nix only laughed. “Close ONE eye? Which one are you gonna use?”

But as the blindheim turned its red gaze onto Nix it wasn’t very funny anymore. She was blind. It bit her and tried to drag her into the pond, but she struggled. Haji beat it upside the head and Nix punched at it with her metal arm–striking nothing but air. This fight would be up to Haji!

The battle against the blindheim turned out to be the toughest fight the party faced so far, lasting a staggering seven full rounds before the creature was defeated. Bad luck plagued the party, with miss after miss from both Haji and the blinded Nix. Right before the battles end, Nix fell unconscious, and a furious Haji finally beat the blindheim’s head into paste before hurrying to Nix’s side.

“Nix! Can you hear me?”

Using magic granted to him by Rothmhar, Haji healed her wounds.

“Wow, this place SUCKS!” she remarked as she regained consciousness. “I mean it! It’s so overpopulated! How have these things not eaten each other by now?”

Haji laughed. “The blindness will pass in a few hours. Best to head back home for now. But first…”

Haji dove into the water and looked around for the source of the magical aura he had seen earlier. Finding it on a dead body, Haji dragged it to the surface.

“Don’t be Khonnir. Don’t be Khonnir.”

The body was mostly eaten… The armour and clothing were ruined. It looked male… It could be Khonnir… But the belt pouch on the hip finally gave him a clue. It contained gold, some healing potions–all of which could be Khonnir’s–and a silver holy symbol of a pick made from bones with a skull at its centre. Definitely NOT Khonnir’s.

Haji breathed a sigh of relief before returning to Nix’s side. Leaving the body (and the other one) behind, Haji helped Nix through the stalactite forest, back down the ledge and into the flooded tunnels. Tying themselves together to prevent being lost, they set off into the toxic Weeping Pond and finally climbed out stinky and soaking wet onto the beach in Torch.

Haji and Nix had survived their first foray into the tunnels.

Would they survive the next?

That’s up to the dice!

I hope you enjoyed our first experience with the Iron Gods Adventure Path! Tune in next time when we continue our foray below Torch with more from book one, Fires of Creation!

Jessica

Iron Gods: Character Focus: Haji and Nix

Last week we talked about the Iron Gods Adventure Path that my husband and I were about to begin together and mused over character concepts. Well, it took some time, but my husband finalized his character and I set about creating my own. So before we embark onto Iron Gods: Book One: Fires of Creation together this week, we’re going to take a look at the characters who’ll be attempting this campaign. Wish them luck! They’re going to need it!

Haji

Haji is a tall half-orc with olive skin and a piercing green eye. He has long black hair and a bushy black beard, both of which have rocks, gems and stones beaded into their lengths. He has a lot of body piercings, all of which have rocks, crystals, metals and gems in place of earrings. He has one eye and one gemstone in place of the second. A strange brand encircles the gem-filled eye socket. Though friendly, Haji’s appearance tends to shock and scare the people he meets. He has few friends.

Haji was raised and kept as a slave by a mean half-orc shaman. His Master was cruel to him, and forced him to participate in strange rituals. When Haji was young his Master tore out his eye and branded a strange triangular rune around the empty eye socket. After it healed, Haji took to placing decorative stones and gems in this eye socket, to make himself feel better. His Master forced Haji to work as a miner, ceaselessly toiling beneath the earth for stones, and for… something else. Something big. Haji never discovered what it was. Still, Haji toiled long and hard, suffering through great abuse, for scraps of food. To help fill his belly he took to eating small stones, a habit which he still has to this day. Haji dreamed of rumbling in the earth. Earthquakes and worse. To this day he finds such tectonic activity both exciting and comforting. Like an old friend. Working in the mines hardened Haji, and one day he saw a little rat in the tunnels with him. Much to his surprise, the rat looked right into his eyes and spoke.

“Kill your master.”

Haji had gone insane.

Or had he?

Haji saw the rat again and again over the next few days, always it told him the same thing. Eventually, Haji went to bed, dreaming for the first (and only) time in his life of something other than earthquakes: he dreamed of talking rats and something he had never imagined before: freedom.

When he awoke Haji’s master was nowhere to be found. Haji never saw him again.

Free, and with no idea what to do with himself, Haji and the rat–who he’s pretty sure can’t really speak… Can it?–lingered around the camp for a while. Haji shared a few delicious stones with the rat only to see the rat begin to shake and convulse. It frothed at the mouth and soon was overcome with bubbles, which hardened into a rock-like cocoon. Haji was terrified! And oddly… transfixed. He could hear strange voices in his head… Was it the rat? Magic began to awaken inside him. An hour later the cocoon cracked open and the rat came out with strange rock-like protrusions sprouting from his skin. And Haji? Haji could use magic! Whatever had happened, Haji and the rat were inseparable after that. They happily shared a few stones together each morning, which always resulted in a new stone coating for the rat and magical powers for Haji. The rat told him his name was Rothmhar. At least, Haji thinks the rat told him that. His mouth never seemed to move…

Eventually the pair set out into the unknown. In time they came to Torch, where Haji worked his trade as a miner, and earned enough coin to get by. When he’s in the town Haji pitches his tent in the junkyard, with the permission of the Junkmaster, Garritt Burrwaddle.  It was there that he met an enthusiastic woman scavenging for junk in order to make a mechanical arm to replace her missing one. In time the pair became lovers and started dating.

A few months ago Haji became a student of Khonnir Baine, owner of the Foundry, Councilman of Torch, and a local mage and alchemist of some repute. Under Khonnir’s tutelage Haji learned more about his strange magical powers. He also became acquainted with Khonnir’s young, adopted daughter, Val.

Haji enjoys mining and being underground. He loves rocks, gems and metals of all kinds. He decorates his flesh with them, sells them to make a living, and consumes them alongside his rat. As a person who grew up with nothing, he loves stuff! But his favourite things? Eating. Haji eats like he’s never going to eat again, stuffing himself to bursting every meal, and eating whenever the opportunity arrises, even if he’s not hungry. Haji still dreams of earthquakes, and often shouts, “Quake and shake!” before charging into battle with his trusty shovel and pick.

But Haji is far more than he seems. First off, his master didn’t take him from anyone, or steal him. His master made him. Haji was his master’s clone. And his rat? A divine conduit to the slumbering god Mhar, who rests beneath the ground, stuck dreaming ceaseless dreams until the day he is awakened. This is why Haji has always toiled: his master wanted him to find Mhar, and with his passing, Haji’s spirit animal has taken up the cause. They hope that in time Haji will find Mhar and awaken him, or grow old and make a new clone, to continue the cycle anew. Whatever the case, Haji’s soon going to discover his rat is more than meets the eye, and the mysterious powers of the world that grants him his magic? Not so benevolent!

Mechanically, Haji is a shaman connected to the spirits of the earth. His patron is Mhar, the slumbering old god of caverns, mountains, volcanoes, chaos, destruction, earth and fire. His spirit animal is the rat, Rothmhar. He fights with the tools of his trade, typically his shovel and miner’s pick. His spells of choice are magic stone, monkeys and obscuring mist, although he’s more than capable of casting magical healing spells, as well. Haji can shoot gouts of acid from his hands and there’s something else… Some other power stirring inside Haji. Something just out of reach…. If only he could unlock it somehow!

Next up is my character. For those of you who read my last post about Iron Gods, you may be wondering which character concept I ended up using. Although my daughter desperately wanted me to make the psychic, and my son was feeling the iron priest, I went with my gut and made a scavenger. Presenting: Nix.

Nix

Pheonix 'Nix'
Art discovered on Pinterest that inspired the creation of Nix, my character for Iron Gods. If anyone knows who drew this amazing piece of work let me know in the comments below so that proper credit can be given!

Nix is a manic, enthusiastic woman who loves nothing more than to tinker with scrap metal and bits of broken technological devices. Born, Pheonix, because of her flaming orange hair and golden eyes, Nix is the daughter of a blacksmith and a failed scholar. While her mother has made a successful career of crafting mundane goods for the locals, her father made little progress in his studies and became a bitter drunk. Despite that her mother has always tried to convince her to ‘make something of herself’ and warned her not to ‘follow in that no-good father of yours’ footsteps, Nix spent her teenage years searching for scrap and broken tech in the junkyard. Although she’s a good engineer, and a decent alchemist, Nix is scatter-brained, and often has five or more projects on the go at once. When she was twenty, Nix lost her entire right arm in an unfortunate junking accident–guess she shouldn’t have put her arm in there! She spent the next five years making herself a mechanical arm as a replacement. Now, with it finally complete (and awesome!), Nix has turned her attention to crafting something new: a gun! Of course, now it’s nothing more than a pile of parts… but hey! One day it’ll do something!

Nix is never happier than when she’s creating. Whether it’s with mechanics, technology, or mixing volatile chemicals, she loves making things with her hands. She’s inventive, and loves trying new things. She’s wild, and wacky. Her enthusiasm and devil-may-care attitude sometimes make people think she’s reckless and crazy. In their defence, she is reckless, but she swears she’s at least a little sane!

Nix lives in a tiny warehouse which serves as her laboratory, workshop, kitchen and bedroom. it’s cluttered and crowded with parts, chemicals, and her many ongoing projects. She sleeps in a dirty bedroll on the floor. When she’s not in her home she’s likely at the Junkyard, digging around for components and spare parts; at the Market, selling her alchemical goods or clockwork devices; or at the Foundry Tavern, getting a decent meal and a drink alongside her dad.

Nix is a well-equipped woman, who’s always ready for trouble. Mechanically, she’s an investigator with the scavenger archetype. She’s incredibly smart, and great with building things, but is reckless and impulsive. Working with heavy machinery and hauling scrap has made her strong, while dodging hazardous materials and dangerous accidents (like the one that took her arm) has honed her reflexes. Nix uses her gadgetry to create devices that produce magical effects, and is most likely to prepare cure light wounds and shock shield, although she also knows hot to craft a number of other devices that serve more utilitarian purposes, including ant haul, comprehend languages, monkeyfish and–one of her personal favourites–firebelly. She’s well armed (pun intended), and is a capable melee combatant. She’s also fond of hurling alchemical creations at her enemies–as long as there’s nothing around she might wreck!

Nix and Haji have been dating for a few months, and are about to embark on a dangerous adventure…

The violet flame atop Black Hill has gone out, and Haji’s good friend, Khonnir Baine, has gone missing in the caverns beneath Torch. With all of the rescue parties sent after him having disappeared, it’s left to this ragtag, obsessive duo to delve beneath Torch, rescue Baine, and blow stuff up until the violet fire returns! If they don’t die first…


Thanks for joining me today! I hope you’re as excited for the Iron Gods Adventure Path as I am! Tune in next time for the start of Haji and Nix’s adventures.

Jessica

Iron Gods Adventure Path

As you may have already read, my husband and I are about to start a campaign for just the two of us, to play in the evenings when my children are going to bed. I own a lot of cool campaigns, but my husband has also played a lot of them. From among the ones he hasn’t played we debated for a while between two choices: Wrath of the Righteous and Iron Gods. In the end we chose Iron Gods.

So what IS Iron Gods, anyway?

Iron Gods is a six-part Pathfinder Adventure Path that fuses sci-fi and fantasy into one awesome campaign. Obviously a ton of inspiration spread out across all kinds of media that clearly influenced this campaign, but all in all if I had to name a few things this campaign feels like, I’d mention the Borderlands Video Games (Borderlands Triple Pack – PlayStation 3, Borderlands – Xbox 360), Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (Blu-ray), Outlander (the film about vikings and aliens, not the tv show about time travel) and the old classic: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. This campaign has an aged, grungy sort of atmosphere about it, and does an excellent job of blending sci-fi themes and worn out advanced technology with typical fantasy fare. This campaign isn’t Starfinder, or some kind of new Sci-FI d20 game. It’s the Pathfinder you know and love, with a some sci-fi themes and loot mixed in for your players to encounter.

This campaign takes place in Numeria, a land of insular barbarians that was struck by strange objects falling from the sky in the distant past. These objects are considered cursed by locals, but are sources of wealth, wonder and knowledge to foreigners. Over time, scholars, treasure hunters and adventurers moved to Numeria, intent on taking all the relics from the sky as they could. Now, Numeria is run by the Black Sovereign, a barbarian King, and the Technic League, a group of unscrupulous, tyrannical scholars who are determined to keep all the lore and technology within the country to themselves. Within this volatile nation lays the town of Torch, the starting place of the campaign and home (or temporary home) to the PCs of Iron Gods.

Torch is known for its bright purple flame that burns constantly atop a massive hill the town is built around. This flame is perfect for smelting sky metals, and is the town’s major source of income and tourism. Recently, the Torch has sputtered out. Knowing this spells disaster for the town, various groups have looked into the matter and only one had any success: Khonnir Baine. Khonnir is a town councillor and wizard who returned a while ago with a deactivated robot he discovered under the town of Torch. Believing that the source of the purple flame also lay under the town, he dropped the robot off at his home and returned underground. He never came back. In desperation the town council has offered a sizeable reward to anyone who can restore the purple flames or find Khonnir Baine. And the PCs happen to be the next group to accept the challenge!

The way I see it, there’s two basic kinds of characters you can make for Iron Gods: characters who accept technology and characters who don’t. Characters who accept technology are probably going to be interested in using technology or figuring out how it works. Whatever their reasons for doing so–greed, curiosity, convenience–they’re the kind of character who’s going to pick up a laser gun and either use it or sell it. Characters that don’t accept technology are going to do the opposite. They’re not going to use the tech they find and chances are, they’re going to try to break it.

Obviously, for either type there’s a ton of characters you can make, and these characters are likely going to have different attitudes and outlooks regarding technology. But for us? We’re going to be a small party, so I would prefer to make a character with the same outlook as my husband. So what was he going to play? I’d have to wait and see…

I set about perusing the many classes archetypes and character options available to me and came up with a few ideas that really tickled my fancy.

First up? The sorcerer. A native Kellid who manifested a bloodline tainted by nanites, this sorceress would have been cast from her tribe when her powers manifested. Left to wander the wilds, she reached Torch and stayed out of desperation. Now working as a scrapper, this sorceress is strong and fit. She knows about technology and hates it with a passion, just as she hates her own powers. Bitter, rude and blunt, I would have a blast playing this character. The nanite bloodline has some cool powers. At low levels you can use the nanites inhabiting your body to coat your weapon and poison your enemies, or use the nanites to improve your skills. At later levels you can use the nanites to heal your own wounds, avoid critical hits, and even become a living swarm yourself. Cool!

Second, a character who loves technology so much it borders on worship. A cleric with the iron priest archetype. This character believes that the Rain of Stars which brought technology falling from the heavens was a divine event. The gods intended these objects as a gift for the people of our planet to use as they desire. You know that dirty, crazed weirdo sitting on the street corner preaching about the end times? THAT’S who this character would be. Minus the whole end-times thing. Haha. With the ability to cast make whole and greater make whole spontaneously, and the ability to channel energy that harms or heals constructs instead of undead, this would be one weird cleric. And if there’s anything I love playing, it’s an eccentric! Although worshipping Brigh would be tempting, I think I’d prefer to worship Nethys, and take both the Destruction and Protection domains, believing that the technology was a gift from Nethys–just another form of magic!

The third character concept I’m interested in is the gunslinger. more specifically, the tech slinger archetype. There’s not much description needed here, really. I mean, if you’re going to play a gunslinger, there’s no better time than during a game that’s bound to give out a few guns! The techslinger archetype swaps out some of the gunslinger’s deeds with new deeds that involve using technological guns and gear instead. It’s quirky, it’s thematic, and it’s a chance to finally play a gunslinger! I’m seriously tempted.

The fourth character concept I’m contemplating–possibly my favourite–is an investigator with the scavenger archetype. Scavenger’s make tiny gadgets to deliver their spells instead of brewing potions and extracts. They give up their poison abilities to get some cool thematic abilities that make them good at making, controlling, harming and healing constructs. Finally, instead of using their inspiration for free on knowledge checks, linguistics and spellcraft, they can use it for free on disable device, appraise and knowledge engineering. This archetype is just… awesome! I love the flavour and abilities and I think it would be a great fit for the town of Torch and the Iron Gods campaign as a whole.

But there’s one concept left I’m super excited for… A psychic! Psychic? Yup! More specifically, a psychic with the mindtech psychic discipline who specializes in using psi-tech. In short, this psychic can communicate with electronic machinery and technological devices. They can amplify and focus their powers through the technology around them, and can essentially mind-control constructs and override their programming at higher levels. There’s a host of cool psi-tech abilities which they can take in place of phrenic amplifications or feat, including the ability to shoot lasers, make force field, and even upload their consciousness into technological devices like robots in order to become an AI. Weird. Cool. Awesome. My only problem? Since Iron Gods doesn’t start with technology in the hands of its players, it could be a while before her powers see good use in the game.

So, while I contemplate my character options, I’ll give my player’s guide a read. I’ll crack open my adventure path volumes and ready the awesome Iron Gods Pawn Collection I got for Christmas.

Let me know your thoughts on Iron Gods and your character ideas below! I’d love to hear them!

Jessica


Sources and Products

Iron Gods is a six part Pathfinder adventure path by Paizo Publishing. The Player’s Guide is a free download, available here. The campaign consists of: Part 1 – Fires of CreationPart 2 – Lords of RustPart 3 – The Choking TowerPart 4 – Valley of the Brain CollectorsPart 5 – Palace of Fallen Stars, and Part 6 – The Divinity Drive. The entire campaign is easy to get your hands on, and each volume is available (at the time of writing this blog post) for between $20 and $30 Canadian on Amazon. There’s plenty of supplemental material written for the campaign, two of which I highly recommend: Iron Gods Pawn Collection, which has a ton of unique pawns for use in this campaign, and The Technology Guide, a book which is packed full with rules and loot you’ll be using throughout the course of the Iron Gods Adventure Path, and some nifty archetypes. Although the Pawn Collection is a steal of a deal, the Technology Guide is currently out of print and costs a pretty penny. It’s available for much cheaper as a PDF download on Paizo’s website, here.

What classes did I talk about today? Clerics and sorcerers are from the Core Rulebook or the Core Rulebook (Pocket Edition). Gunslingers are from Ultimate Combat. Investigators are from the Advanced Class Guide and the Psychic is from Occult Adventures.

The nanite bloodline is from People of the River, a book about the River Kingdoms and Numeria and the people who live there. The iron priest archetype for clerics was published in The Technology Guide, as was the techslinger archetype for gunslingers. Scavenger was from Blood of the Beast, a wonderful little player’s book about animal-inspired races including catfolk, grippli, kitsune, ratfolk and more. Finally, the mindtech discipline for psychics is from Occult Realms.