Today we’re finally back after a long, long, long break. Last year I took a short time off from blogging to write my first freelance RPG assignment—Starfinder Society Scenario #2-03: The Withering World. As a quest pack, this adventure was split into five parts, each penned by a different author. Working alongside Arc Riley, Jennifer Povey, Rigby Bendele, and Shahreena Shahrani was a wonderful, exciting experience that I can honestly say has changed my life.
In the time since, I’ve been writing and creating steadily. I’m thrilled to be the author of two further Starfinder Society Scenarios,#2-15: The Infernal Gallery and the newly released #3-02: The Subterranean Safari. I’ve written two Wondrous One-Shot adventures for Dungeon in a Box: The Missing and the Mist and the upcoming Clockwork Heist, which releases August 1st. I’ve contributed to ten additional projects with Paizo, Dungeon in a Box, and other companies, many of which aren’t yet announced. For a full list of my announced freelance RPG credits, check out the new Freelance Work page. It’s a list I’m unbelievably proud of, that I’m working to expand every day.
Earlier this year, right before the Covid-19 outbreak, I was interviewed by John Godek for Presenting… on the Know Direction Network. Those of you who know me personally, know I’m terrified of public speaking, so recording an interview for a podcast is well outside my comfort zone. Thankfully, John was a delight and I didn’t mess up horribly. Haha. You can listen to the interview here.
Despite quarantine, home-schooling, and freelancing, I’ve found equilibrium. I’m happily tackling my freelance projects ahead of schedule, while caring for my kids and the others I babysit during the week, with time to spare. Which has brought me back here.
I’m still here. I’m still gaming. I’m still creating.
My kids have grown to love play-by-post gaming over the last few months. They created their first Pathfinder Society characters back in December so they could play a scenario my brother wrote. Scenario #9-10: Signs in Senghor was a ton of fun. Mr. Ice, Bunny Paras, Paras and Enzo Jeggare accomplished their goals, made allies, and escaped the clutches of a dangerous monster. So when OutPost was announced they made the decision to move their characters online so they could play some more. In addition, they made their second characters. Lady Naysha and her beloved stuffed animal Miss Whiskers, the ever forgetful Fuzzzy and his clever owl Bobby joined the ranks of the Pathfinders.
Recently, they decided they wanted to do more. They each took some time to think, and registered their third Pathfinder Society characters. Today, we’re going to take a look at my son’s.
He wanted to make a paladin. He also wanted to make someone from Fuzzzy’s past. Someone who knew Fuzzzy before he was a forgetful old man. Someone who knew he was a hero. He’s a big fan of demons in his d20 games, which worked well with his concept. In no time at all, on the way to school, he announced suddenly:
“Mom, I am going to make Fuzzzy’s brother. He died too. But when he came back, he didn’t get to forget. He remembers. And it makes him really scared.”
Immediately, I smiled. “That’s a great idea! Do you think he’s going to give in to his fear?”
My son thought for a moment. “He will be very scared. He will shake and stuff and hide behind his shield. But he is a paladin, Mom. Even though he is scared, he will try to protect other people. He will be a hero even if he wants to pee himself in fear and run away.”
“That sounds like he is very brave.” I pointed out.
My son nodded. “The bravest!”
By then we were at school, so he waved at his friends and handed me his backpack. I reminded him not to talk about ‘demons’ too much in school — unsurprisingly a touchy topic for a grade one classroom — and off he went to play.
After school he did his homework (with only mild complaints), and slowly typed his way though his play-by-posts. He pulled out our Pathfinder books and began to look at the pictures. After dinner we say down to make his character.
Choosing a race, class, and religion was easy. Fuzzzy had been a human in life, and his brother would be one as well. He worshipped Iomedae, and was a paladin. We quickly discovered a favoured class bonus for humans that he loved: “Add +1 to the paladin’s energy resistance to one kind of energy (maximum +10).” He chose to go with Fire Resistance 1 to start with, due to his unfortunate past with demons. He knew he wanted to fight with a longsword and a shield. Dented ones! And some big heavy armour that was scratched. The same gear he wore in his battles in the Worldwound. He chose improved shield bash, and weapon focus longsword for his feats.
He also chose his stats quite easily: Str 18, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 8. Strong and healthy. A little smart and a little wise from his time in the military. But not very nimble — his armour is too hard to move in for that. And not charismatic at all! He’s so nervous and scared that it bugs people. Also, he’s used to friends turning out to be traitors and demons and things! So he doesn’t trust people very easily. He is too scared they might be demons in disguise to be good at making friends! He knew that the low charisma could be a problem for a paladin, but he decided he was fine with that.
Then something wonderful happened. As we were browsing through archetypes we came across two that he wanted: torturer crusader and warrior of holy light.
Tortured Crusader is an archetype from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Horror Adventures that represents a paladin who has lived through more terrifying and horrifying experiences than most. These events have left a scar on him. Perfect! It uses Wisdom instead of Charisma — even better! It gives him access to more skills per level than a normal paladin, and new skills. He gives up diplomacy and handle animal (fine with him!) and he gains access to survival skills, and a bunch of skills that would be super useful to a guy who tries to battle demons everyday. They can’t detect evil. Seeing the evil all around them only reminds them of how horrible life is. This could also help keep his new character scared all the time, since he has no idea where evil might strike from next! Their smite evil is also a little different. It’s less effective at level one, but later becomes more effective. My son thought this was alright with him. They can’t use their healing powers to heal others, instead he can only heal himself with them. This is because they want to protect others from evil so much, that they can’t ask others to fight beside them. Even though this is quite a downside for his healing powers, my son liked it. He decided that his character wanted to protect everyone from the pain and trauma that the demons caused him, so he would fight them all on his own. Also, this ability would give him extra uses of smite evil, which he thought was pretty cool. Soon he’ll also gain the ability to set conditions that could cause his healing powers to automatically trigger on himself. My son loved this idea, deciding that it was Iomedae herself, still granting him some extra help now and then.
The second archetype he liked is the Warrior of the Holy Light from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player’s Guide. This archetype made him give up his spell casting. Instead, he can make a magical aura of light that makes himself and his allies a little bit better at fighting. Later, it can do other things, like healing ability damage, providing energy resistance, and even harming evil creatures. He immediately decided to give himself this archetype along with the trait, birthmark. His paladin would have a birthmark on his left palm that looked like a glowing sword. It works as his holy symbol, and helps him shake off charms and compulsions, which is really helpful against demons! When he gets access to his light abilities, it will be his holy birthmark that glows with light. When this happens, his scared paladin will turn into the man he used to be. Iomedae’s holy light will help him remember what its like to be brave.
From there, filling in the rest of his character was easy. He chose ‘a sure thing’ as his second trait, gave himself ranks in Knowledge (planes), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Profession (soldier), Sense Motive and Survival. He chose abyssal as his bonus language. And he spent his money on some good gear. A longsword, heavy steel shield, scale mail and some javelins. He also invested in holy water. He made sure to pick up a wooden holy symbol of Iomedae and a battered old copy of her holy text. His, from before his death. He also invested in a shield sconce and some torches. The rest of his gear was pretty basic: backpack, bedroll, so on and such. With a bit more tweaking, he was ready!
We painstakingly typed up his character sheet on our computer, registered him online. My son browsed through character images and quickly found one he liked. Then we spent some time writing his character biography.
He was ready!
So, on behalf of my son, we’re introducing Sir Lansle Eine. Brother of Fuzzzy. Paladin of Iomedae. Known to most as Sir ‘Scaredy.’
Sir Lansle Eine and his brother Sir Palad Eine were holy paladins in the service of Iomedae. They battled together in the Worldwound and saw many horrors. In the end, at twenty-four and twenty-five years of age, they died. But as the demon tore apart their bodies, Iomedae plucked their souls from the Boneyard and placed them in new bodies. They were brought back to life by their faith and devotion and self-sacrifice. But when they came back they were not the same. Death changes everyone.
Palad came back in the body of an old man, with no memory of his past life. He calls himself Fuzzzy now, and doesn’t remember Lansle at all. Fuzzzy has a pet owl who is very smart—a gift from Iomedae—who keeps Fuzzzy safe and on track. Lansle visits his brother often, but it always makes him both happy and sad. It hurts being forgotten.
Lansle didn’t change as much as Palad. He looks the same, and he remembers everything. That’s the problem. Dying at the hands of demons was terrifying and it left a deep scar on Lansle’s soul. He is scared of dying, and all the things that might make him die. But, he is still a paladin in his heart.
He can’t stand on the sidelines when evil is in the world. He won’t waste his second life.
Sir Lansle decided to do some good. He takes care of his brother, even though Palad/Fuzzzy doesn’t remember him. And he joined the Pathfinders. More specifically, the Silver Crusade. Through his missions he is going to make the world a better place. Even though it makes his knees shake, and his arms turn to jelly. He is a scared, but very brave, guy.
Luckily, my son had no trouble finding a game for him to play in. Sir Lansle is currently working his way through Scenario #7-10: The Consortium Compact. Stopping a shipment of horrible drugs from being spread across the Inner Sea? Definitely a good start!
I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my son’s new character. I know I enjoyed helping him make it.