April Blooms and d20 News

Well, April’s here and that means rain and puddles and flowers all around. Or it should, anyway. Instead, we’ve got another cold snap and some snow where I live. But soon! Oh, SOON it will feel spring-like outside! Eventually…

Whatever the weather, Spring Break and Easter have just come to an end for us, and my kids are back in school. My son’s more than a little put-out with this situation, but my daughter’s thrilled to get back to Kindergarten and have some fun. Plenty has happened for us this past week, and it’s been more than a little busy. My daughter obsessively loves rabbits, so Easter is her favourite holiday. In fact, the only thing she likes better than Easter is her birthday, which also passed last month, so this time of year’s always a little bonkers. Aside from Easter events, egg hunts and dinners, we also took my kids to get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny at the mall, and tried to squash in enough time to pick up a gift for my kids. My daughter ended up picking out her own Easter gift when she discovered a children’s stuffed chair–that was a pink rabbit. She’s quite pleased with the gift, and sits in her rabbit chair constantly.

We had two opportunities to get some d20 gaming in this week, although we had hoped to get three in. This past Tuesday my kids sifted through their many, many, MANY characters and took a look at the adventures that each adventuring party was in the middle of or about to embark on. They decided to each pick a group and we’d play one on Tuesday, and the other on Friday. My son chose our aptly named ‘Jungle Characters’ while my daughter chose our much beloved ‘Goblin Characters’ who are about to finish up We B4 Goblins! (which is a FREE download and great fun, so you should definitely click that link! Haha). Deciding we’d start with the Jungle crew, I cracked out my old Dungeon Magazine, Volume #136, and we got right down to playing a modified Tensions Rising. Unfortunately, we ended up busy on Friday and didn’t have time to play our trouble-making goblins, but we did find time on Saturday to begin our second adventure with our Starfinder characters! We embarked on an important Wayfinders mission to Elytrio with Yesteryear’s Truth. Full details on our play sessions this week will appear in an upcoming post, but for now, just know that we had a ton of fun!

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Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Pact Worlds

In Starfinder news, Pact Worlds was released last week, which we’re itching to get our hands on in my house. Seriously. Even my husband wants that one! And today it just became sanctioned for Starfinder Society Play. Nearly everything in the entire book is an option. Now, if only I owned it… There were also two new Starfinder Society Scenarios released, which I did splurge on. Scenario #1-10: The Half-Alive Streets is a tier 1-4 mystery involving a lethal bio-tech augmentation that sets the PCs loose on Absalom Station. While Scenario #1-11: In Pursuit of the Scoured Past is a tier 3-6 that sends the PCs to the library world of Athaeum, where they’re on the hunt for information about the Scoured Stars Incident. Also joining you? Some Hellknights from the Order of the Pyre! How could it go wrong? Neither of these scenarios involve starship battles.

Later this month the volume five in the Dead Suns adventure path will be released: The Thirteenth Gate. Dead Suns begins with Volume One: Incident at Absalom Station, which I’ve found great fun. They’ve also announced the next Starfinder Adventure Path. For those of you who don’t know, Starfinder Adventure Paths are going to be of varying lengths. One six-part series, followed by two three-part series’. This means that once Dead Suns wraps up we’ll be treated to Against the Aeon Throne, which is a three volume series that begins at level one with The Reach of the Empire. This Adventure Path pits the PCs against the Azlanti Star Empire which I’m absurdly excited for! Afterwards we’ll get to play Signal of Screams, which begins at level 7 with The Diaspora Strain. I’m particularly interested in this one as it strikes me as a horror themed space adventure which is just AWESOME. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path: Volume Two: Songbird, Scion, Saboteur

As for Pathfinder, the second volume of War for the Crown, Songbird, Scion, Saboteur has been on game shelves for a while, but volume three, Twilight Child, is due out later this month. If you’ve been reading my blog lately you’ll know that I’m super excited for this campaign, although I’m not yet lucky enough to own it. Last month Merchant’s Manifest came out, which admittedly, I’m not very excited for. But, later this month a sourcebook on the creepy nation of Nidal is released. Called Nidal, Land of Shadows, this IS a book I’m thrilled for. I’ve always been drawn to this ominous place and I can’t wait to see what they do with it. The Pathfinder Society has two neat scenario’s out this month. The first is Scenario #9-16: Fallen Family, Broken Name, which is a series of five one-hour quests that take place in Isger and revolves around the now deceased Irrica family who were said to command some kind of supernatural forces. Sent to discover this weapon and the family’s secrets, this scenario sounds like a lot of fun. Plus, if I’m being totally honest, I’ve never had the chance to play in Isger before. This scenario is intended for tiers 1-5. The second scenario recently released is Scenario #9-17: Oath of the Overwatched, which returns to the constantly cursed Blakros Museum and directly involves the Dark Archives faction. I’ve been a big fan of this series of scenarios from way back during Season 0, so I’m desperate to play this one! Intended for tier 5-9, this one’s going to be tricky!

In other news, my whole family’s been loving their play-by-post campaigns they joined for OutPost. My children and I finished one of the scenarios, Scenario #45: Delirium’s Tangle, over a week ago, and my daughter immediately set out to bring her beloved oracle, Lady Naysha into another adventure. She has since joined up in a game of Scenario #5-08: The Confirmation, alongside one of my husband’s new characters. Meanwhile, my son’s forgetful wizard, Fuzzzy, alongside his pet owl, Bobby, joined up to play Master of the Fallen Fortress, a free Pathfinder Module which is sanctioned for Pathfinder Society play. Lady Naysha and Fuzzzy were both previously introduced in this blog post. My character, Juno Berik, has yet to join another game. For those of you curious, our escapades in Delirium’s Tangle can be found here. My husband has had such fun playing his occultist Enzo in our still ongoing Black Waters adventure, that he made three new Pathfinder Society Characters. Toban Tangletop, an eccentric gnomish chef and inquisitor of Shelyn is joining Lady Naysha on her Confirmation; Ruslo, a roguish Varisian slayer who fights with a grappling hook and has a bone to pick with the Aspis Consortium is playing alongside Fuzzzy and Bobby in Master of the Fallen Fortress. And finally, Jeb Barlo, a water kineticist swamper from Wartle, has just begun to tackle Scenario #0-23: Tide of Morning. One of my Starfinder characters has also completed one of her OutPost games: Aurora Vim, a stylish and vain ysoki envoy with a chipper attitude and an ego bigger than a starship. Better known as Rora, this quirky little ball of fun just made a name for herself by tracking down a fugitive on Akiton and saving an entire town in Scenario #1-02: Fugitive on the Red Planet. To read about her adventures on Akiton, check out the completed gameplay thread, here.

And, in anticipation of Pathfinder Playtest, we’ve been reading Paizo’s previews of the new ruleset on their blog. Recent articles include information on critical hits, critical failures and a system that they’re calling the four degrees of success, and a rogue class preview. But, my personal favourite? The details they shared about those beloved pyros: goblins! Colour me intrigued, Paizo!

I hope, like us, your last week has been full of fun, and the glorious sound of rolling dice.

Until next time,

Jessica

War for the Crown: Player’s Guide

Well, it may be a little late (okay, more than a little), but the War for the Crown Player’s Guide has finally been released by Paizo. Meant to go with their War for the Crown Adventure Path, which takes place in the nation of Taldor, this player’s guide is a free download on their website. The War for the Crown Adventure Path is already underway, with volume one, Crownfall, released in February, and volume two, Songbird, Scion, Saboteur, released this month. The other four volumes have yet to be released.

Now, I’m not sure about all of you, but I’ve been supremely excited for the War for the Crown Adventure Path. However, purchasing that lovely little book isn’t in the cards right now, so I was ready to pounce on the Player’s Guide the moment it launched. And I waited…. And waited…. And waited….

But, now that it’s here! Was it worth the wait?

Uh, yeah, obviously. It’s awesome and it’s free.

Want more details? On it!

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War for the Crown Adventure Path, Volume One of Six, Crownfall

Like the Adventure Path Player’s Guides before it, this one is filled with all the information you need to create a character well-suited to the (War for the Crown) Adventure Path, and invested in its major plots and purpose. It contains advice and compiled lists of which classes and archetypes are best suited to the campaign.  It briefly describes the region that the Adventure Path will be taking place in (Taldor, in this instance), as well as the culture or cultures found there. It describes each races place in the region, and gives advice on which obscure races are more common there (I was pleasantly surprised to find Taldor contains a LOT!). It also releases a series of traits specific to the Adventure Path (called Campaign Traits), of which each character is expected to have one.

There was plenty of wonderfully, interesting information in this little guide, and I actually got a really great feel for Taldor from it. Not a clichéd stereotype of the nation, either. An actual feel for the place. It left me happily inspired. Although there’s lots of neat tidbits we could discuss here, I’m not going to go into details. It’s free! You might as well download it yourselves.

My favourite parts of the Player’s Guide were quite unexpected. The first was a wonderfully illustrated map of Taldor. It’s just… beautiful. I love it!

And the second? We finally got a good, clear view of Princess Eutropia Stavian, eldest daughter and only living child of Grand Prince Stavian III, ruler of Taldor. Who? The War for the Crown Adventure Path was not given its name without cause! The players are going to be acting as spies/diplomats/agents of Princess Eutropia herself as she maneuvers through a budding civil war in order to claim Taldor’s throne for herself. And her opponents? Not nearly as awesome as she is! Holy smokes! I knew a bit about her from campaign spoilers, namely that she wanted to change Taldor for the better, she supports reform, she wants to ensure that women could inherit (as currently in Taldor only men can), and wants to claim the throne for herself. I’m not sure what I expected, but the Princess Eutropia we got was not it! In a good way! She’s AMAZING. From her stats to her backstory, from her public attitude to her inner turmoil, and especially THAT ART, she literally blew me away. Never mind who her opponents are, I’m in, hands down. Call it! I support the Princess!

Seriously! Look her up.

But, it’s a Player’s Guide! It’s not about our patrons, or our country. Not at its core. At its beating heart the Player’s Guide is a free tool to help players like us make characters who will work well within the Adventure Path they’re going to commit to. It should inspire us to make characters, entice us with ideas, provide us with some cool traits, and let us go crazy. And this one did.

So after reading the guide, what would I make?

A good question!

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War for the Crown Adventure Path, Volume Two of Six, Songbird, Scion, Saboteur

There’s plenty of character concepts you could run with for this campaign, and a ton of classes that would work. Rogues and bards (from the Core Rulebook or the Core Rulebook (Pocket Edition)) as well as investigators (from the Advanced Class Guide or the Advanced Class Guide (Pocket Edition)) are the most obvious options, and probably the best suited to the campaign. But, I’m not one for optimization. I won’t play something just because it’s going to be the best or the most useful. It’s characters and quirkiness that I tend to enjoy most. So, I gave all the classes a lot of thought. I quickly narrowed it down to four classes that I was inspired to make. Yes, bard was one of them. I LOVE bards. Absolutely, positively, my favourite class. And although I’ve made plenty of bards, they all seem doomed to have their campaigns crash and burn and die. So sad. Which means that bard is once again a strong contender for class choice. I also adore occultists, and making one who utilizes ancient relics of Taldor sounds like a ton of fun. The third option I’m contemplating is the mesmerist. I recently had a chance to test one (finally) as a player for a Pathfinder Society Scenario and I just had a ball. I think mesmerist’s would be a great choice for this campaign. Both the occultist and mesmerist are from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures.

And lastly? The vigilante, of course! I feel that vigilante’s are a hard class to play. Not mechanically, but to actually use. At their heart they’re linked to one area or region (which not a ton of campaigns are) and they rely on keeping your two identities secret (which could be a challenge among certain parties, and even among players). Although I’ve been interested in them since their release in Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Intrigue, I haven’t had opportunity to play one before. And War for the Crown seems like the PERFECT time. Honestly! Is there ever going to be a better chance than this campaign? I highly doubt it. How can I resist?

So, although mesmerist is a close runner-up, I’d play a vigilante for War for the Crown. But what kind? One that I’ve desperately wanted to play since it’s publication is the magical child. Yeah, yeah. It’s cheesy, I know. But my favourite show growing up was Sailor Moon. This archetype is literally my childhood dreams all rolled up into a spectacular little package! So, obviously I want to make one. But, it’s not the only vigilante archetype I’m interested in. The warlock is also cool. With the ability to hurl magical bolts or wield them in melee combat and up to sixth level spells at your disposal, I think this archetype would be a ton of fun. And finally, the psychometrist! This class gains the ability to use the focus powers of the occultist class, with implements you designed yourself. You get to be an master inventor, who utilizes awesome gadgets. How cool is that? All three archetypes are from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Intrigue.

In the end, it was the psychometrist that won me over. I’d probably play a clever woman… The daughter of an inventor or craftsman. She was married to a ‘like-minded’ man before her father’s death so that she could inherit her father’s business and home (through her husband). Unfortunately, her husband wasn’t as ‘like-minded’ as they thought. He sold the business, took over the house, and was generally a big jerk. Infuriated, she lobbied for change and reformation, making a public spectacle of herself, and gaining the support of many of the lower classes (or at least causing them to talk). In order to shut her up, she was given a government job tending to the plights of the commoners. It was office work, reading official requests for assistance and sorting them by priority and importance. Unfortunately, the department she was supposed to pass on her recommendations to, turned out to be completely un-staffed. It existed only on paper. Her job was useless! A sham! And her reputation? Ruined! Or was it? Using the complaints as a guide, and her father’s inventions (with a few modifications of her own), she took to the streets to help those in need. She would save Taldor one person at a time!

How about you? What character concepts and builds would YOU like to play for War for the Crown? I’d love to hear them!

Until then,

Get reading! You’ve got a free Player’s Guide to download!

Jessica



Update: All of the issues of War for the Crown are now available!

War for the Crown: Book One: Crownfall

War for the Crown: Book 2: Songbird, Scion, Saboteur

War for the Crown: Book Three: Twilight Child

War for the Crown: Book Four: City in the Lion’s Eye

War for the Crown: Book Five: The Reaper’s Right Hand

War for the Crown: Book Six: The Six-Legend Soul