Pathfinder. E6: Monster Slayers of East March
Concept: Tough monster hunters patrol the borders of East March, the last best defence of the population against the monsters of wald and mountain. The hunters seek to gain bounty enough to retire, flush with gold, to live a life of freedom and honour.
System: Pathfinder E6. Players cannot advance beyond L6, but the Seven Provinces are ruled by a clique of mystic theurges (the wizard/ cleric prestige class) , who are able to pass beyond the E6 cap and become immortal.
Chargen: 20 build points , full hps and gold at L1.
Play: We'd play selected levels : L1 , briefly L2 -> L4 and -> briefly L6. It is assumed that progression through levels 3 and 5 occur 'off screen' as the result of several months' or years' grind and experience.
All players would be asked to use Invisible Castle for rolls, entering game and character details for every roll so there is an observable trail.
DAILY posting is normal, though characters can be put on ice easily for shorter or longer periods. I will puppet absent players' characters assuming average rolls (e.g. 10 on d20) if the time limit is reached. This is a practical, not a punitive measure.
"Heidi" Mooskind, Wilder Guild wanderer [player Silent Wayfarer]
"Leafscale" female Lizardfolk Druid [player JeStor]
Yona Piper, young human woman with bow and pipes, Knife-Juggler's Guild [player Mindstalk]
Volker Spiegelman, human man with a magnificent mustache, Tomb-raiders guild [player Coelocanth]
party NPCs (Active)
party NPCs (Inactive)
Axer, hobgoblin berserker (subjected in combat, served, has left in good cheer)
Drith Kaxarix, hobgoblin guilder from the outsider Greenskin Guild -ha ha! really TombRaiders' Club[not player OMG] (PC, then NPC, now dead)
Vandari_Torvalsdottir arcanist, apprentice theurge [original player Escalation Lad] (AWOL)
Alabaster Of Bak-Tsing, dwarf member of the Order of Fists [Player Knighthawk] (AWOL)
Kloth IronTongue, Hobgoblin guilder Shaman [player Navaren] (paused due to life)
other NPCs of note
sundry Gallifreyan theurges, who've commissioned us to do our job harder
Gunther, guy who tried to get us killed by a wyvern, at large
Conrad, Steward of the Griffon riders, rebel against the theurges, evil
3 novices Heidi has adopted, Hilda + two boys
Jurgen, retired UG
Mundoo the goblin wizard, outside Sunderhutten
40 goldhearts from captured weapons.
200 goldhearts bounty (2*hobgoblins)
400 loot and bounty from raider camp
500 bounty for upper chamber trogs
1000 ghs from river crypts (1,000 share to NPCs)
1000 ghs from bounty on slain zombies, including those killed in drith's expedition
500 in grave goods
100 from Drith's stuff
800 double bounty from dire wolf (pelt sent as rug to the GSs Guildhouse)
800 double bounty from bristle boar
400 from 4 wolves [low bounty on wolves, sadly]
-75ghs, accommodation and fun in SS
-150ghs for 4 CLWs, an antiplague, and an antitoxin [for the party]
-500ghs for bow, on scratch [Heidi]
-30ghs for horse and supplies [party]
-150ghs for 1 endure elements, 1 hide from undead, 4 cure light potions. [for Yona, out of her share]
-320ghs for masterwork rapier as a gift to Hilda
-150ghs for 6x CLW potions
-100ghs for 4x CLW potions (for volker)
-160ghs for masterwork leather armour for volker
-175ghs for masterwork studded leather for Yona
-25ghs for a replacement CLW for Yona (used one)
-12 ghs for 3x fishing net
-30 hearts for 12 silver arrows
Silver flasks. Each Slayer has a flask that maximises the healing potion placed into it.
a potion of flying , +1 bracers of defence and a +1 dart.
a +2 arrow from the Schwinthorpe guild room, taken by Yona, gifted to Heidi
a magical sword taken from the pirate mayor skeletoid... (+2 greatsword, claimed by Heidi)
Storm Quiver, gift/loan from Jurgen, taken by Yona
2 potions of delay poison, a gift from Jurgen
Setting: East March
The Seven Provinces is a Medieval German-feel setting, with cheery cobbled towns and turreted castles, but bounded by monster-infested walds and mountains. The theurges rule as wise, benevolent (or at least non-predatory) caste of rulers, able to use healing and other helpful magic to tend to their population of well-kept serfs. They have managed to dominate society entirely; other magic-user and fighter classes are subordinate to them; not least because it is only the theurges who can emerge [by breaking the E6 cap] as uber-mortals.
Fearful of military strife , they depend on the peasantry to form their own easily-dispersed militia. These companies of barely-trained slingers deal with low-level threats. Since the local milita are no match for the likes of ogres, dire animals or other larger monsters,the theurges licence specialist slayers to kill more dangerous monsters.
Most, perhaps all of the action takes place in one mountainous province, East March, which lies on the eastern borderlands of the known world. East March consists of small villages and a large town, Silver Spires, that nestle close to a large central lake. Mountain valleys run from the lake in all four directions of the compass. A red dragon, Crimsonos, resides in the mountains further to the east of East March. Crimsonos tends not to prey on people but his younger, smaller sister ravages the land, preferring humanfolk as fodder.
- 'Coppers'= 1cp
- 'Silverhearts'=1sp. Copper coin with silver stud centre.
- 'Goldhearts' =1 gp. Same, with gold centre.
- 'Allgolds'=10gps Fully gold coins.
Moon Day, Second day, Third day, Fourth day , Devils day, Angels day
(March=) First spring, middle spring, late spring , first summer, etc..
Post/ Communications: the guilds and theurges have sophisticated measures for communications.
Guilds, esp the UG: All guilders can be required to carry notes from town to town, usually when they are planning to head that way anyhoos. Refusing this task, or opening or losing a message, would be considered a serious misdemeanour.
Theurges: have 'owl riders', novice boys and girls who carry urgent messages between towns. The griffon riders can also be employed where there is a threat of interception.
Player Class Types
Available races:There are no elves or half-orcs (because there are no orcs) in the setting; common races are human, hobgoblin, halfling, tielfling, gnome, dwarf, lizardfolk.
Available classes: There is no paladin class available. The cleric class is only available to wannabe mystic theurges, or members of the Ghost Layers’ Guild (see below). The druid or barbarian class is only available to non-human races who escape human conventions (see below).
Characters can be either i) guild slayers; ii) trainee theurges , iii) Grey Wizards (non-theurge magicians) , or iv) outsiders (unrestricted by the social/ class system).
i) Slayers Guilds
Most human characters will belong to a Slayer's Guild. Slayers have been freed by dispensation from their status as peasants or artisans, and live free, dangerous lives as outsiders. They are paid generous bounties to kill the more dangerous beasts that threaten the borders. Slayers can be men or women, but guilds rarely accept non-humans. There are two types of guild:
The Universal Guild. Based in the far-off City of Gold, the Confederation’s bustling capital. The UG has arrangements with inns in larger towns and even some smaller settlements. It also has smaller guild houses in the capital town of each Province (in East March, Silver Spires). Through these the UG provides its members with basic lodging and (at guild houses) services like weapon smithing.
Specialist guilds: offer training and equipping of particular specialists (archer heroes, furious fists [=monks], two handed swordsmen, etc). Are generally based in the City of Gold or a provincial capital and have few or no branches. In East March one such guild is the Silver Spires Sword School (two-handed sword fighting guild).
Characters gain levels within a particular guild/class identity. Training must occur at the start of each new level within a specific guild to gain a class level. Membership of a new guild is usually free but may be based on selection, and carry obligations.
Universal Guild. Use ranger class but:
- gains Universal Guild membership (free board and travel rations; free or cheap limited debt for mounting expeditions
- gains class skills: Appraise (Int), Bluff(Cha), Gather Information (Cha) and Sense Motive (Wis).
- loses wild empathy and animal companion
- Common chosen enemy categories: Undead, Dragonsish (drakes, dragons, etc), Giant, Goblin, Lycanthropes, Animals,Vermin
Note that Universal Guild members are not rangers , really, but tough, capable wandering slayers. A character has to be a wandering slayer to belong to the UG, rather than a fancy pants fighter specialist type. UG guilders learn their trade on the road, sneering at the weapons guilders in their cloistered training halls.
Wilders’ Lodge: use Ranger class as per core rules.
[Various Weapons] Guilds :use Fighter class. Players start with a free +1 magic weapon. Examples:
- Fellowship of the Quarterstaff
- Archers’ Company
- Axeman’s Union, etc...
Breakers Guild: use rogue class
Ghostslayer’s Guild: Use cleric class but:
- healing spells cannot be selected from the character’s highest spell level
- lose aura. Not always the holiest of men, they use the theurges' own charms and religio-magical paraphernalia to instrumental effect.
- Are proficient in all martial weapons
Tomb robbers Guild: use rogue but :
- Loses Sneak Attack
- Gains and learns to use the Golden Dial of Zox, each point of which can be used once/ day:
- Turn Undead. As level I cleric with no cha bonus.
- Detect Chaos/Evil/Good/Law: Reveals creatures, spells, or objects of selected alignment.
- Detect Undead: Reveals undead within 60 ft.
- Hide from Undead: Undead can’t perceive one subject/level.
- Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law: +2 to AC and saves, counter mind control, hedge out elementals and outsiders.
Order of Fists: use Monk class, naginata-like glaive is counted as a monk’s weapon.
- Guild HQ is in the capital city of the known world, The City of Gold, far from East March
- martial arts of the 'Fists' variety were learned from the [Klingon-like] hobgoblins ; few humans seem to be resilient enough to learn them
- The Fists style, learned from the hobgoblins , includes the use of the (naginata, really) glaive. Glaives can thus be included as a martial arts weapon.
- You have no Universal Guild membership, and may be regarded as an "exotic" by the UG folk
- Unlike most humans , Fists guilds folk tend to have a higher opinion of hobgoblins due to the origin of their art
- Start with max hps and gold
Knife-juggler’s Guild : use bard class, plus extra feat. Morale boosters, tricksters, and collectors of lore who support elite slayer teams and spread word of their fame. (Maybe:) The Knife Jugglers' guild is the most secretive and the least trusted by the theurges. The theurges fear that they collect lore and news to establish an alternative account of the world and its workings, free of theurge control.
Outsider' Guilds : 'Outsider' guilds, based in the capital city, were founded as a safe way to recruit dangerous but useful non-human slayers. They include a Lizardfolk guild (the Bogland Band?) , for LF , and a Greenskin Guild for hobgoblins. They are treated with a measure of disdain (perhaps like 'native' companies in a colonial force) but also have some cachet and mystique.
OTHER GUILDS CAN BE INVENTED BY PLAYERS TO SUIT A NEW CONCEPT....
A powerful, supposedly immortal (if they ‘transcend’) overclass of mystics who rule the Seven Provinces. Men and women usually from the same families. Wear the archetypal robes of a wizard; pointed hat and flowing gorgeous star-studded cloaks. Follow a rigid path, (lower college) Wiz 1-3 followed by(upper college) Cler 1-3. Can transcend in a perilous ceremony to become (immortal?) mystic theurges.
Beliefs: The theurges profess a kind of gnosticsim based on the idea of a shared universal sentience. Their gods and saints are theurge heroes/ martyrs/ leaders from the past , who are capable of superhuman prowess in a few cases [as the only class able to burst out of the E6 cap]. Perhaps even able to persist as long-lived (or even immortal?) leaders. The peasantry are happy to accept the theurges' word that there is a universal consciousness that looks after the world, and requires their obedience and goodness.
Origins: The world was once disunified and ruled by a ruthless military feudal order, like medieval europe's , with a totalitarian church. The theurges saw that this led to continuous warfare, crusade, etc., so managed somehow to wrest control from both the battle-obsessed barons and the hobgoblin warlords they struggled with. The tipping point was a huge inter racial war which threatened to cause chaos and death. Until then lesser players in the society, they intervened [we don't really know how, yet, nudge, nudge] and won control for themselves. They are anti-military, which is the reason the guilds exist- they do the job of fighting but have no political power.
Ranks:theurges end to come from the same families, though talented individuals from the populace are also inducted. A typical life path:
- Initiated by ‘the Spark’ into the Lower College
- Wizard 1. “Initiates”. Wear light blue robes without hats.
- Wizard 2+. “Magicians”. Are formally ‘hatted’ and given dark blue robes.
- At entry to level 4 initiated via the ‘Mystery’ into the Upper College
- Wizard3/ Cleric 1-2 : “Mysterion” . Wear black robes.
- Wizard 3/ Cleric 3: “Master” . Wear white robes.
- At entry to level 7 initiated by the Ascendancy to the Infinite College
- Mystic Theurge 1-3: wear white robes, as Masters. Higher levels wear scarlet, silver or rainbow robes according to mysterious codes.
Theurges who are not initiated into the upper college continue to gain ranks at Wizards but can never thereafter enter the Upper College [ ‘capping’ at level 6]. Those who leave must adopt the grey robes of unaffiliated wizards and sorcerers.
Non –theurge magic users : sorcerers (natural magic-users)or independent wizards who become active outside the supervision of the theurges. They are required to wear grey robes to show their lack of affiliation to the theurges (and cap at L6).
- Hobgoblins. Klingon-like adversaries of humankind. Unlike humans can be barbarians or druids; are frequently monks.
- Lizardfolk (also can be barbarians, druids)
- Dwarves and Gnomes can be almost any (non divine magic using) class- do not need to belong to a guild
- Halflings are gypsy-like wanderers; tend to be rogues or bards
- Human outsiders and outlaws.
- Tieflings are treated like humans .
Map of East March
Guild Records of East March Bounties and Sightings
The group's slayings in the following Year of the Fox, a brief account:
In Bankwood, the small wooded area near lake verge, the FOREST DRAKE which earlier threatened them is killed. Having worked out a tactic to destroy the powerful creatures, the Slayers move on to the High Pine Woods where another FOREST DRAKE is killed.
A MANTICORE is killed in Willow Wood.
The Castle Ruin near Seehauser is raided. As Guildmaster Trollkiller suggested, the DRAGONNE and GARGOYLES turn out to be illusions. GOBLIN CROW RAIDERS are behind the manifestations. They are purged from the castle. But a sinister set of crypts is discovered, guarded by a powerful ghost. The slayers abandon the place soon after killing the goblins.
At Flussthorpe the Riverside Crypts are finally emptied.
In the mines near Grubendorf the SHADOWS are destroyed.
Apart from these efforts each character also undertakes solo business of various kinds, some of it outside of East March in their home guild territory.
Some menaces remain. The creatures survive the group's predations because they are either i) too powerful ii) too remote iii) hard to find or iv) cunning and able to hide/disguise their identity :
|Castle Ruin||Ghost , a sinister crypt|
|Flussthorpe||Troll,actually a scrag|
|High Pine Woods||Wereboar|
|Lake Ruin||Green hag|
Perhaps the most obvious remaining threat remains the dissident Order of Griffon Riders, with their Commander, the Hertzog Conrad. Their small territory remains unthreatened by the peace-loving Theurges. The Riders in turn, are careful not to provoke the Theurges beyond the occasional challenge or taunt.
There is fear, too , that giants might be gathering their strength once again on the Troll Moor, driven westward by the predations of Crimsonos. Speaking of whom, the Sky Devil has been sighted in the night sky by more than one goatherd.