CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two of a Kind

Devotees of Imbrex

Most divine-level beings are cut from the very stuff of the outer realms; whether they be gods, powerful angels, or things of the void. But some creatures can form a connection with greater world just from sheer force of will. Today we will look and one of the powerful fey that have grown beyond their kin and gain godlike power. Imbrex, the Fey Eldest of endings, statues, and twins is a being of such power while still remaining closer to mortal than most other being of divine power. Today we look at three possible sects of this fey deity.

As always, let us imagine we are sitting at our theoretical gaming table. Our imaginary GM sets out the rules for the game that we will play. In this game, we are to make a follower of Imbrex. The character does not need to be a divine caster, just a devotee of The Twins. What character do you make?

For more information on Imbrex
Imbrex’s Pathfinder Wiki Page
Imbrex’s Archives of Nethys Page 


The Entwined


The Entwined are special Oracles that have been chosen – sometimes against their will – by the Elder fey known as Imbrex. Although the actual Entwined are rare and only one or two exist at a time, the cult main consists of their followers, vision interpreters, and other hangers-on. The Entwined themselves are a set of twins who, when in close proximity to each other, show great oracular ability.

The cult consists of those who would take care of the needs of the sets of oracular twins as they are near royalty. There are also those who enact the will of the visions the two see. The sect also includes quite a few fey who are trapped on Golarion as a way to stay connected to their original home in the first world.

The Final Swing


Imbrex is known as the seer of the end. For the fey he is often the last being they see before departing this or the first world. Although not all endings are permanent, the Final Swing sees to those that are. This sect is a group of druids who interpret the will of The Twins and keep balance by ending those things whose time has come. How and where they choose who is ended is unknown, but woe to those who are believed to have passed their usefulness.

Although consisting mainly of fey-touched druids, this sect also includes others who are connected to both nature and the first world. Rangers, shaman, hunters, oracles, witches all have a home within the ranks of the final swing. The endings that they bring are chosen for them and are usually performed with a dispassionate view. Some of the group, however, take a little more pleasure in “ending” someone than others do.

The Mason


The Mason isn’t a sect so much as one individual. He is an ancient elf, some say millennia old -- possibly alive since before earthfall. At one point he was part of a set of twins, oracles who could have been a part of The Entwined if the sect had existed while the other was still alive. Now it is just The Mason.

The Mason enshrines history in stone. His statues are renown among both elves and fey. If he can be found The Mason will take commission work, but mainly his creations end up being placed in seemingly random locations in the forests of Golarion. He keeps none of his own work save one, a cracked and broken statue of an elf. When asked about the stone’s resemblance to himself, The Mason shrugs and changes the subject.

The twin souls of the fey find a home in their followers. Who is your disciple of Imbrex? Why have they chosen to dedicate themselves to The Twins? Where does their devotion to this member of The Eldest come from? Let me know in the comments.

If the CRB has has helped you take a closer look at those inspired by the divine, please consider showing support and become one of my patrons by donating to my Patreon or making a donation to my Paypal. Looking for more out of the CRB? Then you’re in luck! FacebookGoogle +Tumblr, and Twitter all have a CRB presence. And if you’re as impatient as I am, have the CRB pushed directly to your Kindle with every new post by signing up for Kindle Subscriptions.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Character 78 - Bekerra Bloodbreath

Our orc this week in our random rolls gave us some limited choices in classes. Pretty much any caster class was out or she wouldn’t be able to cast any spells. Her eventual turn from the traditional orcish chaotic evil to becoming lawful neutral ment barbarian was out as a class as well. So I decided on her becoming a fighter. Not a traditional role for orcish women but then the joy was in making that work.

Bekerra Bloodbreath


When the orcs that would become rulers of what is now known as the Hold of Belzkan were pushed up from the Darklands, not all of them made their way onto the surface of Golarion. Some used side tunnels to escape their pursuers and then settled into the upper Darklands once the threat of the dwarves had passed.  Bekerra Bloodbreath’s tribe is one of these remnants of the might that was the Orcs of below.

Like most of these Darklands tribes the Crackbone orcs clan is small due to scarcity of space and resources. The Crackbones inhabit the tunnels under the Tusk Mountains on the border of the Hold and what is now the Worldwound. This left the clan with not just enemies below ground but above as the forces of the Demon Horde sought to not just take the surface of Golarion, but everything to its core. So the Crackbone clan was in a constant state of war against these abyssal forces.

Because the Bloodbreath family is related to the chief, Bekerra’s father held no small amount of influence and thus he was allowed a larger brood than most. She was one of eight children, including her twin brother. Like many orc female orcs though Bekerra was treated as little more than cattle, a prize to be won by the strength of a male in her tribe.

The repressed orc knew this was the way of her people and she was constantly fighting a war in her own mind about it. These rebellious thoughts opened her to the whispers in the dark. The demons had been on the losing end of many battles and were forced to take a different route to battle the orcs that wouldn’t join their cause. Bekerra became a host for one of these shadows from the upper world when her father promised her to one of the male orcs from his war party.

Bekerra wasn’t the only one consumed by the fiend, her connection to her twin allowed the demons to worm their way into his mind as well. When the two rebelled and Bekerra would not lay with her new mate the orc attack her father. In the battle her sire was slain and now the warrior took not just her but her mother and siblings into their tents.

Bekerra fought back in every way possible. She wormed secrets from the other women and finding what she could she cast doubt on the loyalty of her father’s killer by putting information about his mother and brothers in the chief’s ear. The fiend pushed her and her brother ever forward into causing havoc in her tribe. But the tribes shaman found her out.

In a long and very painful ritual the demons were torn from the souls of Bekerra and her brother. The chaos in their minds was gone, but so was the family and tribe that they knew. The two made a pact and steeled themselves for a journey to face the surface. They ran from kith and kin to start a new life elsewhere.

The tunnels they followed led them up to the surface between the foothills of the Tusk Mountains and the north end of the Shudderwood. The light burned their eyes but they made for the thick wood to keep the ‘scorching angel’ from destroying them. Even in the daylight the forest was under a constant shadow. The two travelled till they found an odd statue in the wood, and there they rested.

The twins had a fitful nights sleep full of dreams and nightmares. The demons that inhabited them still haunted them but in their sleeping hallucinations they were called upon by a twin soul much like their own. When they awoke Bekerra’s brother chipped two little fetishes out of stone, depictions of he and his sister. He left them at the foot of the statue.

Although she didn’t truly understand it, her twin said they were chosen. That the wood had a connection to a place called the first world. It was all strange to her but when he began to be able to cast minor spells, she followed his lead. They were the twins, warriors of the dual souled Imbrex. He would wield his power and she would protect him with her might.

They fey of the Shudderwood gave the pair a wide berth at first. When the twins began using their might to beat back the demons that would try to corrupt the wood, the creatures of the first world became friendlier. Now the two have purpose and strict and ordered minds like the stone statues of their patron. Never again will they allow the chaos without become the chaos within.

Is this how your character turned out? What class did your orc choose? Who was the demon that possessed her? What was the war of her childhood? Why did she take up the worship of Imbrex?

Bringing these characters to life is a second full-time job. A pledge of as little as one dollar a month on Patreon or a one-time donation to my paypal can help keep the lights on while I concentrate on producing new content for you.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Rainmakers

Jungle Orcs of the Mwangi

Like many races in fantasy we see orcs as being homogenous, all the orcs worldwide are the same with the same basic stats, same basic culture, same basic everything. On Golarion we’ve learned that there are cultures among elves, dwarves, and the other races just like there are humans. I’ve already looked at the snowcaster elves, desert dwarves, and the cannibal halflings of the Kavaa Lands. Today I want to look at one of the many cultural variations of the orcs.

There are a number of variations in the orcish culture. The most commonly known orcs are the plains and hill dwelling ones of The Hold of Belzken, but there are orc all over – and under – Golarion. There are the darklands orcs who returned to their underground home, the desert orc of northern Garund and Qadira, the jungle orcs of the Mwangi Expanse, the mountain orcs of Western Avistan, and the winter orcs native to the crown of the world. Although these separate cultures are touched upon in both Orcs of Golarion, and their half-orc children in Bastards of Golarion, there is actually very little information about them.

The ones that most interest me are the jungle orcs of the Mwangi Expanse. So this week I am going to expand upon their lore.

History


As the dwarves pushed the orcs up into the world above they came out onto the face of Golarion in a few places. Although most of the paths through the darklands led to Avistan – particularly in the northern regions – a few groups that were separated from the greater horde came up elsewhere. One of these groups, which consisted of only three small tribes, found an unused route to the surface that let out in the steaming jungles of the Mwangi.

Without the numbers of the horde, the tribes that would become the jungle orcs did not have the ability to subjugate the other sentient beings around them. They spent their first years above ground trying to scratch out territory for themselves in an area already ripe with many deadly predators. During this early time they also sought a trail back through the darklands to their brethren. Many of the scouts never returned and rather than lose more of their number, the orcs settle into their new home.

Although of one people each of the three tribes demanded their own territory and dispersed to make their own claims on land for themselves. The human tribes of the Mwangi, still reeling from earthfall and the long night that still reigned over the sky, were of little consequence to the orcs who stole pieces of their ancestral lands. The humans could do little to fight back at the time.

The orcs survived in the darkest part of the jungles even after the dust covered sky of earthfall cleared up. The tribal humans began to reassert themselves but gave the orcs a wide berth. By this time the jungle orcs lost the paths into the darklands and they began to lose bits of their own history as older generation died out and newer ones forgot the stories of the past.

The first threat to the orcish tribes, which now numbered maybe a dozen from the original three, was the rise of the Shory Empire. The humans had grown in magical and technological might and began to retake the lands around them. Many of the humans held to their tribal ways as the orcs did, but the leader of the Shory began to tame the land, which included removing threats like the orcs.

By the time the last of the Shory flying cities failed, the jungle orcs were in even more disarray. The tribes had lost many of their numbers and even more of their already vanishing lore. But orcs are survivors if nothing else and they began to rebuild. They had other peoples to contend with now for territory. Tribes of savage halflings and reclusive jungle elves began to flourish alongside the humans of the Mwangi. This is when the orcs began developing their own culture to compensate for the loss of their darklands traditions.

Although fierce, the orcs did not remain the most feared predators of the Mwangi Expanse. As the worshipers of the demon lord Angazhan gathered in the city of Usaro and the fierce Gorilla King lashed out in primal rage from his throne, the jungle orcs took up a defensive posture against this new enemy. With the coming tide of the Gorilla King’s forces the jungle orcs even made deals with the other non-orc tribes around them, who would occasionally come to breed orc stock into their tribes by mating with the porcine beings.

Now neither friend nor foe, the jungle orcs are considered a natural part of the Mwangi Expanse. As long as their territory is respected they keep to themselves. Some small amount of trade is done with the humans, elves, and halflings. It is now not unusual to see one of the jungle orcs on the streets of the trade city of Kibwe, or any of the other major cities in the Expanse.


Physiology


Jungle orcs have the same physiology as their other orcish kin. They have thick muscular builds and porcine features. Oversized pointed teeth fill their mouths, even to the point of having tusk-like protrusions. Although still somewhat aggressive they do not hold to the constant warlike tendencies of their kin and as such have lost their ability to stand in battle while grievously wounded.  What they have gained is the great olfactory senses, which aid them immensely in their jungle homes.

Mechanical Note: Most jungle orcs give up ferocity and weapon familiarity and gain the smeller alternate racial trait.

Family


Although the jungle orc society is slightly more egalitarian than the more well-known plains orcs, it is still a patriarchy. The family unit usually consists of a male and his mates. Since males have as many mates as they can take, you can tell the most powerful male by the number of females he surrounds himself with.

Jungle orcs do not seem to be as fecund as their other kin. That combined with the many dangers that orcs must face every day, from both their environment and other jungle dwellers – particularly the worshipers of Angazhan – means that each child is important, male or female.  Even half-orc children are given much more respect than half breeds of other orcish communities.

Some families also include human members, warriors of other tribes that come to breed half-orcs for their own people’s protection. These human family members are perhaps treated the worst – especially the females – as a means of showing they are worthy of the orcish blood their tribes seek. Regardless of how the orcs within the tribe treat the human “family member,” the orcs would never let outside forces bring harm to these temporary kin.

Society

The tribal society of the jungle orcs is very insular. They are exceedingly territorial and take great pride in what land they can claim and hold. Because of so many outside forces are aligned against them, the orcs still have a war-like attitude and all members of the tribe are trained for battle. This tends to be more defensive than offensive, although some of the larger orc tribes still raid the lands around them.

The society is highly patriarchal and all the chiefs and warleaders of the tribes are male. Most of the warriors are male as well, although some females – usually those who cannot bear children – may become powerful warriors in the tribe. Unlike other tribes, where the roles of females are limited to breeding stock, the jungle orc women are not tossed aside as easily. Some even become prized with doctors and shaman.

Tattoos and piercings play a large role in the society of the jungle orcs. When jungle orcs reach maturity they get their first tatto,o which is more like a series of elaborate and excruciatingly painful markings. These tattoos denote that the young orc is ready to become a full-fledged member of the tribe and is of age to begin mating.

Jungle orcs will add to their initial rite of passage tattoo as they perform great deeds through their short lifetimes. You can tell a jungle orc has lived a life of great meaning – to the orcs at least – by the number of tattoos they have. Some of the greatest chiefs and warleaders are covered head to toe in body art. And in places where tattoos are not present an orc may decorate themselves with horns, thorns, or wooden pins thrust through their body.

Strength rules all in the jungle orc tribes. Cheifdoms are not passed down through family lines, they are taken by the next strongest successor. Usually a chief will die in battle, most often against the minions of the Gorilla King,  but some chiefs live to an older age and will see their right to lead challenged by younger, stronger orcs. When a chief can no longer hold his own in battle, he is no longer chief and he is usually dead.


Alignment and Faith


Because the jungle orcs have by necessity been forced to actually deal and even trade with many of the other races of the Mwangi Expanse, their need to kill for killing’s sake has dwindled. Although on the whole the tribes will never be considered good, they also are not wholly evil. Chaotic Neutral tends to be the most common alignment among the jungle orcs for that reason.

Beings separated from the greater orc horde and the loss of their history has turned the jungle orcs away from the traditional orcish god. Many of the tribes worship Gorum as the deity of strength and battle, paying particular care to appease him before battle with the Gorilla King’s forces. Mostly, however, they have turned to animism as a form of religion.

Orc holy men tend to be witch doctors and shaman who pray to the forces of the world. The uses fetishes and totems to bind spirits and gather power for their tribes. These spirit talkers are both respected and feared for the power they can wield. Unlike other positions of power, women and half-orcs often become powerful religious guides for their tribes.

Relations


Jungle orc’s dealings with the other inhabitants of the Mwangi jungle are strained at best. Sometimes they war and sometimes they trade. Usually, as long as they come peacefully, jungle orcs are allowed into some of the larger human settlements to trade. Even then they are given a wide berth by most and are watched carefully by the city’s guard.

Each tribe will have its own relationship with the other orc tribes, and non-orc tribes. So to say the jungle orcs are friends with this group and not with that does not truly encapsulate the varied of relationships that can be had. The closer a group is to the territory claimed by a jungle orc tribe the more likely that tribe is to be met with hostilities.

The only truly universal relationship among the orc tribes is an intense hatred for the Gorilla King and his assorted simian minions. All jungle orc tribes are prepared for battle against the followers of the Demon Lord Angazhan. If there is anything that can make the jungle orcs ally with just about anyone, it is the forces of the city of Usaro.

Adventurers


Because of the small size of the tribes, adventurers are not that common among the jungle orcs. Some young jungle orcs do feel the call to leave the tribe and seek their own fortune but these are few and far between. Those that do choose the adventuring life are often overwhelmed by all that the outside has to offer.

Barbarians and rangers are probably the two most common routes that jungle orcs take as adventurers. Fighters and more scout-like rogues and slayers aren’t unheard of. Magical acumen is not common among jungle orcs in general, especially more studied traditions such as wizards and magus. Some of the more intelligent orcs become alchemists who build on the jungle orcs tradition of poison making.

Those who can wield magic tend to be divine casters. Shaman, clerics, and druids have a deep tradition among the orcs. Because their power is so well respected, they rarely make their way out into the world. Those that do set out from the tribe find that their powers can garner them much respect in an adventuring party.

Looking for some interesting new character ideas, or enemies for your Mwangi based adventure? Now you can add the jungle orcs to that list. I quite enjoy these culturally different group of traditionally homogenous creatures and I hope you do too. I’m going to make myself a jungle orc character now.

What kind of cultures for other races would you like to see? Would you use these jungle orcs in your Golarion campaign? Would you adapt them to your homebrew world? This is just a short write up, but what other information would you like to see about the jungle orcs?

Has the CRB expanded your views on what an orc can be? Consider becoming a contributor. Monthly donations of as little as one dollar can be made to  my Patreon. A one-time donation can easily be made to my Paypal. Every bit helps me keep the lights on so I can concentrate on bringing you the content you deserve.

The CRB has been growing as a community on social media. Please join us on FacebookGoogle+Tumblr, and Twitter. My inbox is open on all forums for questions, comments, and discussion. If you don’t want to miss a beat make sure you sign up to have the CRB pushed directly to your e-reading device with Kindle Subscriptions through Amazon.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Random Roll 78 - The Randomness

This week’s stat rolls actually leave surprisingly options for appropriate classes, but the background information looks like a lot of fun. Sometimes you don’t need an over the top class to make an interesting character. For me figuring out how this orc came to worship a fey deity will probably be one of the hardest and most interesting things to do. But all of that will have to wait till Friday.

Gender: Female
Race: Orc
Nationality: The Worldwound
Age:  78
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 244lbs
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Str: 18
Dex: 14
Con:  14
Int: 11
Wis: 10
Cha: 9

Homeland: Subterranean
Parents: Only your mother is alive.
Siblings: You have 7 siblings.
- younger sister
- twin brother
- older brother
- youngersister
- youngerbrother
- oldersister
- youngerbrother
Circumstance of Birth: [Noble Birth] You were born to privilege among the nobility. Unless one of your parents is the regent, your family serves a higher-ranked noble but lesser nobles serve your family in turn.
Parent's Profession: [Gentry] You are the child of a minor lord, lady, or noble with an income, hereditary land such as a manor, and titles. You likely grew up in a manor and your parents were paid tribute by peasants. Your parents serve a higher baron, count, or duke.
Major Childhood Event: [The War] You grew up against the backdrop of a major military conflict that affected much of your childhood world. You became accustomed to a short food supply, living in occupied territory, and moving from place to place. Several of the people you knew in your childhood were lost in the war, including members of your family.

Influential Associate:[The Fiend] In your adolescent years, you dealt with or were possessed by a fiend who lent you raw power at a time of great need. This experience tainted your body and mind and changed your life. Some part of the demon remains inside you like an old friend, influencing you toward destructive ends.

Conflict: [Destroyed a Reputation] You deliberately ruined the honor, reputation, or fortunes of another individual or group.
Conflict Subject: Artisan.
Conflict Motivation: Jealousy.
Conflict Resolution: [You Enjoyed It] Those who cling to petty morals have no understanding of what true freedom and power is. The fact is, you enjoyed your part in the conflict and would do it all over again if the opportunity presented itself. Many people know of your misdeed, and they also realize your complete lack of remorse.
Deity/Religious Philosophy:Imbrex

Romantic Relationship(s): [A Few Significant Relationships] You’ve tried to make deep connections with individuals on several occasions, but it’s never worked out.
Drawback: [Reputation or Fame] You’ve worked hard to establish your identity and reputation, and someone who slanders or insults you must answer for it. You strive to promote your identity to the point where everyone knows your reputation.

(Trait) Scrapper
(Trait) Shaper of Reality
(Trait) Influence
(Trait) Kin Guardian
(Trait) Possessed
(Trait) Resilient
(Trait) Rich Parents
(Trait) Surface Stranger
(Story Feat) Damned
(Story Feat) Deny the Reaper
(Drawback) Vain

In the comments please tell us what character you would make with these disparate pieces information? What class would this Orc naturally gravitate towards? What kind of nobles were her parents? How did she come to worship one of the Fey Eldest? What fiend deal with or become possessed by? And don’t forget to stay tuned Friday when my background hits the CRB.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Mother of Invention

Faithful of Brigh

Many of the deities I touch upon have very little written about them, which is why I feel the need to expand on the lore. Although this week’s divine being is a minor deity there has been much said about her. Her popularity has grown since the Iron Gods AP, so people have some of their own ideas on who or what she is. Regardless today we look and Brigh, the minor deity of clockwork, invention, and time. Below are three possible sects which you might consider adding to your campaign.

As always, let us imagine we are sitting at our theoretical gaming table. Our imaginary GM sets out the rules for the game that we will play. In this game, we are to make a follower of Brigh. The character does not need to be a divine caster, just a devotee of The Whisper in Bronze. What character do you make?

For more information on Brigh
Brigh’s Pathfinder Wiki Page
Brigh’s Archives of Nethys Page 


The Testing Mound


Brigh is very popular among gnomes. Although she is considered part of the general Golarion pantheon as a minor deity, the gnomes have adopted her into their own pantheon. The Testing Mound is a group of gnomes dedicated to The Whisper in Bronze who take the testing part of the triangle of Brigh’s teachings very seriously. They seek out new inventions and put them to the test, whether the inventor asks them to or not.

The Testing Mound devises their “tests” after complete study of a given invention. They leave no stone unturned and no gear unspun. All of the gnomes in this sect have some background in engineering. Rogues, alchemists, clerics, and wizards are the most common members of the group. Each would-be member is given an object to put through its paces before being accepted into the sects ranks. How they go about testing the device will determine their acceptance.

The Clockwork Reapers


Although Brigh would like nothing more for every piece of clockwork to operate efficiently and fall into the hand of a user who will appreciate it, this cannot always be the case. In the land of Numeria new and interesting machinery is found or comes to life every day. These machines sometimes operate poorly, or fall into the sinister hands of the Technic League. The Clockwork Reapers work in Numeria to deal with these delicate problems.

Clerics, inquisitors, rangers, slayers, and rogues make up a majority of the Clockwork Reapers. It is their solemn duty to put rampaging mechanical monstrosities down or destroy those that fall into the hands of the Technic League. No follower of Brigh relishes these acts of destruction, but the Reapers swear an oath to keep Numeria safe no matter the cost.


The Mainspring Barrel


Often remembered for her inventions and clockworks it is often forgotten that Brigh keeps the movement of time within her portfolio. Members of the Mainspring Barrel are the recorders of the history of inventions who tell the passing of time by advances in technology. They are first and foremost researchers who can trace back the linage of a particular invention to see how it became what it is today.

A relatively new sect, they take their name from the spring that stores power in one of the more recent inventions, the pocket watch.  The members of this sect each carry their own pocket watch and work tirelessly to maintain its accuracy. The watches are all linked to one another so that should a member of the sect fall while searching for the predecessor to a current device, their research can be found and not go to waste.

Facing the world with this deity’s logic and determination, who is your disciple of Brigh? Why have they chosen to dedicate themselves to The Whisper in the Bronze? Where does their devotion come from? Let me know in the comments.

If the CRB has has helped you take a closer look at those inspired by the divine, please consider showing support and become one of my patrons by donating to my Patreon or making a donation to my Paypal. Looking for more out of the CRB? Then you’re in luck! FacebookGoogle +Tumblr, and Twitter all have a CRB presence. And if you’re as impatient as I am, have the CRB pushed directly to your Kindle with every new post by signing up for Kindle Subscriptions.