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.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Random Roll 74 - The Randomness

The warm climate and wet weather of The Shackles is the perfect home for a Lizardfolk. But why does she live in a human city? And how did her parents die? This follower of a deity of bestial regression is served well by her incredible strength and durability, but her lack of coordination could prove a problem. So what do we do with these bits of flotsam that are the random rolls? We’ll see on Friday.

Nationality:The Shackles
Age:  Unknown
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 154 lbs
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Str: 16
Dex: 9
Con:  20
Int: 12
Wis: 10
Cha: 8

Homeland: Raised in a Human Homeland - City or Metropolis
Parents: Both of your parents are dead.
Siblings: You have 5 lizardfolk siblings.
- olderlizardfolk sister
- olderlizardfolk brother
- olderlizardfolk sister
- olderlizardfolk sister
- youngerlizardfolk sister
Circumstance of Birth: [Middle-Class Birth] You were born to the middle class, which includes merchants, artisans, and tradespeople. You likely grew up in a good-sized settlement, and one of your parents is likely associated with a guild or other trade organization. As a free person, you don't experience the bondage of serfdom or peasantry, but you also lack the privilege of the nobility.
Parent's Profession: Sailors
Major Childhood Event: [Major Disaster] You witnessed—and survived—a major disaster in your childhood years, such as a great fire, flood, earthquake, volcano, or storm. It obliterated the settlement where you lived, whether a small village, large city, or entire island.

Influential Associate:[The Criminal] One of your associates committed crimes regularly. He regaled you with many stories of daring robberies and break-ins—and perhaps even murders. You learned most of what you know of the criminal element from him, and he trusted you as a friend.

Conflict: [Destroyed a Reputation] You deliberately ruined the honor, reputation, or fortunes of another individual or group.
Conflict Subject: Artisan.
Conflict Motivation: Hatred or Malice.
Conflict Resolution: [No Guilt] Either guilt is for the weak, or you know you made the right decision. You might not openly brag about your part in the conflict, but you don’t deny it when confronted either.
Deity/Religious Philosophy:Ealdeez

Romantic Relationship(s):[Several Significant Relationships] You’ve engaged in a number of partnerships, but for some reason or another your relationships always fail.
Drawback:[Youth] You reflect upon your youth as a golden time, one ever present in your mind and that refuses to fade into the background. Every day, you feel yourself growing older and closer to your inevitable end. You seek ways to make yourself look and feel young in attempt to rekindle that fire of your adolescence, but despite your attempts, you realize that your time still draws ever nearer.

(Trait) Artisan
(Trait) Brute
(Trait) Canter
(Trait) Kin Guardian
(Trait) Merchant
(Trait) Orphaned
(Trait) Resilient
(Trait) Vagabond Child
(Trait) Worldly
(Story Feat) Unforgotten
(Drawback) Vain

In the comments please tell us what character you would make with these disparate pieces information? What class would this Lizardfolk naturally gravitate towards? What disaster did she witness? Whose reputation did she destroy? And don’t forget to stay tuned Friday when my background hits the CRB.

The CRB not only brings you the creative content you desire but makes you look inside for your own creativity. If you feel both inspired and pushed to created please consider supporting your favorite content provider – that’s me right – by pledging as little as $1 on my Patreon or making a direct donation to my Paypal.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

We Bring Good Things to Life

Thinkers of Bharnarol
This week we’re going to take a look at Bharnhol, the patron of inventors and creators around Golarion. This being appreciates not only the act of creation, but the process that leads to inspiration. He also knows that not everything that can exist should and seeks to curtail inventions that could be harmful to the world. Bharnahol is the Empyreal Lord of creativity, invention, and persistence. Let us take his lead and press ever onward to explore three possible sects of The Tempered Inventor.

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 Bharnarol. The character does not need to be a divine caster, just a devotee of The Tempered Inventor. What character do you make?

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

The Dogged Bulls

Taking their name from male elephants, this sect of Bharnarol worshipers is the material arm of their patron’s will to curb dangerous inventions. The group is especially active in northern avistan. Here they seek to put a stop to some to the Technic League’s more wild creations. They also work around the Worldwound and Mendev to curtail the designs of the Demon Lord Haagenti.

The ranks of this sect are not only persistent but they have creative ways of going about finding their quarry. Hunters, inquisitors, investigators, and rangers make up a majority of this group, although anyone with a will to find and stop dangerous creation will be given a chance. One must first apprentice with a senior member before full acceptance into the sect is given.

The Idea Men

For some it is in the physical act of creating something new, for others the joy is in formulating the idea in the first place. The Idea Men is a very small sect of ascetics who while away their days contemplating what could be. When inspiration is granted by The Tempered Inventor they go out into the world to find just the right person to bring this creation to life.

Most of members of this sect are oracles; their link to Bharnarol is designed to bring the will of creation to life. They use their powers to find the idea and place it with the correct mind. Some do so through veiled whispers, hoping to provide that jolt of inspiration. Others use magic to insinuate the idea directly into a chosen one’s mind. Other still outright tell the would-be inventor the idea and hope for the best.

The Clockwork Church

Magnimar is known to house mystery cults of many of the Empyreal Lords. After the founding of the Golemworks, worship of Bharnarol in his aspect of inventor became even more popular. The Clockwork Church is a small sect of a dozen or so members of the Golemworks who have chosen the Empyreal Lord as their patron.

Although almost exclusively arcane spellcasters , the leader of the sect was chosen by Bharnarol and granted some clerical power. KerseHanderskil has learned to combine both his divine and arcane spellcasting to serve as this sect’s leader. Much like the Golemworks itself, the rest of the congregation is rounded out by wizards and alchemists.

The Empyreal Lord of creativity lends inspiration to his followers. Who is your disciple of Bharnarol? Why have they chosen to dedicate themselves to The Tempered Inventor? Where does their devotion come from? Let me know in the comments.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Character Exploration 73 - Quraish Brokenbough

This week’s random rolls showed us a bright, intuitive, and lithe young half-elf. Born in the crusader state of Mendev, his human blood came to that land from the far off Keleshite Empire. We had to link together at least one parent that was an entertainer, a betrayal, and the worship of Bharnarol among other things. So how did I do it and what class did I choose?

I really liked the technological aspect of Bharnarol, and with a craftsmen as a mentor it seemed to fit together. I wasn’t going to use any 3pp classes so I needed an archetype of a class that had a technical flavor. It stated that Bharnarol’s followers and sometimes the Empyreal Lord himself hunt down those who invent dangerous things. So I needed a technologist who could ferret out an evil inventor. After a very brief search I found the scavenger archetype for the investigator class.

Quraish Brokenbough

Mendev sees people of all races and ethnicities make their way to the frontlines of the battle against chaos. Some of these crusaders and their hangers-on return to their homes, worlds away. Some remain, making a new home for themselves in a land constantly at war. The small town of Krega is one such location, with a diverse population of humans and non-humans.

Krega is situated on the outskirts of the Estrovian Forest. Although the forest itself is considered haunted, for the most part by monstrous beings known as herne, the places close to towns like Krega and Dubrov tend to house those more comfortable living among the trees like elves and gnomes. In one of these small woodland enclaves is where Quarish was born.

Quraish’s father was a crusader from Kyonin who retired to work the land. The boy’s mother came with an enclave of Kelishite warriors seeking glory in battle. Although all of the crusaders died in combat, their retinues lived and either went home or spread across Mendev looking for work. The two met and fell in love in Krega, where his mother sang at a local tavern. She eventually moved out to his father’s forest home, although she would return to the town from time to time to perform.

The woodland enclave was most self-sufficient. Elves, gnomes, and more rural minded humans all pitched in to make it work. The werebear-kin that patrolled the forest would stop in from time to time when rumor of one of the herne surfaced. Each member of the small community had their say and their contribution. Quraish himself was always fond of Yurtok the Numerian craftsman.

Yurtok never talked about his past, although his ease around weird mechanical devices suggested he had some truck with the Technic League. Quraish was always trying to figure out the little doodads and gadgets the old man would create. The boy became a constant in Yurtok’s workshop, so the Kellid eventually took him on as an apprentice.

Living in the wilds usually meant one did what one needed to survive, but never at the expense of those who relied on you. Quraish’s father lived a hard life as a crusader but he instilled in his son the difference between law and justice. He always told his son that you do what is right, regardless of what is expected. These lessons would hold with Quraish his entire life.

Although his father was a worshiper of Erastil, the tenets of Old Deadeye didn’t sing to Quraish’s soul. The young half-elf once again turned to his mentor. The craftsman held a special place in his heart for Bharnarol, the Empyreal Lord of creativity. Although he would speak of what he was before, he says that the agathion saved him from himself. Feeling a call to creation, Quraish chose Bharnarol as his own patron.

One of the reasons his father left Kyonin to become a crusader was that his wife had died. Although she was already an adult, his flight to Mendev also left behind his daughter from his first marriage. When the elven maiden came calling, it was a shock to her father and his new family. Although he had failed to speak of her in the past Quraish and his mother welcomed her as part of the family.

His half-sister was on the run and had nowhere else to turn. She too came to Mendev to fight the demon horde, but she had a falling out with her commander. She felt he was leading her unit to their certain death and she mutinied against him. It saved the lives of many of her fellows – including her commander – but it left her in a precarious position having usurped command. So she ran.

Her father promised to hide her, but his love for his daughter was not held by all. Another former crusader, who still numbered friends among the armies of Kyonin, had heard of her desertion. And even though he and Quraish’s father had been friends for years, he still turned the girl in. The soldiers came and took her away to Krega to await trial.

Quraish, who wasn’t home at the time, managed to follow them back to town. Using a number of his mentor’s inventions he managed free his half-sister. He knew he had broken the law but what is just and right, isn’t always what is the law. Although it could never be proven, everyone assumed he freed her. To this day he has never said where she headed.

The half-elf, now a man, sought to find his own place in the world. His mentor had explained that he originally came to Mendev as a sort of crusader of his own. His patron sought to stop those who would create to destroy and had sent him to fight against the followers of the Demon Lord Haagenti. If the boy wanted his own quest he offered the mission he could no longer undertake.

With his growing mastery of the mechanical arts, as well as an ability to ferret out those who would use invention for evil, Quraish would head out into the world. He would refuse to officially join the armies of the crusaders but he would often work with them when their objectives and his coincided. The worshipers of Haagenti had better beware.

Now that you’ve seen what I came up with, what was your interpretation of these rolls? What class did your half-elf choose? Who were his parents? Who was his influence? Who has he betrayed? When did he start worshiping Bharnarol?

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.

The CRB has been growing as a community on social media; please join us on Facebook, Google+, 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.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What's In a Name

Weapons of Legend

Throughout the history of fantasy literature special weapons have always been named. Frodo had Sting, Drizzt had Icingdeath and Twinkle, and Michael Carpenter had Amoracchius. Named weapons have been popular in gaming as well, turning that +1 longsword into something a little more. I participated in A recent creative challenge where we were given a name and had to describe a special weapon, and that got me thinking about these traditional fantasy tropes.

So I’m going to start with the 800lb elephant in the room, which is how the proliferation of magic items in D&D, since 3.5, and Pathfinder have taken a little of the special out of magic weapons.  When you can buy a +1 weapon at any corner store or pay to have a wizard enchant it to become even more powerful, finding magic items in a trove has now become a matter of trading up. It really takes certain something special out of finding an item of power.

I have to admit as a gamer who started in 2nd edition, this is one of the few things that sometimes tweaks my grognard buttons. I understand that modern D&D is now superheroic high fantasy, but I occasionally long for the days when the glowing sword was something special. But the question is, does that mean we can’t have special or hereditary weapons in either D&D or Pathfinder? To that I answer with a resounding no.

First off, named weapons are as much a roleplay choice as a mechanical choice. A weapon with a moniker is so because it has a achieved a certain notoriety.  Sure you could trade up from that Frostreaver – a +1 Battle axe – to that spiffy new +2 battle axe with no name and no history. Or you could very easily sell the +2 battleaxe and increase the legend of Frostweaver by enchanting it even further. This requires a certain buy in from the players, but it’s not impossible.

The other option is weapons that are already more powerful than you standard enchanted items. Rules for intelligent items have existed for a while but they add special meaning by being unique in the face of a world with magic at every turn. Hrym is a great example of an intelligent weapon in Pathfinder. You can find him in the Pathfinder novel Liar’s Blade and its follow up Liar’s Island.

In an attempt to take some of the prevalent magic from the game, Pathfinder has also added rules for scaling items. This allows for characters to still scale well with the CR system of the game while allowing actual magic items to be rare. This is when you can start having a scaling family blade that a player has from level one. Or you can give them a named magical weapon that is more powerful than the base scaling weapon a player gets.

I haven’t played many other systems, but a few brief sessions using Savage Worlds and FATE lead me to believe that they can handle lower magic worlds better. This in turn would allow magical weapons to seem all the more special, hopefully in a way that lends them to being named. The IronKingdoms RPG – which I’ve only perused and never played – also seems to cover a world in which magical weapons would be special.

Now that we’ve gotten past which system can handle the mid to low ranged magic that allows for magical weapons to be special and deserving of a name, let’s look at how a weapon gets its name. I would say the most common way a weapon gets a name is from some deed its wielder achieved with it. Giantslayer, Dragonsbane, The Demon’s Last Breath are all name that describe a deed a weapon may have performed.

Some weapons are named for the powers the posses. An axe with ice powers may be called Frostreaver. A dagger that always finds a vital spot might be called Kidneypunch. With hundreds of special abilities to choose from you’ll see a wide variety of weapon names. Even weapons with a same or similar ability might be named differently. Two different flaming swords might be called The Salamander’s Kiss, and Firelight.

Some other things to consider may be the look of the weapon. A dagger called the Angel’s Tear may harm evil outsiders and look like a teardrop. A weapon may be named for its creator or the wielder that made it famous in the first place. Or a weapon might be named after the fiercest creature it ever killed. There are thousands of ways to name a weapon but they should all have some sort of special meaning.

Whether you play a high or low magic game, medieval fantasy or modern fantasy, there is always a place for named weapon. How have you used named weapons in your game? What has been the favorite name of a special weapon? Where have players found these weapons of legacy?

Just like a named weapon, each article written on the CRB is special. If you have added to your gaming repertoire with what you have found within this blog please 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 Facebook, Google+, 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, April 17, 2017

Character 73 - The Randomness

Mendev is the land of crusaders, bringing folk from all over the world to fight the encroaching demons. This week’s random rolls bring us a half-elf with Keleshite human ancestry, who was born in this war torn region. Trained by a craftsmen, betrayed by someone he trusted, and instilled with a strong since of justice. What will we make of the bits of information this week? We’ll see on Friday.

Gender: Male
Race: Half-Elf
Human Parent Ethnicity:Keleshite
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 175lbs
Alignment: Neutral Good

Str: 12
Dex: 18
Con:  8
Int: 14
Wis: 14
Cha: 10

Homeland: Forest
Parents: Both of your parents are alive.
Siblings: You have 1 half-sibling.
- older elf sister
Circumstance of Birth: [Lower-Class Birth] You were born among peasants or slum denizens. You grew up working the land around a village or manor, practicing a rudimentary trade, or begging in a settlement.
Parent's Profession: Entertainers
Major Childhood Event: [Betrayal] A friend or family member whom you trusted more than anyone else betrayed you. You have never fully trusted anyone since and prefer to rely on your own abilities rather than place your trust in others.

Influential Associate:[The Craftsperson] One of your major influences cherished perfection in every form of art. This person might have followed any path in life, from craftsperson to artist to assassin. From this person you developed a disciplined mind, a solitary focus, and the ability to create something useful and beautiful.

Conflict: [Cheater] You broke a rule, law, contract, or agreement for your own gain.
Conflict Subject: Soldier or warrior.
Conflict Motivation: Family.
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:Bharnarol

Romantic Relationship(s): [Several Inconsequential Relationships] You have had many lovers but no long-lasting, meaningful relationships.
Drawback: [Justice] Unfairness and injustice are intolerable. Whenever you witness them, you feel compelled to act or speak out. When you’re personally wronged, you require appeasement—or revenge if you don’t receive it.

(Trait) Artisan
(Trait) Log Roller
(Trait) Poverty-Stricken
(Trait) Suspicious
(Trait) Talented
(Drawback) Headstrong

In the comments please tell us what character you would make with these disparate pieces information? What class would this Half-Elf naturally gravitate towards? How his parents end up in Mendev? Who betrayed him? And don’t forget to stay tuned Friday when my background hits the CRB.

The CRB not only brings you the creative content you desire but makes you look inside for your own creativity. If you feel both inspired and pushed to created please consider supporting your favorite content provider – that’s me right – by pledging as little as $1 on my Patreon or making a direct donation to my Paypal.

If you don’t want to miss a beat make sure you sign up to get the CRB pushed directly to your e-reading device with Kindle Subscriptions through Amazon. And to keep up with my other musings and thoughts you can follow the CRB on Facebook, Google+Tumblr, and Twitter.