So I will be at PhilCon this weekend, doing the pretend celebrity thing, sitting on panels, and otherwise acting important. Most importantly, I will be running a demo of a new campaign setting I am working on for the Pathfinder system.
The players are taking on the roles of condemned criminals. They have been given a choice: accept their fate and be executed, or agree to travel to a recently discovered new land and help settle it. Part of the character creation process for the setting is to decide not only who your character is, but how they ended up on the wrong side of the law in the first place. Because this is a one-time session, I am supplying pre-generated character sheets to the players. They will be allowed to select from the following character concepts:
Class: Sorcerer (infernal bloodline)
Divine Patron: Devil Worship (Paimon)
Previous Occupation: Royal chef to the royal family
Reason for Arrest: Death of a guest of the royal family
A party guest to the royal family died of food poisoning, and it caused a scandal because people gossiped that it was a political assassination. Though you had nothing to do with the incident, the investigation uncovered your secret altar to Paimon in your private chambers. It was all the evidence needed to convince the Court that you were the responsible party.
Class: Shapeshifter-ranger archtype
Divine Patron: Totem Worship: Bear
Previous Occupation: Trapper
Reason for Arrest: While most of the tribes of Ohanea have slowly evolved into stationary settkements, you clinged to the Jaguar Tribe’s more feral roots. You became an outcast among your people and only came into town to trade hides and meat for supplies. When a child that had been seen talking to you turned up dead two days later, the savage condition of the body led people to blame you. It was clear to you that some animal had killed the child, but the tribe has forgotten how dangerous the jungle can be to the unprepared that wander into it.
The Unwelcome Oracle
Divine Patron: Imperial Temple
Previous Occupation: Tailor
Reason for Arrest: You’ve always been considered odd, particularly when, during times of stress, you started to speak in strange languages. Rumors circulated that you were a devil worshipper, though nothing could be further from the truth. You always tried to use your gifts to help your neighbors, but that didn’t remove the suspicion. During the summer festival, the crowds pushing forward for a chance to see Royal Princess Celestra with her newborn for the first time led to a fight breaking out when someone accidentally knocked someone else to the ground. That evening, Princess Celestra fell ill. That was when one of her guards remembered seeing you standing on a bench, rambling in “infernal tongues.” The Temple declared you must have placed a hex on the Princess and sentenced you to death.
The Unlucky Courier
Class: Guide: ranger archtype
Divine Patron: Totem Worship: Vulture
Previous Occupation: Courier and Armed Escort
Reason for Arrest: A simple delivery between Highcairn and Noorland went wrong when you came across a bandit attack on a merchant wagon in progress. You jumped to the aid of the merchants and killed the attackers. As the husband lay in the dirt with a mortal wound, you moved to help him. The last thing you remember is being struck in the back of the head and falling unconscious. You woke up in a cell. The wife and her surviving bodyguard had reported that you were one of the attackers and the one that actually killed her husband. The judge insisted your version of events made no sense and found you guilty.
The Eco Terrorist
Divine Patron: Druidism/nature
Previous Occupation: Druid
Reason for Arrest: The wetlands of Padura are in pain. The once small settlements of the region grow larger and larger, and with that growth their demands on the local environment increase. The people have forgotten how to live within their means and co-exist. You would remind them. The last straw was when you caught a group of hunters slaughtering a herd of pygmy hippos, only to harvest their tusks and leaving the carcasses to rot. Enraged, you attacked the hunters and killed almost all of them. Unfortunately, one of them got away. Your fellow druids actually turned you in, believing you had gone too far and that your actions would lead to more harm than good.
Child of the Earth
Divine Patron: Earth Elemental (Zeme)
Previous Occupation: Potter
Reason for Arrest: You come from a family of potters and masons. When the Guild of Masons invited you to join, your family refused. You didn’t see the point in allowing a group of outsiders to get involved in your business. Not long after, incidents began to happen that pointed to sabotage. When your father was crippled in once of these incidents, you publicly accused the Guildmaster. A few days later, guards showed up claiming that you had been seen poking around the guildmaster’s home just before a robbery. You still don’t know how those gems got into your room, but with multiple “witnesses” and the goods found in your house, the judge had no choice but to find you guilty…and everyone in the courthouse gasps in shock when the judge sentenced you to death “to set an example” for thieves.
The Assassin’s Apprentice
Divine Patron: The Ascendancy (Self-reflection)
Previous Occupation: Alchemist
Reason for Arrest: It all started when a thief broke into the family business one night. He didn’t know you were working late, and you interrupted him. There was a scuffle, and you ended up killing him after smashing a flask of acid in his face. It was an obvious case of self-defense. The death ate at you for months until you realized why: you enjoyed watching him die. You sought out someone to train you and secretly trained for years. Then your trainer invited you to accompany her on an important assassination. Though you succeed in killing the target, an alarm was sounded. Your trainer turned on you to save herself; tripping you at the worst possible time so that you fell. As the guards stopped to grab you, she slipped out a window and left you to take the fall for the murder.
The Would-Be Pirate King
Class: Pirate-Rogue archtype
Divine Patron: Water Elemental (Xarxal)
Previous Occupation: Sailor
Reason for Arrest: The plan was perfect. Everyone on the crew knew the Captain wasn’t paying them a fair share, and it was time to do something about it. All they had to do was kill the First Mate, then bust into the Captain’s cabin while he was asleep an kill him. Then the Quickling, and the loaded down cargo, would be theirs. But one of the crew had a change of heart and reported your plan to the authorities. You were all arrested just as you prepared to make your move. Your “comrades” all turned on you, pointing you out as the ringleader. To set an example for other would-be pirates, the judge sentenced you to death.
Class: Skirmisher-ranger archtype
Divine Patron: Earth Elemental (Zeme)
Previous Occupation: Bounty Hunter
Reason for Arrest: You tracked a serial rapist across Padura for months, finally capturing him and dragging him back to Ironreed for justice. But when one of the victims turned up dead under mysterious circumstances and two others refused to testify, the man was set free. You learned later that he was the cousin of a powerful Merchant Lord who no doubt used his influence to get his relative out of trouble. You decided to take the law into your own hands. Unfortunately, you were caught right after finishing the deed.
The Overzealous Patriot
Divine Patron: Saint Tamerius
Previous Occupation: Soldier
Reason for Arrest: It was just another night at the tavern. Perhaps too much mead was involved. But when that Mendiak merchant…a damn DWARF no less!…started talking badly abour the Royal family, you decided to set him straight. Words were exchanged, followed by fists. The brawl spilled out to street. When it was over, the dwarf was dead. You tried to claim self-defense (the dwarf drew his weapon first!), but he was a member of one of the powerful Merchant Coalitions. Allowing his death to go unanswered would be a political nightmare. The Empire turned you over to Mendiak for trial, and you were quickly found guilty.
The Gang Leader
Class: Brawler—fighter archtype
Divine Patron: Athiest
Previous Occupation: Carpenter
Reason for Arrest: Your family made a good living in Mendiak, until the Carpenter’s Association moved in and started engaging in price-fixing. The cost of supplies slowly crept up while the cost of finished goods was driven down due to an influx of foreign trade goods. You and a group of your friends decided it was time to teach the leadership of the Association a lesson, and for several years thereafter your band targeted Association trade caravans coming into Mendiak. Eventually, your luck ran out and you were all arrested. It was during your trial that you learned they were also charging you with several murders that you knew you didn’t do. You got the feeling someone was just using you as an opportunity to “clean up” a backlog of unsolved cases, but there was really nothing you could do about it.
Stay tuned for more information about the new setting. And if you want to explore it, come hang out with me Saturday night at PhilCon!