OOC: Character and Party Discussion.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 5 posts
Wed 9 Sep 2015
at 04:22
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
This is the lounge space and huddle circle for players to introduce themselves and discussion their character concepts and any potential prior in-character interactions.

Originally my premise was to start out in a town aligned to the Grand Duchy and probably use the Beyond the Wall playbooks for initial character setup. Things have changed from that point, considering it was originally proposed as a Realms game. I found players interesting in Midgard and I'm interested in giving Midgard a try, so here we are.

This opens us up to alternative party concepts such as:

- A mercenary company seeking employ along the Crossroads or from one of the Seven Cities.
- A free sailing band (::cough:: Northlands reavers::cough::) plying their trade on the Nieder Strait or beyond.
- Or like above, but Triolan Corsairs.
- A cadre of 'advanced' students on a self-study assignment for one of the magical academies of Bemmea.
- A team of operatives working for or against the Dragon Empire.
- Street toughs and fixers in Zobeck or one of the other cities.
- Same premise as the town based concept above, but allegiance to another kingdom (Krakova, Magdar, one of the Seven Cities, Perunalia, etc.)
- Random strangers meet together in a tavern...
- An entire party of kobolds. Not altogether strange for the setting.

I'm interested to hear player thoughts regarding this. Feel free to work out what you're looking for as both a player and character.

What will be the tendencies of your group? Heroic? Gritty? Investigative/Intrigue? Exploration centered? Or purely aiming for fortune? Vengeance? Glory?

For myself, I tend to keep things light and fun. If translated to movie ratings, something like a strong PG-13 with moments of R.
GM
 GM, 7 posts
Wed 9 Sep 2015
at 06:21
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
Before we really get on our way with character creation via rules. I have two questions for the group.

First is this game is currently slated for Pathfinder, any comments or suggestions?

The reason I ask: I'm comfortable with Pathfinder, even if I'm not an expert in the system. Plenty of people run Pathfinder on PbP and do fine with it. I have a lot of PF stuff. If I'm ever lost I could search for something to spark an encounter or spruce up a plot hook with the support behind it.

I can guess there will be differences in opinions on the system. I am open to another rules set, but only if I get an overwhelming consensus on the subject.

Potential alternatives include: AGE, 13th Age, and 5E.

Midgard has AGE support (the first (and only?) 3PP to do so) and with Green Ronin releasing Fantasy AGE and Titansgrave and soon Blue Rose, the system is getting a good injection of material on top of Midgard and the excellent Midgard AGE Bestiary. It seems a light system and possibly comparable to 2E in weight, which is the system I've had very positive experiences with in PbP here (and in Pbem), including with some of the players in this game.

Midgard is also supporting 13th Age and D&D 5E. I have most of the major releases for 13th Age and can get the books for 5E, have some of them already. Midgard just had two PDF books released for 5E covering their setting specific races and backgrounds.

The only reason I didn't pick those systems at the onset is because I have to read up on them. I haven't played them before where I have PF (and played with deconstructing and designing monsters and spells).

I'd be interested in hearing everyone's thoughts on the matter.

---

Second question: If we're going Pathfinder, I'm on the border between running the skills as is or substituting the skills system from 13th Age. It is a less nit & grit system, where instead of discrete narrow skills with incremental ranks and numerous modifiers the character's background (specific elements of it highlighted and given a point value) that drives skill checks.

Here is a more detailed break down of the system:
quote:
Backgrounds & Skill Checks
Backgrounds represent pieces of your character's history that contributes to your character's history as well as their ability to succeed with non-combat skills.

Each character has a number of points to allocate to a set of backgrounds. These are broad categories of experience (cat burglar, for example) rather than specific implementations of that experience (climbing and hiding).

Backgrounds don't sync to a specific ability score, though some backgrounds obviously may get used more often with certain ability scores than others.

Assigning Background Points

Each character gets 8 background points, plus any extra that your class's talents award. Assign your background points to as many backgrounds as you want, up to your total points. You can assign a maximum of 5 points to a single background (and minimum of 1).

Making Skill Checks

When you roll a skill check to find out if you succeed at a task or trick, the GM tells you which ability score is being tested. Then you choose the background you think is relevant to gain the points you have in that background as a bonus to the skill check.

Most skill checks require you to equal or beat a Difficulty Class (DC), set by the environment you are operating in, to succeed.

To make a skill check, use this formula:

D20 + relevant ability modifier + level + relevant background points

Vs.

DC set by the environment

You can't apply multiple backgrounds to the same check; the background with the highest (or tied for highest) bonus applies.

Choosing Your Backgrounds

Choose backgrounds that help you make sense of your characters past, jobs, and settings. Background and skill use is meant to be about fun in-character methods of attempting to advance the plot.

A few possible backgrounds include: acrobat, alchemist, animal trainer, architect, aristocratic noble, assassin, chef, con-woman, goblin exterminator, hunted outlaw, knight errant, magecraft, priest, refugee, scout, shepherd, soldier, spy, temple acolyte, thief, torturer, transformed animal, traveling martial arts pupil, tribal healer, tunnel scout, wandering minstrel, warrior poet, and so on.

Choose the Relevant Ability Score

For players, the point of this background/skill system is to encourage roleplaying and creative solutions to problems. Not every problem can be solved by your dominant abilities. For the GM, it's the chance to make all of the ability scores matter at one time or another.


There are some conversion issues, but I'm reading up on how other groups have handled it. Characters under PF who get bonuses to specific skills will still get those bonuses to those situations (Climb, etc.). There are a few class specific adaptions that need to be made, but we'll set those down when we get there.

This is more in line with how I imagine skills coming into play. It's also along the same  trend from 3E to 3.5E to PF to 5E of collapsing down several marginal use skills into broader (but similarly themed) skills.

I'm fine with the combat component of PF. I like that players can customize their abilities and casters have actual spell collections. The skills I could do without. They take me the longest to work out in 3E/PF when I'm a player than other parts of the characters (considering the number of feats and abilities in PF, that's saying something) and they don't come into use enough (outside of some classes) to warrant the effort spent, imo.

I am also interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
Gackitch
 Doomedpaladin, 1 post
Thu 10 Sep 2015
at 10:52
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
In reply to GM (msg # 1):
I prefer Pathfinder. I've been wanting to play a roachling for a while and that race is only stated for 3.5, Pathfinder, AGE, and 4th. I've been working on a 5th Ed conversion, but it's not ready yet. I haven't played in so long I'm down for however you feel in the regards to skills. Both methods sound fun.  I've been thinking of making a Witch. Blessing my friends and cursing the holy hell out of my enemies. I'm really looking forward to this!

This message was last edited by the player at 13:13, Thu 10 Sept 2015.

Euphronios
 Thieran, 1 post
Thu 10 Sep 2015
at 22:15
OOC: Character and Party Discussion

Hello everyone! I am the one who would like to play a Gearforged...

I am afraid I won't be able to think much about this game (and post here) until about the middle of next week - but I am very much looking forward to it!
Torillan
 Torillan, 1 post
Fri 11 Sep 2015
at 01:11
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
Hey guys. Thanks for the opportunity to play in Midgard.

While I would like to play 5E, I am perfectly happy to use PFRPG. I am familiar enough with both.

I may be settling on an elf ranger, named, oddly enough...Torillan.

Anyway, I am looking forward to gaming again, as I have had a bit of a dry spell.
GM
 GM, 8 posts
Fri 11 Sep 2015
at 22:17
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
Very good to see everyone gathered and posting without mishap.

Thus far our group has (potentially):

- Roachling Witch
- Elf Ranger
- Gearforged (Class TBD)

I haven't heard back from the other players who expressed interest, so for now it may just be the three. I generally find the flow of PbP to be improved by 4+ players as it ensures there are enough people active throughout a typical week to keep a steady pace.

My recruiting options now include posting to the Paizo PbP Recruitment boards or to the RPOL recruitment boards. I might try the former, then the latter, though I believe we will see a couple more interested players regardless of platform.
Raksash
 Hoondatha, 1 post
Sun 13 Sep 2015
at 07:53
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
Hi all. I'll be Player Number Four. I'm totally new to Midgard and mostly new to Pathfinder, though I have plenty of experience with 3.5.

I have no idea which race I want or where I want to be from, yet at least, but I think I'll probably be playing some sort of caster.

Once my head stops hurting, I'll try to put some coherent thought to the kind of game, and rules variants, I favor. Oh, and I'm in Europe, so due to the magic of time zones my posting may be out of sync with some of the others in the group.
Raksash
 Hoondatha, 2 posts
Sun 13 Sep 2015
at 21:40
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
Hi again.

Okay, understanding that I've still only been able to skim the campaign setting and Pathfinder ruleset, I'm thinking of playing a sorcerer. Those bloodline abilities look really neat, though of course it means I have a lot of things to think about in terms of what to choose. I'm also debating whether to go full sorcerer, or gish.

Race is probably going to be human or half-elf. I'd actually like to play a dwarf, but dwarf and sorcerer don't mix (aside from that one bloodline). Still trying to figure that one out.

As for the campaign, I really like the idea of being a covert team ops acting against the Dragon Empire. Of course, that's coming from someone whose other game is Shadowrun… :) But I think it could be a really interesting concept to play. A nice mix of infiltration and combat, with some social interaction thrown in for good measure. Of course, starting at level 1 makes that a bit harder.
GM
 GM, 9 posts
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 02:58
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
And then there were four.

The party currently consists of:
- Roachling Witch
- Elf Ranger
- Human or Elfmarked (or maybe Dwarf) Sorcerer
- Gearforged (Class TBD)

(List ordered by most definite concepts (at least expressed to me) thus far.)

Looks like we're good with arcane casters. We'll know more about the party make-up when classes get finalized. Depending on how we're set up, I might try one brief recruitment post to focus on some areas not covered by our current members. At this time appears to be some combination of martial type, divine caster, and/or roguish sort.

For now, please continue to develop your characters, either in regards to initial stat up or character history/personality write-ups. I've gotten more Pathfinder affirmations than for anything else, so we will utilize Pathfinder as the backbone of our rules.

Use the guidelines in the Of Bones and Blood [Rules] thread for character gen. I am allowing two traits per character, using the offerings appropriate to your region of origin or race/religion/class/etc traits as found in the Midgard Campaign Setting (or any of the Players Guides) or PFRPG core (possibly with some adaptation to the setting).

As for skills, hold off on those for a couple more days. I will have a final decision on the skill ranks versus background points at that time.

For character backgrounds (actual character info, separate from the backgrounds as skills discussion) I don't need anything formal, could even do so in bullet points, but a few lines or paragraphs would help provide me with hooks to customize the game for you. Relatives, friends, mentors, allies, rivals, enemies, life events, personal secrets, goals large and small can come into play as the game progresses.

I would be happy to assist anyone who wants help in working characters into the setting or anything else. Want to be from an active (non-defunct) major noble house, we can talk. Know it will come with reasonable benefits and likewise appropriate disadvantages. Want to import a god or organization from another setting as your patron, we can work on that.

You are of course welcomed to discuss among yourselves if you've had any prior interactions with each other. Whether you are already a group or just coming together. If the former, great. If the latter, no worries, the opening hooks will get everyone on the same page (hopefully).

Also feel free to sound off on your desired game styles (combat, intrigue, exploration, freelance mercenaries, special operatives, etc.) or adventure types/direction (places to see, things to do) if you haven't done so already. I will do my best to fuse that input into a good campaign for everyone.
Torillan
 Torillan, 2 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 01:05
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
Sounds good, and thanks again for the opportunity.

I will be going ahead with an elf ranger (yes, full-blooded elf from Arbonesse forest). Specialty....composite longbow (surprise!!)

More to come...

This message was last edited by the player at 01:06, Tue 15 Sept 2015.

GM
 GM, 10 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 04:17
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
In reply to Torillan (msg # 10):

Excellent. Elven blood is delicious ... er ... or so I've been told.
"Where can one find more of your full-blooded fellows anyway, Mister Elf?"

Current party:
- Roachling Witch
- Elf Ranger
- Human or Elfmarked (or maybe Dwarf) Sorcerer
- Minotaur Barbarian or Druid
- Gearforged (Class TBD)
Kiaven Stonehide
 MShepherd, 1 post
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 13:09
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
Greetings all,

Checking in as the minotaur. I've gone for Barbarian, because the image of an enraged minotaur should be enough to scare the living daylights out of anybody. I mentioned Paul Czege's The Clay That Woke, and that's the kind of minotaur I have in mind - quiet, contemplative, but occasionally just distraught with rage against the world.

I'm taking a scythe as my two-handed weapon, partly because it fits my character concept, and partly because I love the image of a minotaur tripping people with a scythe. I suspect I may revert to a bardiche or similar relatively soon, but for now this looked like a decent option.

I'd go for the "mercenary band" style of play myself, but the group make-up so far points to something else entirely. "Operatives", perhaps. I like the idea of a more gritty playstyle.

I'm not new to roleplaying by any stretch, or play-by-post in general, but I'm newish to Pathfinder, and completely new to the Midgard setting.

Looking forward to starting the campaign!
Raksash
 Hoondatha, 3 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 15:40
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
Welcome. Okay, that makes my life easier. I'd been debating with myself over whether I wanted to do some sort of a gish build with my guy. Since I'm a sorcerer, it would likely be some variety of sorcadin, and I could potentially start off as paladin if the group needed a tank.

But with that role filled, I think I'll just fall back on being a primary spellcaster and leave the gish for another time. Unless, of course, others feel strongly. :)
GM
 GM, 11 posts
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 06:20
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
Current party:
- Roachling Witch
- Elf Ranger
- Minotaur Barbarian
- Human or Elfmarked (or maybe Dwarf) Sorcerer
- Gearforged (Class TBD)
- Player #6 (Class and Race TBD)

***
For skills I've decided to give a hybrid system a try. The benefit is players don't have to do much else in addition to determining their skills and the GM doesn't have to adjust between Pathfinder skill check scales and 13th Age scales. The use of Backgrounds will essentially feel like expanded/broadened Craft or Professions and make up for some of the narrow specificity of the default skill system.

I'm working on a write up for them to explain them more in-depth. Expect details in the next day or so.
Kiaven Stonehide
 MShepherd, 2 posts
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 13:01
OOC: Character and Party Discussion
I didn't know how the character sheet was to be handled for this campaign, so I've put one together on Myth-Weavers for now:

http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheet.html#id=561074

This does have Pathfinder skills on - I'm aware that this is going to change in the next couple of days. Mind, when you've only 4 skill ranks to play with, it's no big deal.