RTJ - READ ME TO APPLY.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: public
Dungeon Master
 GM, 8 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Fri 15 Apr 2016
at 00:29
What to submit
  1. A commitment to play. My biggest gripe about pbp is how slow things tend to take. A simple conversation can take weeks, combat can take months and a single mission can take years to complete.

    In order to combat that, I'm looking at moving at a quicker pace. I'd like updates multiple times a week if possible and if need be I'm prepared to hit the fast forward button if things start dragging. Don't worry, you'll be forwarned.

    For example: If players are tasked with infiltrating an orc base and are taking weeks to figure out how to do it and the game isn't progressing, I'll post a warning like "Figure out a plan by the end of the week." If that isn't satisfied, we hit the fast forward button and suddnely the group is under attack in the middle of the base. Alarms are blaring but they're inside the base and near the McGuffin. I then tell them what the plan "was", the current situation and let them figure out how to get out of it.

    I hope this is a last resort but I've seen too many games get bogged down to let it happen again.

  2. Character concept
    A brief summary of your character and a brief background. I'm looking at this point for a one sentence summary just so I can quickly get myself in the right frame of mind when viewing the rest of the submission.

    Gnomey, a drunken gnome rogue on the run from gambling debts and is an example to all.

  3. Background
    I really like characters that are tied to the setting of Golarion but intimate knowledge of the setting is not a requirement at all. I like to see successes and failures, strengths and flaws, twists and turns to really make this character jump off the page and feel like someone I have eight thousand ideas on how to guide them, twist them, reward them or punish them. This can be as long or as short as you want as long as it is an example of the type of writing you plan to bring to the game.

    EXTREMELY Abbreviated Example:
    Gnomey was a sample gnome on the run. He had a checkered past where he stole, cheated, smuggled, and all in all ducked over/under/around the law. His reckless ways finally caught up with him when he borrowed too much money from Korba, a local crime boss who now is sending his goons after him.

  4. Why do YOU want to play Pathfinder?
    Are you in it for the thrilling combat? The maidens and maesters in distress? Do you love to swindle the Big Bad into ruining his own plots? What brings you to the table? What brings you the most joy in a roleplaying game like Pathfinder? This is very broad and can be as simple as "I like fighting orcs" to an elaborate tale about how this fantasy world has captured your imagination and dreams. This is to help me understand what motivates you, the player, and ensures that everyone is on the same page. Nobody likes it when you have 3 roleplayers and one die-hard roll-player or vice versa.

  5. Flexibility Score
    6. Flexibility Score
    Some people come in with a character already built in their heads and that is what they want to play. Some players donít care what they play amd could have fun with a commoner. Most lie somewhere in betweem. As I assemble a final party it is important to know how much wiggle room you have in your submission(s)

    Please give a 1-10 score based on this guideline:
    1. I will not play if I have to change anything about them. My character is perfect.
    2. Minor cosmetic or backstory changes only. A different parentage or country of origin but overall the character concept is set.
    3. Minor mechanical tweaks. Swapping out an archetype or switching to different styles within the same class (i.e. going from two-handed ranger to two-weapon fighting)
    4. Minor core changes. Switching from ranged to melee within the same martial class or upgrading backstory from a peasant to nobility or vice versa.
    5. Moderate Changes - Willing to switch classes within the same branch (arcane caster, divine caster, martial). Willing to shift race slightly but the final results would still be fairly recognizable.
    6. Major-ish change. Starting to look like a new character but still preserves about 2/3rds of the original character.
    7. Major Changes - Different race, different gender, different class branch, different backstory but still keeping something from the original concept. If you squint it's still kind of sort of the same character.
    8. New Character with caveats - Basically a brand new character however there are significant restrictions and caveats like "must be an arcane caster" or "no spellcaster class"
    9. New Character with minor caveats - You're willing to make a new character to fit a role but there are just some minor points that you would rather not. You've played 5 rogues so you don't really want to play a rogue-y character but could be persuaded to given a new take on it.
    10. Whatever you want - I don't care what I play. If you want to just make a character and hand it over, go for it!

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:56, Tue 05 June 2018.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 9 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Fri 15 Apr 2016
at 00:29
Just as general advice for those in the game and those watching the RTJ process unfold, when it comes to an RTJ and background, focus less on the narration and more about who they are as a person.

I have been collecting RTJs for years across various games and it is all to common for applicants to only hit surface level details. So-and-so was born here, moved to here, picked up this trade to earn money etc. A character is more then just a bullet point list of things that happened in their life. Yes, the rogue was orphaned on the streets, yes the fighter's parents were killed in a bandit/orc/goblin raid, yes the sorcerer had strange powers that couldn't be harnessed. These are all backstories that I've read a hundred times in a hundred different ways and they all tell me nothing about who the character is.

The WHO/WHAT/WHERE/WHEN questions are fine but can honestly be detailed in a single sentence. The most important question, in my opinion, is the why and this is where many applicants fall short.

Adventuring is very dangerous work so why are they putting aside a life of (relative) comfort to risk their lives at the hands of a goblin's blade or bandit's arrow? Why did they not fit in with their family/friends/community that they would rather march around in untamed lands for months on end with only a vague promise of a reward at the end? Why did they choose X path instead of Y path...the answers to these questions do far more at illustrating who the character is then just a timeline of events of their life.

Another important question is HOW as in "how did this make them feel." It often goes hand-in-hand with the why. Three characters could get their pockets picked but could easily react differently. One could chase after the thief while the other could bemoan their lack of luck while the third could smile as his plan comes together.

If you are just describing the surface level events, that doesn't do nearly as much about explaining who the character is. The first is one of action and justice, the second is more passive and whiny while the third is a mystery that draws the reader in.

So for example, take these two examples:

Gnomey never knew who his parents were because he was an orphan. He had a very hard time growing up without parents and was picked up by a local crime boss named Korba to be a pickpocket. As a chidl he starved and was abused by Korba and so he has intense hatred towards the criminal. Still he rose through the ranks and became a cutpurse but eventually decided to leave the life of crime behind and become an adventurer. Now Korba is angry at him for trying to walk away from his criminal past.

Gnomey was a sample gnome on the run. He had a checkered past where he stole, cheated, smuggled, and all in all ducked over/under/around the law. His reckless ways finally caught up with him when he borrowed too much money from Korba, a local crime boss who now is sending his goons after him. He decided to try and become an "adventurer" to gain some protection and surround himself with muscle in case Korba comes calling.

The second is shorter in word count but I hope paints a clearer picture of who the character is. It clues you into how he would approach plot hooks, how he would interact with other members of the party, and what to expect out of him. It suggest a potential character arc where he can move from being a selfish criminal into a selfless hero.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:06, Tue 05 June 2018.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 10 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Fri 15 Apr 2016
at 00:30
Character Creation
You will generate character stats by using Point Buy. You will have 20 points to distribute across your stats. I will allow attributes to be lowered to generate more points but please be reasonable with it.

You will start at level 1.

Gold & HP
You will start with max HP and roll for starting gold

I'm open to non-core races but these would need to be approved on a case by case scenario. Basically the more powerful/rare/unusual the race the stronger your argument has to be about why you need to use that particular race to fulfill your character concept. I would expect at least some basic research to answer the question "How did he/she/it get to Korvosa?"

The exception to this is Tieflings. Because of the history of the region, Tieflings can be considered pre-approved.

In general I'm willing to listen for the argument for any alignment with the caveat that the game and the party as a whole comes before your character. If you want to play an evil character that is fine but understand that the burden is on your shoulders to keep the group willing to let you tag along. If you cause in-game drama that deepens and embiggens the roleplay, great. Mission accomplished. If the party can't go 5 minutes without you slitting an orphan's throat and pissing off all the plot-important NPCs then I may just let the other PCs murder you and loot your corpse and claim your body for XP. Congrats, you've lost your ability to play an evil character. Roll up a new one (or rage quit out of the game, either or).

You may select 2 traits for your character. I have a variety of sources but not all of them. Just as a word of caution, the traits on d20PFSRD, especially Regional and Religion traits are often not the actual traits but adapted from the Golarion setting to be open game friendly. Instead you should reference the Archives of Nethys that preserves the Golarion setting backed into a lot of Religious and Regional traits.

See below regarding non-core equipments. In general this is standard PF setting so alchemists and gunslingers are okay but just not common.

Pay attention to your bonus language selection. That is all.

Don't be sticking your psychic junk in my sword & sorcery game :P

For everything from character classes, archetypes, races, feats, spells, equipment, gods etc. if it doesn't come from the Core Rulebook it will all have to be addressed on a case by case scenario. In general if it is Paizo published I approve like 95% of non-core options. The big things that get rejected are Eastern Equipment (katanas, Lamellar armor etc.) and anything related to Psychic powers unveiled in Ultimate Occult.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:54, Tue 05 June 2018.