The World.   Posted by Gralphid.Group: public
Gralphid
 GM, 10 posts
 The GM
Mon 18 Feb 2019
at 18:55
The World
The world of the Lost Crusade is different from many RPG worlds in several ways. Magic saturates the land and the people. Powerful monsters dominate the wild places, and only the bravest dare travel through uncivilized lands.

A few things to be aware of:

1. Magic is a strange, omnipresent thing. While it usually works pretty consistently, it is not technology. Casting the same spell over and over, or crafting repeatedly causes the local magic to go ... funny. Extreme care is recommended.
4a. Magic items are crafted from magical ingredients. Depending on player interest, I may go more or less into detail, but basically certain herbs, animal parts, gemstones, etc. are inherently magical, and can be used for crafting. In your own lands, most of the places where these items can be found are imperial property (the rest is controlled by dragons, monsters, Fey, and other beings powerful enough to withstand the might of the empire).

2. While plant life, small animals, and domesticated animals are pretty much the same as on earth, large real world animals both predators and prey are essentially non-existent. If you want an animal companion, talk with me about how it might work.

3. There is only one race of intelligent humanoids, humans. However, the rich magic of the land alters some, causing them to gain strange powers and features. Thus, you get the various magic-touched (e.g. fetchlings, ifrit, etc.). They may be the descendants of other magic touched, or have been exposed to powerful magical energies as a young child or before birth. However, they are not from "another plane of existence" nor are they the descendants of genies or other such races. They are also considered to be humans, although in some places their may be discrimination.

4. Speaking of which, do not assume a great wheel cosmology or anything like that. As far as is generally known, there is just one plane, the one everyone lives on. Plane shift doesn't exist, and summon spells create a facsimile of a creature, rather than summoning one from some other place. Other fluff may change as well.

5. Outsiders and elementals are not natives to other planes, they are concepts given a body. Aligned outsiders, like angels and devils, are moral or emotional concepts, like Kindness or Hate. "Summon" and calling spells actually form a being of the desired type, either temporarily or permanently. Other magic can permanently create such creatures as well, which are then free to act on the nature.

6. Character levels and other mechanics are abstractions for the world, however it is undeniable that some people in the world are vastly more powerful than others. As a general rule, a commoner or other non-adventurer reaches levels 2-3 over their life through minor encounters. People who are driven, elite soldiers, etc. may reach level 5-6 by training. A few brave souls risk their lives fighting monsters and warring against one another. Most die, but those who do reach levels 10-14. There are unlikely to be more than a handful of people in the entire world above level 15.

7. Pathfinder alignments are incredibly poorly defined.

Here's what they mean in your religion.
Good means protectiveness and a willingness to sacrifice oneself for others.
Evil means aggressiveness, and a willingness to take what you want regardless of the harm it causes others.
Law means a love of tradition and rigid rules, and an unwillingness to bend those rules to the particular circumstance. However, two lawful characters may come from different traditions and have different rules.
Chaos means a love of freedom and change, and the feeling that each circumstance requires its own unique approach.

Note that "evil" is thus rather poorly named, and your religion teaches that there is value even within evil. Indeed, two of the lesser gods within the religion are considered evil, but their worship is not prohibited.

7a. There are no alignment restrictions on class, except for clerics, and you can never lose class features for changing alignment.
7b. Paladins must create a personal (or organization based) "code of conduct" which if they violate they lose their powers. The one described in the class is an example, and you may create a new one.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:03, Tue 19 Feb 2019.

The GM
 GM, 30 posts
 Gralphid
Wed 27 Feb 2019
at 02:27
The World
Languages

"Common" is the native language of the capital of the Eternal Empire, but is spoken at least moderately well throughout the empire as a second tongue. Commoners and farmers may know only a few words to communicate with travelers, but most educated and important people will be fluent in it.

There are several regional lands in the empire, each with their own language. However, I haven't fleshed out any of these lands, as you're leaving them behind. If you're interested, feel free to describe your homeland and its tongue.

There are dragons, which have their own language, but they rarely talk with humans (they prefer ignoring and/or eating them) so few know their language. Draconic is said to have a highly complex system of possessives. Every noun is conjugated based on its ownership status and how much claim the speaker is placing on said noun, with subtle differences unintelligible to non-dragons.

"Language" is the name of the holy tongue of the Shards of Infinity. It is a highly logical language in which contradictions and paradoxes are impossible. It is known by most priests and some educated people throughout the empire, although commoners rarely speak it. Religious services are sometimes held in it, and texts are written in it. Use of the holy language for common purposes is frowned on. Summoned outsiders are likely to speak it as well.

Conversely, devils and demons speak a few different unholy tongues, and those heretics who consort with such monsters learn them to communicate with their unholy masters and servants.

There are also the elemental languages (terran, aquan, auran, and ignan) which are spoken rarely, and primarily by elementals.
The GM
 GM, 330 posts
 Gralphid
Sun 14 Apr 2019
at 13:16
The World
Outsiders
Mechanically, outsiders are a creature type, just like in regular pathfinder. Aligned outsiders (demons, devils, angels, etc.) are identified with knowledge (religion). Unaligned outsiders (elementals primarily) are identified with knowledge (arcana).

Lore wise, Outsiders are said to be remnants of the original crystal perfection, strongly influenced by a single part of the world. All outsiders are inherently magical creatures, with a physical form associated with a single essence. The essence of Demons and Devils are negative emotions, like hate, despair, and derision, while Angels are positive emotions, like Love, Kindness, and mercy. Elementals are obviously formed of their element, rocks and metal for Earth, liquids for Water, etc.

It is known that outsiders are commonly seen in places where their essence is strong. So demons of rage and violence show up in old battlefields, while Water elements guard deep river beds and springs, and Angels will show up where a great act of kindness was performed. There is a debate among philosophers whether outsiders are simply attracted to these places, or if the magical essence there somehow forms them. Some philosophers argue that outsiders are from the original crystal perfection, and no news are created, while others think they can be created from the physical world.

Outsiders can also be summoned, via summoning and calling magic. Summoning spells are generally believed to create an imitation of these beings, although some claim that they actually are temporarily summoning one from someplace else in the world. Calling spells do call forth a specific outsider that existed elsewhere.

Just as outsiders are attracted to, or created from, places where there essence is strong, the reverse can also happen. This can be done either intentionally, as a ritual, or through freak magical occurrences. The ashes of a destroyed fire elemental may be a useful component in building a flaming sword. If an angel lives in a forest for long enough, natural creatures born in that area might be celestial creatures. In these cases, the effected objects or creatures are rarely outsiders themselves, but will have some traits of them.
The GM
 GM, 694 posts
 Gralphid
Mon 23 Sep 2019
at 22:42
The World
The Guild
"First, let me explain some important matters of economics. The Guild for the most part does not worry about mere gold. Silver is the medium of exchange of commoners, and gold of the wealthy, but the true elite know that both are meaningless when compared with magical might. The Guild has its own coin, which we call Guild Credit. At any time, you may sell GC to the guild and receive gold in return, but the reverse is almost never true. You cannot simply buy GC. Only magic items may be sold for GC. The Guild sets the value of all magic items. Non-members may purchase items for their full price, and sell them at half the price. Guild members, on the other hand, may purchase items at half price, the same price you sell them to us at."

How this works mechanically:
Magic items, supplies for crafting magic items, etc. may all only be bought and sold at Guild chapter houses, and are bought/sold in GC (Guild credit). Guild credit can be converted to gold on a 1:1 basis, but you cannot buy GC for gold. So gold, art, etc. type loot cannot be converted into magic items. It can be used for lifestyle things, hiring mercenaries, building a base, bribing guards, etc.

The chapter houses are well-stocked, and have access to teleportation like magic, so any minor item may be acquired immediately, any medium item in 1d4 days, and any major item in 2d6 days.

Everyone sells items for a number of GC equal to half the "purchase cost" in GP in the rules. So a Handy Haversack (2000 GP), sells for 1,000 GC.
Non-members buy items for twice that cost, i.e. a Handy Haversack costs a non-member 2000 GC. Except for the fact that gold can't be used for this, this works out to exactly like the normal rules.

Guild Members can buy items for half the purchase cost. So a guild member can buy a Handy Haversack for 1,000 GC. Essentially, Guild Members can trade magic items at cost.

Dues:
Guild members must pay 10% of all magic items and magic supplies (e.g. things that could be used to make magic items) that they loot, repossess, confiscate, or otherwise "acquire" while members of the guild. This includes fights with monsters, other guild members, exploring dungeons, etc. Basically, any way of acquiring magic items other than buying them from the guild. This payment can be in items or in GC, but may not be in GP.
If the total dues after one year is less than 100 GC, they must pay an amount of Gold equal to 100 minus the GC worth of dues. Some rich people will just pay 100 GP of gold a year, never go "adventuring" just for the prestige of saying they are Guild Members. This is encouraged as an excellent way for the Guild to upkeep its vast properties.

Guild members may leave the guild at any time, but if they ever rejoin, they must immediately pay dues as if they had never left (No joining the guild, buying items, then leaving the guild, going adventuring, and coming back and repeating the process).

Members who have paid more than 3,000 GC in dues (Gold dues do not count towards this) may become “retired members.” Such members have a 0 GC minimum of dues, although they still pay dues if they loot magic items. Retired members lead the guild, and also help enforce its rules.

Guild rules are strictly enforced. Lying to or defrauding the guild is NOT recommended.
The GM
 GM, 1382 posts
 Gralphid
Tue 8 Dec 2020
at 17:21
The World
Fonts of Power:It is reasonably well known that in certain places, magic will infuse into objects, plants, or animals in such a way that they can be harvested and used for various things, mostly crafting of magic items, but also for things like spell research and substituting for expensive spell components. The magic manifests differently in different places, sometimes in a gem mine a few gems will glow with magical power, while in other places the hide of a pure black animal in a herd of browns will have power within it.

Anyone with at least 1 rank in knowledge (arcana) would also know that these items of power will always be rare and difficult to harvest. They also tend to attract monsters and creatures of power - and also nations and important people will covet them for their usefulness. They tend to be aligned to certain elements, you imagine if the magic is in mud it will be most useful for earth or water items.