Dr. Si's Curse of the Crimson Throne OOC

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    Dr. Si's Curse of the Crimson Throne OOC

    What Has Gone Before (1. Edge of Anarchy)

    We begin when Dj'hn, Thorson, Edmond and Lynn each receive a message from Zellara the fortune teller. Zellara wants revenge on petty crime lord Gaedren Lamm, and the others have been affected by Lamm in one way or another - Dj'hn and Edmond were once part of his gang of criminal children, Lamm's Lambs. A close friend of Lynn's had become addicted to Shiver thanks to Lamm ruining his life and reputation, and Thorson sought to avenge the death of his true love, Kala.

    They found Lamm in the Old Fishery, having carved their way through his minions. Yargin and Giggles the half-orc ended up dead by Thorson's axe, as did Yargin's dog Bloo and Lamm's pet crocodile Gobbleguts. Lamm himself and the gnome Hookshanks were taken to Citadel Volshyenek. Edmond took in many of Lamm's Lambs, led by the eldest, Kester.

    Whilst they were fighting Lamm, King Eodred II died and the city erupted into chaos. The group rescued a hippogriff rider, one of the Sable Marine company called Grau Kirton, as well as a young dandy threatened by thugs.

    Eventually the riots died down, and the group went to visit the new queen, Ileosa, Eodred's young (and some say spoilt) wife, with the news that they had found her missing brooch amongst Lamm's belongings. Lamm had stolen it from the city jewellers where it had been sent to be repaired.

    Queen Ileosa rewarded the group (minus Thorson who had gone missing) with a monetary reward and a commission to the Korvosa Guard, performing special missions under the command of Marshal Cressida Kroft.

    Their first mission was to kill or capture a group of guard deserters who, under the command of Sergeant Verik Vancaskerkin, had set up giving away free meat at a place called All the World's Meat. The deserters were all captured, although Verik was released under Lynn's supervision to continue the butchery. Verik had a mysterious female benefactor (with whom he was infatuated) who provided the animals (his followers, unknown to him, supplemented this with a bit of murder). A connection with the Arkona family, self-proclaimed lords of Old Korvosa, was discovered, but motive remains unclear.

    The second mission introduced the group to Vencarlo Orisini, an old friend of Marshal Kroft, master of a fencing academy and former tutor to Grau Kirton and the Queen's bodyguard Sabrina Marrin.
    Vencarlo told of trouble with the Chelaxian ambassador, Amprei, and a means to gain his compliance by getting blackmail material from one Devargo Bavarsi, self-styled King of the Spiders and master of the floating vice den that is Eel's End.
    By entertaining the Spider King with a fight with one of his minions, Edmond secured some inciminating letters, whilst Dj'hn managed to sneak into the lower decks of the ship, and return later to free Majenko, a pseudodragon that Devargo kept around to torment.

    With Lynn leaving to become more involved in the running of the butchery (and perhaps more involved with Verik), two new faces joined forces, passing acquaintances of Edmond who were drawn to his efforts to rebuild his old family home and convert it to an orphanage. Brindom Towar and Manachan Aingeali were co-opted into the hunt for Trinia Sabor.

    Trinia, another protege of Vencarlo Orisini, was a painter comissioned to paint a portrait of the king, and the Queen was accusing her of poisoning her former husband. Kroft, preferring a fair trial over mob justice, sent the group to recover Trinia first and bring her into "protective custody". Unfortunately, she panicked and ran, making the job of recovering her a bit harder (not helped by the appearance of some Shingles imps as well). However, mollified by the appearance of Vencarlo, Trinia agreed to accompany the group to the citadel.

    Trinia's accusal and disappearance led to more riots by the trigger-happy Korvosans, during which a young Shoanti boy, Ghaeken, was killed. To complicate matters, his body was then sold to an infamous necromancer name of Rolth. The boy's grandfather, a politically powerful Shoanti figure known as Thousand Bones, threatened terrible retribution of the dishonour was not righted and so Kroft sent her agents into Grey District, and the Dead Warrens.

    Here they encountered undead and an assortment of constructs made from body parts, as well as some of the mysterious derro, an ogrekin called Cabbagehead and an otyugh called Thing. They rescued a couple of prisoners and found Thorson, ensorcerelled by Rolth into serving the derro, but not for long. Although Ghaeken had been chopped up for parts, they managed to return all the bits to Kroft.

    A few days later, the execution of Trinia Sabor was announced. Somehow, word had got to the Queen that she was being held in Citadal Volshyenek, and so the unfortunate girl was taken to Castle Korvosa to meet her fate.
    In front of a packed courtyard, the legendary hero of the people, Blackjack, appeared and rescued Trinia (with some help...).

    Time passed, and a reward was posted for Trinia and Blackjack, although none came forward to collect it. Life returned to normal in Korvosa, until Grau Kirton, Sable Marine, came calling at Edmond's house. His neice was ill with a mysterious sickness. Could anyone help?

    What Has Gone Before (2. Seven Days to the Grave)

    Brienna, the young Varisian neice of Grau Kirton, was ill with a mystery disease. The combined efforts of Brindom, Manachan, Dj'hn and Mamusia Lela served to help her recover, but it was the girl's own constitution that saved her; a cure for the disease was not found.

    The spirit of Zelara, working through Dj'hn, felt a threat to Korvosa and gave a true Harrowing, to guide the heroes through the trials to come.

    As the group helped Vencarlo Orisini smuggle Trinia Sabor out of the city (the renowned swordsman claiming that Blackjack had delivered her to his door), it became apparent that Brienna was not an isolated case. Soon the disease, nicknamed Blood Veil, was sweeping through the city. The Pantheon was besieged, the priests unable to keep up the demand for curative spells. The Queen drafted in one Doctor Devaulus who formed the Queen's Physicians to help find a cure. In order to help the stretched Korvosan Guard keep law and order, the fearsome Grey Maidens were given the role of protectors for the Queen's Physicians, and to maintain martial law in the state of emergency.

    Marshal Kroft kept the heroes busy dealing with the side-effects of the disease; arresting a con artist, Vendra Loaggri, who was selling worthless cures to the desperate and putting a stop to illegal corpse-dumping that had led to an infestation of vampire spawn. Then a Varisian girl, Deyanira Mirukova, came seeking the party's help - Mamusia Lela had been kidnapped by were-rats.

    The party entered the sewer lair of the wererats, most of whom they defeated without killing. Only their leader, Girrigz, was slain. Girrigz was a hothead with ideas of revolution, claiming that he had started the plague as a means of defeating the humans. The other wererats were made to promise not to cause any more trouble, and sent on thier way.

    Mamusia Lela has come to find the group with information (she intimated that the wererats had been told to kidnap her, but also downplayed the importance of Girrigz in the scheme of things). Her information was that the "ghost ship" from a few weeks back was real, and was apparently bearing the markings of a plague ship. Mamusia Lela suspects the strange ship may have connections to the plague, and that its wreck may contain clues that would help to beat it.

    Also with the Mamusia was a young Varisian girl, Deyanira Mirukova, who wanted help finding her brother Ruan, a talented musician. Ruan had been hired by the Carowyn family to play at their mansion, and never returned. Deyanira has been unable to get an answer at the mansion, and unable to find help from official channels. Now, with the city facing lock-down, she is desperate for news of her brother. And so the next morning the group approached Carowyn Manor in South Shore, in search of answers.

    What they found was zombies. Lots of zombies. The entire household had been killed in the middle of a masked ball, and then reanimated, and suspect number one was the mad elf woman in a jester's outfit who kept firing screaming crossbow bolts at them until Majenko finally managed to get a stinger to her. The lone survivor, hiding in the cellar, was Lord Carowyn who said that the jester woman had infected everyone with a fast-acting version of the blood veil disease. The woman, Jolistina, gave little away under questioning except that she worked for the notorious necromancer, Rolth, who was working with "powerful new friends".

    Ruan Mirukova was not amongst the the dead or the undead.

    With Jeremiah's scrolls complete, the group gathered on the shores of the Jeggare River to investigate the mysterious shipwreck that lay beneath the waters. Brindom and Dj'hn were not there, but fate brought along two old friends - Mhairi, a young rogue and old associate of Edmond, and Ignatius, an ifrit of Manachan's acquiantance. What they found was the wreck of the "Direption", inhabited by a sea hag and her shark minions. They brought back two coffers - one a metal one decorated with skulls that contained a dead rat and some silver coins, the other containing the ship's documents, seeming to link it to Dr. Davaulus of the Queen's Physicians.

    Passing the news to Marshal Kroft, she directed the party to The Hospice of the Blessed Maiden, a former Arkona warehouse now used by the Queen's Physicians as a base of operations. Recruiting the assistance of Red, a were-rat rogue, the group scouted the Hospice and came to an unpleasant stand-off with the Grey Maidens tasked to guard it.

    The situation seemed to be defused when Dr. Davaulus, leader of the Queen's Physicians, showed himself and offered to assist the group. However, it became evident that the Doctor was more interested in experimenting on the sick than curing them, and so a fight broke out in which the Doctor, his physicians and the Grey Maidens were defeated, but not before the Doctor and one of the Physicians let slip that a temple to Urgathoa, the Pallid Princess, lay below.

    Edmond sent warning to all his allies - Mamusia Lela, Jeremiah and the Orphans, Lynn and Verik and the Marshal, using Red the wererat as a messenger. The House of the Forgotten was born. Mamusia Lela was first to arrive with some Varisian "grandsons" in tow, and whilst the old healer arranged for the removal of the sick from the Hospice, the party used the secret elevator to head into the lower levels.

    They found, indeed, a temple complex dedicated to Urgathoa, Mistress of Disease, along with trapped doors and a sick "mural" of living corpses. They also found more Physicians, Urgathoan cultists, undead and the necromancer Rolth. Rolth was killed, along with the minions of Urgathoa and in the process the group released more prisoners (Rolth, as well as Davaulus, was experimenting on plague victims), and also found vats of pure blood veil being brewed by the cultists.

    Low on magic, the group decided to retire, but not before checking one last door in the complex. Inside they found a suspiciously vampiric-looking man, another researcher it would seem. The man declared a disinterest in the doings of Rolth, Davaulus and a mysterious priestess and offered his freedom in exchange for his prisoner - the missing ocarina player Ruan Mirukova. In little shape for another fight, the group agreed.

    Returning to the temple later, the group encountered some of the dead cultists, brought back as undead. They also found some netherworld creatures, leukodaemons, trapped inside vats of strange fluid. Three were dead, the fourth very much alive and released by one of the remaining cultists. With the leukodaemon dead, the way was clear to the mysterious priestess that they had heard mention - the Lady Andaisin, Priestess of the Pallid Princess.

    Andaisin offered the chance to drink of the "Seven Blessings" of Urgathoa but the group declined. Combat ensued, and the priestess was duly dispatched but not before she was brought back to life by her goddess as a Daughter of Urgathoa, a monstrous undead creature. Killing her twice seemed to be enough, and the hold of Urgathoa over Korvosa was ended.

    With notes from Rolth and Davaulus, it seemed possible to effect a cure for blood veil, now no longer actively being spread. The group were hailed as heroes in the city, but it was a battered city that was mourning the loss of many lives and now firmly under the iron fist of the Grey Maidens.

    What Has Gone Before (3. Escape From Old Korvosa)

    Old Korvosa has been quarantined. All of the bridges, apart from the stone Montlare Bridge, have been burned, and Grey Maidens watch the stone bridge. Left adrift from the rest of the city and already broken from blood veil, Old Korvosa falls into the anarchy of a gang war, and one figure emerges triumphant, having crushed the Cerulean Brotherhood and Eel's End. The unlikely figure was once Pilts Swastel, propriertor of Exemplary Execrables, a playhouse of dubious taste. Now he calls himself the Emperor of Old Korvosa.

    Majenko flies past the blockade to bring news to the House of the Forgotten, as well as D'jahn and Marshal Kroft hiding inside D'jhan's magic hat. D'jhan performs a last Harrow reading before passing Zellara's Harrow deck on to Manachan. Kroft warns the group that Vencarlo Orisini claimed to have had news of the night that the King died, but that he has since gone missing. The Korvosan Guard is depleted due to the plague, and Grey Maidens now run the city.

    Seeking Vencarlo's house, the group find evidence that it is still inhabited, but also disvover that it is being watched by an urchin, nicknamed 'Boil', who unwittingly leads them to Devargo Bavarsi, formerly the Spider King of Eel's End. Devargo trades information with the group, that Vencarlo was friends with an artist known as Salvatore Scream, who may know where the swordsman had gone. Scream had fallen into the clutches of the Emperor, and Devargo offered help in exchange for the opportunity for revenge.

    The Emperor's "palace" was up in the shingles, and here the group were granted an audience. Pilts agreed to allowing a meeting with his artist, but first the group had to entertain him in a game of blood pig, a no-holds barred brawl involving crueslty to small pigs. They easily overcame his supposed star players, and the Emperor grudgingly granted them five minutes with Scream, but not alone.


    The House of the Forgotten
    Kester - oldest Lamb, now "in charge" of Edmond's Orphanage.
    Ol' Jeremiah - wizard, cast out of the Acadamae and blinded by a rival, now cured and living in the orphanage.
    Dj'hn - tiny urchin with mysterious powers, but unreliable at timekeeping.
    Majenko - Dj'hn's pseudodragon friend, once hostage to Devargo Barisi

    Verik Vancaskerkin - former guard, now running All the World's Meat.
    Lynn D'Archess - former adventurer, now living with Verik,
    Marshal Cressida Kroft - commander of Korvosa Guard, the civil defence force.
    Vencarlo Orisini - flamboyant fencing master, friend of Kroft

    Mamusia Lela - Old Varisian midwife and healer, out of her depth.
    Taddeus - grandson of Mamusia Lela.
    Milos - grandson of Mamusia Lela.
    Grau Kirton - Lieutenant in Sable Company, prone to drinking too much.
    Tayce Soldado - Grau's sister, a widow with three children.
    Brienna Soldado - Tayce's 9 year old daughter, first victim of Blood Veil (now cured).
    Deyanira Mirukova - Varisian girl in need of help.
    Ruan Mirukova - her brother, a missing ocarina player of some renown. Now rescued.

    Eries Yelloweyes - fishwife, secret wererat moderate.
    "Red" - helpful wererat burglar.

    Defeated Villains
    Gaedren Lamm - Miserable old crime lord, apparently languishing in the dungeons of Castle Korvosa.
    Hookshanks - gnome minion of Lamm, in prison in Longacre Building.
    Yargin - Lamm's accountant. Dead.
    Giggles - psycopathic half-orc companion of Lamm. Dead.

    Parns, Karralo, Baldrago, Malder - Verik's fellow deserters, now doing time in the brig.

    Rolth - infamous necromancer, not at home. Implicated in blood veil and now dead.
    Cabbagehead - Rolth's idiot jailer. Dead
    Vreeg - Rolth's derro apprentice, now bisected.
    Various other derro - Abduction, cattle mutilation, strange experiments? Korvosa's version of the Greys, now awaiting execution.
    Jolistina Susperio - Harley Quinn wannabe, mad elf in thrall to Rolth. Imprisoned.

    Vendra Loaggri - purveyor of Lavender's Luxurious Liniment, a snake-oil cure.

    Girrigz - wererat would-be revolutionary (ex-).

    Dr. Davaulus - leader of the Queen's Physicians, tasked with finding a cure for Blood Veil. Apparently doing just the opposite. Now dead.

    Lady Andaisin - high ranking cultist of Urgathoa, mastermind behind Blood Veil and generally twisted chick. Dead. Twice.

    Other Figures in Korvosa
    Queen Ileosa Arabasti - Queen of Korvosa, young widow and not well liked by the city.
    Sabrina Marrin - queen's bodyguard, leader of the Grey Maidens, rumoured to be the Queen's lover and apparently formerly involved in a love triangle with Grau Kirton and Vencarlo Orisini. Now head of the Grey Maidens and blamed for many of the city's ills.

    Lord Glorio Arkona - head of powerful Arkona family.
    Lady Merya Arkona - Glorio's sister, possibly the mysterious "M" payrolling Verik.
    Carnochan - factotum of Glorio Arkona.

    Lord Carowyn - last survivor of a gruesome massacre.

    Devargo Bavarsi - "King of the Spiders", dealer in secrets and poisons, formerly ran the vice den of Eel's End (now destroyed in Old Korvosa's gang war).
    Ambassador Amprei - Chelaxian ambassador and dirty boy.
    Boil - Urchin boy used as a messenger by Devargo Bavarsi.

    Trinia Sabor - young painter, suspected of regicide, Shingle runner. Left the city courtesy of Vencarlo Orisini.

    Thousand Bones - Shoanti shaman leading delegation trying to make peace between Shoanti and Korvosa. Left the city for the Cinderlands before the plague.
    Ghaeken - dead Shoanti brave.

    Prelate Julius Ishani Dhatri - priest of Irori and friend/patron of Edmond.
    Brindom Towar - occasional adventurer and priest of Erastil.

    Thorson Berith - half orc adventurer, whereabouts unknown.
    Thing - Rolth's waste disposal.

    Blackjack - Korvosa's very own Zorro.

    "The Grey Man" - suspiciously vampiric-looking associate of the Urgathoan cultists, under oath to leave Korvosa.

    Pilts Swastel - Self-proclaimed Emperor of Old Korvosa, formerly a seedy theatre manager, now a seedy crime lord.
    Chittersnap - Ettercap, former associate of Devargo Bavarsi, now working for Pilts Swastel. Responsible for creating the drug Shiver.
    The Shinglesnipes - Emperor's men.

    Character Creation

    Using the Pathfinder RPG Beta rules (free download!) with the following variants:

    - 20 point buy (see the first chapter of the rules)
    - starting hit points are Constitution + Con modifer + maximum class hit die.

    Other options:
    -Scribe Scroll becomes Craft Spell-Completion Item. Mechanically identical, but you can choose the form that the item takes.
    -Brew Potion becomes Craft Single-Use Item. Again, mechanically identical but you choose the form that the item takes. These allow for a bit of customisation to your crafter-type casters.

    Download the (free) players guide PDF from paizo.com, use any options therein that you like including traits to align your character background with the campaign start.
    Posting guidelines:

    - Choose a colour for IC speech.
    - Generally in my games I do the dice rolling (using the engine at Pen, Paper and Pixel) but I don't complain if you give me Invisible Castle rolls sometimes.


    - I'm using the "fast" experience rate from the Pathfinder Beta rules.
    - I'm using the Disabled and Dying variant from Arcana Evolved. You are Disabled between 0 hp and your Con modifier as a negative number (if modifier is normally positive). If you have a Con higher than 10, you are Dying until you reach -Con hit points. The Half-Orc Ferocity racial trait increases your Disabled range by 1.

    Example: Con 14 (+2 mod) means you are Disabled between 0 and -2 hp, Dying from -3 to -14 hp, and dead from -15 hp onwards. If you have Ferocity, you would be Disabled between 0 and -3 hp, Dying between -4 and -14 hp.
    Last edited by Dr Simon; Wednesday, 14th May, 2014 at 02:24 PM.
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  • #2
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    Need more details though for concepting. What sortsess of gamess will it be, precious? A game of swordses? Or talkings with FILTHY NASSTY HOBBITSES!!


    That is, heavy combat? Heavy RP? Half-n-halfling?

    I am drawn by Pathfinder rules towards sorcery...

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    I'm interested. Maybe a wizard ...

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    I told myself once I got back into pbp games I would only commit to one or two so I could keep up with them. I've been waiting for something good. This looks like this is it. I'm in. My character choice is flexible depending upon what others play, but I am leaning towards cleric.
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    Hi, Dr Si! You do amazing things in your other games

    And I really like Paizo adventures. I had taken a look at the CotCT Player's guide and this sounds like a real fun game

    Not sure what I will play (I really like the new sorcerer and wizard options, but don't want to double roles). Probably fighter, rogue or druid. What is most needed

    Hi I'm a comic and rpg nerd. Don't hurt me, please.

    PS: English is NOT my native language!

    May the 4th be with you!


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  • #6
    Well I have been looking to trying out a fighter under the pathfinder rules, but if Walking Dad wants the role I would also be delighted to run a bard. I might even lean towards bard a little - especailly if we are a decent sized party.

    Plus I am a big fan of the Piazo adventures and never seem to get to run in them by various quirks of fate. Touch wood I won't jinx this one!
    Back after a long absence, and feeling rather sheepish.

  • #7
    I would definately be interested. I'm not familiar with pathfinder so I don't have any preferences as of yet, but I'm downloading it right now.

    "Each man, one way.
    Each horse, one stance.
    Each church, one buddha.
    Each master to his own technique."

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    Dr. Si, thanks for making the house rules simple. KISS isn't just a great rock band.

    I think I will go ahead with the cleric, as they are always welcome. Is it first-come, first-served or do you have some other criteria for picking the players? I will take a look at the Player's Guide and come back with some character decisions. I will probably play a dwarf. I haven't played very many dwarves.
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    I think it'll be first come first served to a certain degree, although those of you who've expressed an interest above works out to about the right number (I've found that one or two people usually drop out right away so it's best to over-recruit a bit to begin with).

    Re: Pathfinder character types, I like how they've made each class quite appealing with the various new options. I'd find it difficult to choose what to play.

    To answer Shayuri's question, I've only got the first part so far (which will probably take a while to go through in PbP!) but it's a mix of fight, talk and investigate. The campaign overall seems quite heavily city-based with a bit of intrigue, and dealings both with the high and mighty and dirty low-lifes. I was tempted to convert it to Conclave since the city-setting of Korvosa is quite similar to Llaza, but I'm going to run it out of the box to save work.

    Airwalkrr: Cleric is good. I'm going to use the Golarian religions (that are in both the beta rules and the player's guide) so choose one from there.

    Halford: Two fighters would work if you and WD both wanted to play one - front-line meat-shields are always useful in a Paizo adventure path! (Although I'm liking the barbarian rage options...). But bard is cool too.

    Brief campaign setting summary for those who have not yet read the PG:

    Korvosa is a sprawling city, roughly 300 years old settled by the old Chelaxian Empire. The Empire may have crumbled, but the former colony remains vibrant, a city of extreme wealth and extreme poverty. The majority of the human population are of Chelaxian descent (kind of European as far as I can tell) although many are now of mixed descent with the indigenous Varisian humans (kind of Romany Gypsy). Full Varisians are treated with suspicion as thieves and witches. The city was originally won from land settled by the Shoanti humans (kind of Native Americans), and Korvosa Castle is built upon the remains of an ancient Shoanti pyramid.

    The rulership of Korvosa is considered something of a curse - the Curse of the Crimson Throne. No ruler of Korvosa has ever died of old age or left a clear line of succession. The current king, Eodred II, is old and, as rumour go, sick from an incurable illness. Everyone is poised to see what will happen when the old king finally succumbs to the Curse. Eodred is notorious for his love (or lust) of much younger women - his current (and only) Queen Ileosa is about a third of his age and although formerly unpopular due to her haughty demeanour towards Korvosa has garnered some sympathy as the devoted wife of an ailing man.

    But all this is way above the sphere of your characters who all share one thing in common - a petty criminal by the name of Gaedon Lamm. Lamm is a bit player in the underworld of Korvosa, but an unpleasant* one nonetheless. He deals in the mind-bending drug known as "shiver", and has ruined many lives with it. He keeps a stable of orphans, known as his "Little Lamms" that he uses to steal for him to fund his business. The Little Lamms are not treated kindly. He has his fingers in other minor scams as well, a bit of extortion, a bit of blackmail, a bit of kidnapping. Most of this affects only the poor and dregs of society, so the city watch have neither the time nor the inclination to do anything about him. At some point in your past, Lamm has affected either you or somebody close to you (see Traits section of the Player's Guide). As the campaign begins, someone decides that it is time for payback....

    *Or as the PG and the adventure would have it, "despicable". This is repeated every other mention of Lamm, like the epiphet in an epic poem. Fleet-Footed Achilleus, Wily Oddyseus, Steady Old Vainamoinen, Despicable Gaidon Lamm.
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  • #10
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    Pathfinder New PC

    I'm not familiar with Pathfinder, but I'm donwloading. I'll chime in before end of week with char concept if there are still open slots...

    I'd go for duskblade probably if available.

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