[OOC] Master of Jade, Mistress of Iron - a World of Conclave adventure
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  1. #1

    [OOC] Master of Jade, Mistress of Iron - a World of Conclave adventure

    Master of Jade, Mistress of Iron is a counterpoint to my long-running Romance of the River Kingdoms, set in the World of Conclave, using Pathfinder rules.

    IC Thread
    Rogues Gallery

    Conclave has a vaguely Asian feel to it, in that it has jade, spirits, fighting styles, elephant-headed gods, divinely-appointed Emperors, rice, bamboo, yen and ancient empires (etc.) but it is not meant as a Fantasy Asia. It has other elements such as worldwide banking and merchant empires, printing presses and clockwork that puts it closer to late 17th century Europe. It also draws upon a range of other influences such as Egypt, Polynesia and Imperial Russia.
    More details.

    The Background
    Yellow Jade is a mysterious and rare substance with magical powers allegedly connected with movement and travel. It has associations with the fabled Lesser Dragon Empire from legendary prehistory, as well as the wondrous Bird-Ships of the Empire of Splendour, marvels now mostly lost or destroyed.

    So when a piece of yellow jade comes up for sale in Llaza's Thievestown, it is of interest to many parties on both sides of the law: scholars from Arketes College, Merchant League factors, independent magicians, criminal gangs and many other types.

    The seedy cityport of Llaza is located at the mouth of the Anhoi River, a mix of dry land and myriad canals, a cross between Venice, Shanghai and Lankhmar. Ruled by the Merchant's League it is the home of free enterprise where it seems every citizen is out to earn a fast yen, and then spend it just as quickly.

    The Catfish is a floating pleasure palace sited amidst the ever-changing jumble of boats clogging Llaza's main harbour known locally as Thievestown. It is here that you are due to meet with a Vaal Zeshon, a man claiming to possess a yellow jade artifact that he wishes to trade.

    The Campaign
    As with RRK, there are hooks and nudges to entice or provoke your characters, but a lot of the campaign direction will also come from the decisions you make: there are no plot rails, but there are things going on that you may become entangled with.

    The setting is a mixture of seedy city possibly moving into pirates, adventures on the high seas, ancient mysteries and sinister serpent-people. At least, that's the idea, so go for characters that would fit this kind of campaign.

    Character Creation

    Your characters are all, for one reason or another, interested in Zeshon's yellow jade. Some may be working together, others may be at cross-purposes. Unlike Romance of the River Kingdoms, where the PCs are all assumed to be working for the side of good, this adventure allows for more selfish, mercenary and untrustworthy character types if you so desire.

    Ability Scores: Use Pathfinder 20 point buy.

    Character Race: Use World of Conclave races, as given below or found at The Creative Conclave RPG

    • Humans. There are a variety of different racial types of human with purely role-play differences between them.
    • Salsham’ai (Tree Folk). Small-sized, human-like except for their prehensile feet. Wise, dextrous, with a kinship to nature spirits. Pick one of these of you like characters who are always calm, or if you want good stealth abilities.
    • Tlaxu. Somewhat cat-like, the tlaxu have at least three known cultural/racial subdivisions (although all are the same in mechanical terms). Due to a tlaxu invasion about 150 years ago, tlaxu are still disliked in this part of the world. Good senses and the chance of taking racial levels to improve physical stats. Pick a tlaxu if you like cat-folk, active characters or having a sinister reputation.
    • Ura. Tiny-sized folk from beneath the deserts of the Outer Continent, Ura are proud warriors who make opportunistic use of the discards of larger races. Pick an ura if you like small but feisty characters or gregarious travellers.
    • Ti-Kop. Also known as ‘gloppies’. The Ti-Kop are an aquatic race common to the shoreline. They are tough, but materially poor, with a tense relationship to humans due to fishing rights and egg-stealing. Pick a Ti-Kop if you like aquatic races or want to play a primitive race.
    • Nai-nek-chai. Shapechangers that can take the form of human or animal, nai-nek-chai are the descendants of mortals and great animal spirits. They generally do not fit in in either the human or animal worlds. Pick a nai-nek-chai if you like shapechangers or like playing the confused outsider.
    • Edraldi. Earth-spirits given mortal form, the edraldi exist in four subtypes (gem, stone, metal and earth). They have strong ties to the earth and begin to sicken if away from it for too long, but they are otherwise very tough. Pick an edraldi if you like indominatable or enigmatic characters.
    • Bloodlines. It is possible for a mortal character to carry the bloodline of a spirit race, an Immortal type or a dragon. In this game, such things are conducted using three-level "bloodline" classes that any character can multi-class into (although you can only have one bloodline type). Details are available on the website.
    • Other unusual races will be considered. No elves and dwarves (etc.), but I'd be open to the likes of aasimars and undines.

    Note that at the moment these are all in 3.5 format and require a little re-jigging to Pathfinder-ise them, notably the extra +2 ability score.

    Character Class:
    • Any Pathfinder Core class allowed; Base Classes and Psionic Classes by discussion.
    • Multi-classing may be done freely without penalty.
    • Paladins do not serve an alignment, instead there are variants based upon causes. Ask for further details.
    • Shaman characters are available, these are a homebrew variant that function mostly as spontaneous divine casters. Ask for further details. Alternatively Oracles would work, and there is a Spirit Domain given below.
    • Priests are either wandering mendicants or ceremonial priests. Most revere the Ten Thousand Immortals as a whole, whilst a rare few focus on specific gods.
    • Psions and psychic warriors are allowed. These individuals have studied the Way of Six Energies in the mountainous land of Ut'Bharma. They see their powers as a different magical discipline, not a completely seperate mechanic.
    • Other non -SRD 3.5 classes will be considered (with PF conversion) if there is something there you would like.
    • Although an Asian-inspired setting it isn't a direct analogue. You could take Ninja or Samurai classes to cover stealthy assassins and honour-bound warriors if you like, but they won't be Ninjas and Samurai in the Japanese sense.

    Other elements
    · All characters begin at 1st level.
    · Use maximum starting money for your class. The standard currency is the glass yen. One yen equals one copper piece, thus 1 sp = 10 yen, 1 gp = 100 yen and so forth. Relative costs, etc. are the same as SRD.
    · All equipment, feats and spells from the PFRD only (it makes it easy for me to refer to rules).
    · There is no alignment. The PDFs for creating characters from the Conclave races may discuss alignment but that is for the sake of compatibility. For effects that are normally directed against alignment (eg. detect evil), instead pick one of Spirits, Shapechangers, Heaven, Netherworld, Concordance or Chaos.
    · For hit points, you get maximum hit dice, + Con bonus, + Constitution score at 1st level. Each level thereafter you get rolled hit dice + Con bonus.

    Your character background
    As sparse or as detailed as you’d prefer. Try to avoid real world names – most Conclave names tend to be translated into some from of description such as Chance, Amber, Five Lives, Fifth Fortunate Son etc. Generally, the richer somebody is, the more florid their name tends to be. See the World of Conclave website for other ideas of High Imperial names.

    Shaman Class

    Conclave Shaman: d6 HD, 3/4 BAB, Good Will Save, 4 skill pts per level, Skill list same as Druid, plus Knowledge (Spirits))

    Spells per day as Druid, but uses spontaneous casting. For spells known you select Domain lists - each one represents the powers of a spirit that you are familiar with. You get 'Spirit' Domain (I'll need to list the spells seperately) plus three others of your choice. You get to select one of the associated Domain powers as well. As you gain levels you gain new Domains and Domain Powers, plus get the chance to swap them around. There's an ability to gain saving throw bonuses against spirit powers that kicks in at 4th or 5th level.

    Added Later:

    Spirit Domain (Pathfinder Variant, courtesy of Walking Dad)
    (free to Shamans, available to Clerics and Druids for a shamanic-flavored cleric/druid).

    Granted Power: You gain the aid of a spirit companion and talk to spirits in their tongue. Free proficiency in Speak Spirit Speech.

    Spirits Advise (Sp): You can communicate with your spirit companion as a swift action, getting a sacred bonus on on Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (spirits), Perception, and Survival checks equal to half your cleric level (minimum 1) for 1 round. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

    Spirit Warrior (Su): Starting 8th level, any weapon you hold gains ‘Ghost Touch’. Also incorporeal creatures attempting to make a Touch Attack on you must hit your normal AC instead (i.e., all your bonuses to AC are ‘Ghost Touch’ too). You can use this ability a number of rounds per day equal to your cleric level. The rounds don't need to be consecutive.

    1-Detect Spirits*
    2-Protection From Spirits*
    3-Magic Circle Against Spirits*
    5-Commune (with Spirits)**
    7-Ethereal Jaunt
    9-Astral Projection

    *These works as Det./Prot from Evil etc. except that they work specifically against creatures with the Spirit descriptor
    **As Commune, but the caster is communing with powerful spirits rather than a deity. In Conclave, there's little difference.

    Note that Domains may also be selected from the additional domains and Domain wizard variant. In the latter case they count as divine magic.

    Playing the Game
    Dice rolls - you can use ENWorld's roller, Invis Castle or leave it up to me - either way works with me, although I reserve the right to roll Stealth, Perception, Bluff etc.
    Experience is given on an ad-hoc basis. What I generally do in my PbPs is to grant a level-up when it seems appropriate - this will probably be faster in game terms than normal but given the rate of PbP it works quite well. Since PF has done away with XP costs for magic items, nobody really needs an XP tally.


    Scribe Scroll becomes Craft Spell-Completion Item. The end product is the same - an item that gives a single use of a spell, that can be used by anyone with that spell on his spell list. It may be a scroll - sutras and ofudas are fairly common, it may be a talisman or lucky charm. The exact form is up to you, depending on the character of your spellcaster.

    Brew Potion becomes Craft Single Use Item. This is a single use magical item, usable by anybody. It may be a potion or oil, it may be a specially grown fruit, it may be a scroll, it may be a pebble inscribed with magical symbols. Most spells can be turned into single use items. Ranged attack spells are usually turned into 'detonations' that require a ranged touch attack to work. Some special cases may need review on an individual basis.

    Bonded Item is a feat that may be taken by any character of 3rd level or above, provided that they have used the item in question through several dangerous situations (and it has made a difference). A bonded item gives a +1 enhancement bonus to its 'normal use'. Most common would be a weapon, gaining this bonus to attack. A suit of armour may also benefit but other items such as thieves tools, rope, artists brushes and so forth are all candidates. Once bonded, the wielder can also spend XP to add further enhancements to the bonded item. Thus a bonded sword can gain further bonuses or special abilities. Obviously this is easier to adjudicate for weapons and armour but imagination can be applied to other equipment.

    This means that, for example, swords become legendary because of who wields them, not who made them.

    Losing a bonded item may or may not be a real pain. They should be fixable, with maybe a monetary cost for the ceremonial materials. Still on the subject of swords, that gives you a quest to retrieve the Green Destiny sword, or to reforge the Sword That Was Broken etc.


    Death and Dying
    Adopted from Arcana Evolved and the Book of Experimental Might.

    If you have a Con score that gives you a bonus, your 'disabled' range spans 0 and minus that bonus. Your 'dying' range then goes to minus your Con.

    So, if you have Con 14 (+2 bonus), you are disabled from 0 to -2 hit points, and dying from -3 to -14 hit points. Anyone with a Con less than 10 uses the normal range of disabled at 0 and dying -1 to -10.


    Languages (the I can think of)

    Low Imperial (the equivalent of Common)
    High Imperial (the language of the educated)

    Regional human languages:

    Racial Languages
    Tlaxu (Mopendine dialect)
    Tlaxu (Plains dialect)
    Themnassic (salsham'ai)
    Shromic (salsham'ai magical language)
    Tik ("Gloppyspeak")

    Other Languages

    (Magical tracts are likely to be composed in Draconic or High Imperial, so there is no Arcane tongue)
    Last edited by Dr Simon; Wednesday, 18th March, 2015 at 10:46 AM.

  2. #2
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)

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    Interested so am subscribing...

    But I will let others who might not be in a lot of games or be new to get a shot first.

    The world is very interesting Dr.Simon have you thought of making a wiki for it?


  3. #3
    May I play?

    Sorry - in thinking it through I've already got too much on my plate. Much as I like Conclave - and your games, Doc - I need to withdraw my request to play.

    Well, crap. I keep coming up with ideas for characters. So I will (with your permission, Dr. Simon) return my name to the interested list.
    Last edited by Maidhc O Casain; Friday, 28th September, 2012 at 02:59 AM.

  4. #4
    Dr. Simon, you said that other unusual races would be considered. Would you allow a Strix character? I could work with you on finding a place for them in Conclave, but the concept seems like it would be a good fit for the types of races there.

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    Lama (Lvl 13)

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    This sounds great. Of course it comes along after I've recently picked up three games... but what's one more, eh? I am definitely interested and would like to be considered for the game.

  6. #6
    Welcome all.

    @Mowgli, yes, Strix sound possible. May be some RP problems associated with a race with a hatred of humans in the middle of a human city, but then that might just make it more fun

    @HolyMan, I think a wiki ought to be the next generation of the Conclave site, only problem is I don't currently have the time or skills to do it justice.

    I forgot to mention above, I'm open to racial archetypes and the like - some of the existing ones could be used for Conclave races such as the merfolk wave warden for ti-kop, vanara treetop monk for salsham'ai and catfolk rogue options for tlaxu, for example.

    Also, two traits as standard. I don't have any Conclave-specific ones; the existing ones seem pretty comprehensive.

  7. #7
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    This looks like a lot of fun, so count me as definitely interested!

    What about the kitsune race from the new ARG? I'm totally willing to play it as one of the Nai-nek-chai, just one that happened to be descended from foxes and is more precocious and quick-witted than other Nai-nek-chai of different bloodlines tend to be.

    I'm thinking of playing a witch, but also a scoundrel and con artist who takes a few cross-class rogue skills and grew up as a thief.

    Sorry to take the obvious and almost instantaneously cliche choice of kitsune for an Asian flavored game, but they wouldn't let me play it at Pathfinder Society so I have an itch.

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    Lama (Lvl 13)

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    I haven't gotten through all the races yet but I am definitely interested in the shaman. Nice, unique mechanic with a lot of roleplaying potential.

  9. #9
    Not 100% sure on class yet, but I'm leaning heavily toward a Ranger w/ the Falconer and Skirmisher archetypes. Falconer for sure if I play a Ranger, Skirmisher is a strong maybe. Archery fighting style.

    Party's shaping up nicely.

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    I've been looking at playing a Mr. Know-it-All

    Was thinking gnome bard(archivist) with breadth of experience - Which race is the equivalent and could take that feat? If not will go with human and taught at the Arketes College, but having gone independent.

    As to the background I'm thinking he use to own a boat and went from place to place collecting history and rumor. This former captain was betrayed by much taller people and left with only a few items as he was set adrift on a longboat. (thinking rich parents trait, and getting him a wand for combat purposes)

    Either way he (maybe a she, defiantly a she if I go the shorter race route) won't be good in combat other than as support/some control but will be fun to play RP wise which is a plus in my book.


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