ZEITGEIST Player's Guide: Equipment


ZEITGEIST Player's Guide: Equipment

This page is a chapter in 'Books:ZEITGEIST: The Gears of Revolution Players Guide'

The new technological revolution has produced new weapons, and some items are unique to the ZEITGEIST adventure path.


Treasure, Salary, and Requisitions

As constables of Risur, your characters have a slightly different relationship with treasure than typical Pathfinder adventurers.

At lower ranks (levels 1–8) you receive a combination of salary and official stipend to fulfill your duties, and the Constabulary’s resources and connections let you easily purchase or requisition the tools you need for your missions. Likewise, you can easily trade in items you no longer need, which can be used by other constables or local police. When you recover rare magic, treasure, or other valuables, you are expected to hand it over to higher authorities, who will make proper use of it. If desired, you can use your salary or stipend to acquire these items for yourself, assuming you file the proper paperwork and your request is deemed warranted.

Later on (levels 9–15), your actual salary becomes relatively inconsequential compared to the contacts and allies available in most major cities, who can help you procure whatever you need. You will be entrusted with great wealth, and given leeway to retain and exploit items you recover in your missions. If deemed worthy, you might even be granted access to precious relics held in the Risuri royal vaults.

During your greatest moments (levels 16+) you will have at your disposal the wealth of entire cities or nations, to buy things any sane person would consider priceless: weapons forged from the essence of whole demi-planes, rituals that harness the collective will of a thousand state mages, long-forgotten artifacts unearthed by the concerted efforts of an entire nation’s adventurers, all toiling to aid you, their god-like champions. Of course as the campaign begins, affairs of this grandeur are nigh-unthinkable, for no mortal has gained such power in a thousand years or more.

Working for a Living

Each adventure in lower levels will include guidelines for the GM to provide money to you and your fellow PCs at regular intervals, usually once per level. You can use this money to equip your character, though getting uncommon and rare items is not guaranteed.

Whenever you’re in a suitable place to shop, you can buy common items without restriction. Uncommon and rare items cost their normal amount, but whether you can get them and how long it takes depends on your Prestige. This abstraction represents what would realistically be a complex system of salary, stipend, and very large quantities of paperwork.

Upgrades, Loot, and Skimming Off the Top

You can turn in any functioning item to the RHC for its full value. This allows you to keep yourself equipped with the best material available, or at least the best that government bureaucracy thinks you can be trusted with.

Whenever the party acquires any sort of treasure in the course of a mission, you will be expected to hand it over to your superiors, which should keep you at the expected power for your level. If you recover something you want for yourself, you can spend money to requisition it, though that may take some time.

There is always some leeway, and constables are allowed to hold onto loot for a reasonable period of time. If you defeat a foe with a magic sword, and his weapon would aid you in your immediate investigation, you can hold onto it for a few days, but you’re expected to turn it in.

An alternative, of course, is to hold onto items and not report them to the RHC. This is illegal, and would likely be grounds for dismissal. Such pecuniary misdeeds are expected of common police, but the RHC is held to higher standards. If you attempt to sell such an item, you cannot take advantage of the RHC’s favorable rates, and must use the normal values (50% of base value). Be careful, though, because prison is not kind to former law officers who turn to crime.

Exceptions and Variants

If you receive a gift, you can keep it, though the RHC might factor it into how much of a stipend they need to provide for your next mission. If the GM prefers, you could alter the setting so that magic items are rarer. The PCs could use the inherent bonuses rule, and they would be provided a much smaller stipend (about one-fourth the suggested amount), which could be used to purchase expendable items and high cost spell components.

Finally, if the GM decides to run a campaign where you are not part of the RHC, or if the party decides to spontaneously become pirates out of frustration with the bureaucracy they have to deal with, you can use traditional treasure parcels. The adventures will provide suggestions for what the PCs find and where.

Drugs

Neither of the two drugs below have any specific in-game effect, but characters would be aware of them and might even engage in their recreational use.

Fey Pepper. This rare plant only grows near paths to the Dreaming, and since the fall of the Elfaivar empire five hundred years ago it has been a black market item in most of Lanjyr. When chewed or smoked, the pepper makes the user giddy and upbeat. With a sufficient dosage, the user begins to hallucinate, though many claim these visions are actually glimpses into the Dreaming.

Leaf of Nicodemus. Monks cultivate this herb, which grows best on the islands of the Yerasol Archipelago. When crumbled, rolled, and smoked as a cigarette, the monk’s leaf soothes nerves and sharpens perception slightly. It can be addictive if used extensively, but has no social stigma, unlike fey pepper.

Explosive Alchemicals

Early firearms used smoky gunpowder as propellant for its ammunition, but recent alchemical advances have produced firedust. This powdered variant of alchemist’s fire produces less smoke when used in firearms, has a lower risk of fouling or corroding the weapon’s internals, and is hydrophobic, allowing it to burn even after immersion in water.

Many other firearm accelerants exist, including magmite (a granular black substance rendered in alchemical furnaces) and phlogistite (transluscent red vapor slime that floats in globules if exposed to open air), but firedust is by far the most widely used. Steam engines use a variant, firegems, which burn slower but longer. While it is the source of a firearm’s deadly power, firedust is relatively harmless as a weapon in its own right, since it burns too fast to cause serious wounds like traditional alchemist fire. If someone ignites a cask full of firedust, though, the resulting explosion could seriously hurt those nearby.

Damage dealt by detonating a cask is left up to GM discretion based on situation, though it can be assumed that the blast will deal roughly 2d6 points of fire damage for every twenty pound cask ignited with a DC 14 reflex save to halve the damage (+2 to the save DC for every additional cask). Detonating a cask requires striking the object with an attack that can deal fire damage. A twenty pound cask of firedust, roughly a foot across, might explode in a 5-ft. radius. A one-ton pallet, enough to fill an entire square, could explode in 25-ft. radius.

Firearms

Firearms use explosive alchemicals to fire metal ammunition. Reloading involves drawing and tearing open a paper cartridge, which contains firedust and a bullet. The gunman pours firedust down the barrel, then packs in the bullet with a ramrod. Pistols and carbines are fairly easy to aim, but the extreme length of muskets (over five feet long) makes them unwieldy for untrained users.

The Pathfinder Role-Playing Game rules for firearms are presented in the Advanced Player's Guide. These rules are analogous to firearms in the ZEITGEIST setting, and these rules will be used throughout ZEITGEIST products compatible with the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game.

Miscellaneous Gear

Firedust, cask: 20gp, 20lb.
Pocket watch: 25gp
Surgeon’s kit (bone saw, debriding curette, ether, forceps, morphium, probes, retractors, scalpels, scissors, sutures, syringe): 50 gp

Vehicles

The ZEITGEIST adventure path heavily features naval vessels. We recommend you check out the naval combat rules published in the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game GameMastery Guide.

In some of the adventures, we provide quick-start naval rules as an appendix. Additionally, we will be releasing Admiral o' the High Seas, a sourcebook which deals entirely with naval encounters.

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