Character Creation Outline
The Mwangi Expanse is one of the richest regions in all of Golarion, and also one of the most mysterious. Despite its history of countless years and its fostering of nameless empires, very little is known of the Mwangi Expanse by outsiders or even natives of the primeval, jungle-covered land. You have long studied the region and its lore, and count yourself among a small handful of genuine experts throughout the Inner Sea.
Fresh off your induction into the Pathfinder Society and the completion of your basic training within the organization, you have been assigned to work for Venture-Captain Finze Bellaugh at the Eleder Pathfinder Lodge.
The Pathfinder Society regularly organizes and outfits expeditions into the Sargavan interior, and so Venture-Captain Bellaugh is often in need of guides, guards, and “support staff” (in other words, spellcasters) to ensure a return on the Society’s investments. Consequently, seasoned Pathfinder agents are frequently in demand, and the Society is always hiring on non-Society help as well, including both bored colonials looking for a bit of excitement and impoverished Mwangi seeking a big payoff that will feed them and their families for generations to come.
The nature of these expeditions usually involves searching for remnants of the civilization that once ruled here, as well as for the old relics occasionally dredged up from the Lake of Vanished Armies. Since these goals take explorers into some extremely hostile territories, the Society rarely endorses such expeditions unless they include at least one experienced guide who is familiar with the territory—which is to say, a Pathfinder. For those willing to undertake these missions, the pay is good; the Society negotiates with explorer clients for better rates, including partial payment up front, with the balance locked in Finze’s safe to ensure that no accidents happen.
Characters of all alignments, religions, and homelands can play a vital role in this campaign. Players interested in further immersing themselves in the world of Golarion and adding campaign specific details that might aid them over the course of the Adventure Path, might investigate the Inner Sea World Guide or various Pathfinder RPG Companion books.
Here is a quick outline of the character creation process:
1) Get a Character Sheet
You can either use an online sheet such as the ones at DNDSheets.net, use a Google Spreadsheet, a downloaded PDF, or for a true old-school feel, a standard piece of lined paper, whichever is most convenient for you. The GM just needs a digital copy of your character sheet.
2) Determine Ability Scores
Start by generating your character’s ability scores. These six scores determine your character’s most basic attributes and are used to decide a wide variety of details and statistics. Some class selections require you to have better than average scores for some of your abilities. Roll 2d6 and add 6 to the sum of the dice. Record this total and repeat the process until six numbers are generated. Assign these totals to your ability scores as you see fit. This is less random than the Standard method and generates characters with mostly above-average scores.
3) Choose a Race
While Sargava is primarily a human land — its population consisting of mainly Mwangi natives and Chelaxian-descended colonials – members of all races exist in Sargava, having numerous motivations to travel to the region from distant homelands throughout the Inner sea and Golarion at large.
Dwarves: Although dwarves are not typically found at sea, even the least nautical among them must travel via ship to distant lands for trade or diplomatic reasons; whether they’re coming from Janderhoff in Varisia, the Five Kings Mountains, or the parched dunes of Osirion. Many hope to capture some of the wealth of the notorious Deeptreasure Mining Company, who retrieve tons of gems and precious metals from beneath the Bandu Hills, bringing inordinate riches to those involved in the operation, and most dwarves traveling to or from Sargava have some connection to this lucrative enterprise. Less entrepreneurial dwarves share a racial affinity for stone with their mining brethren, and might travel to Sargava with plans to explore the many ancient ruins that pepper the wilderness of the Mwangi Expanse.
Dwarves native to the Mwangi are something of an oddity compared to their kind elsewhere across the continent of Garund. The Taralu dwarves of the eastern Mwangi jungles, long ago abandoned many of their cultural roots; many have migrated (or fled) from their original homelands within the mountains of the Shattered Range, where their former cities now lie abandoned and in ruins. Also known as “jungle dwarves,” these dark-skinned, short, and stout dwarves cover their bodies with tattoos and grease which serves to keep off insects and also make them hard to hold.
They wear nothing except their long, woven hair which serves as adequate clothing. This, they plaster with mud into crude armor when going to war. The Taralu living in the jungles practice a version of ancestor worship alongside the worship of totems based on local creatures, particularly dragons and wyverns, both of which they consider holy creatures. Generally friendly with other races and even outsiders, the jungle dwarves maintain a reputation as trustworthy guides among foreign explorers and adventurers.
Elves: Elves as a race are relatively insular, preferring their own company to mixed settlements, though they may be found in small numbers in nearly every community throughout Golarion. Those elves raised apart from their own kind— known collectively as the Forlorn — are prone to travel and exploration and are likely to have secret and personal reasons for a nautical journey to Sargava. Elves’ long lifespans provide them a unique perspective on history, and they often have a strong interest in all things ancient; elves from any part of Golarion might find the mysteries of the Mwangi Expanse inspiration enough to leave their homeland.
Not all elves are equally civilized. In fact, while most of the elves of Avistan have similar cultures, being products of the elves’ great migration and subsequent return, many of the elves of Garund are vastly different from their northern counterparts. In the steamy jungles of Garund, countless tribes of these so-called “wild elves” live comparatively primitive existences, hunting and gathering for their sustenance. Though their origins are just as shrouded in mystery as all elves, their existence does not seem to have changed significantly in millennia — even during the Age of Darkness, when the majority of elves abandoned the planet to its fate, these elves continued to forage and eke out a survival within the trackless jungles and mountains.
The best known of these tribes of wild elves is the Ekujae, which consists of numerous interrelated clans and villages across the northern reaches of the Mwangi Expanse. Fierce and barbaric — at least as defined by those outsiders who regularly attempt to enslave them — the Ekujae are a superstitious group, and those who visit them must be careful to avoid violating clan taboos. That said, they are a virtuous, honorable people, and see themselves as warriors left behind by some ancient and forgotten civilization in order to combat the Darkness, which they believe will one day come again to threaten Golarion.
Gnomes: Golarion’s wiley gnomes are ever at risk of the dreaded Bleaching and constantly fight against its deadly effects by engaging in new and exciting experiences. What better way to inject interest into a gnome’s life than the exploration of ancient ruins and immersion in the varied cultures of the Mwangi Expanse’s dense jungles? Wondrous foreign ports and eccentric seafaeers may lead some gnomes to a life of destinationless nautical travel. Particularly gnomes may be from the floating island of Gogpodda, the industrious Cheliaxian city of Brastlewark, the Taldan city of Wispil, or from the fallen kingdoms of Lirgen and Yamasa. Many seafarers consider a gnome aboard a ship a sign of good luck, or at least a promise of good entertainment. Gnomes in Sargava often fall into careers like shipwrights, smiths, and entertainers.
They consistently display curiosity towards the stories of the spriggan, whom they believe to be their long-lost cousins. Rumors of ancient Mwangi ruins housing a spriggan community draw gnomes curious about their wild brethren to Sargava, and have led to a number deep jungle expeditions into the Mwangi Expanse to help return their lost cousins to gnome normality. None have returned, and the spriggan population continues to grow.
Half-Elves: Half-elves often find sedentary lives unfulfilling and are generally overcome by wanderlust in late adolescence or early adulthood. Whether searching for an absent parent whose disappearance caused them trouble in their youth or seeking to fulfill the auspicious destiny of their human or elven ancestry, travel to distant corners of the world and immersion in unfamiliar cultures inspire many half-elves’ wanderings. Those journeying to Sargava may be exiled offspring of an embarrassing tryst amid the Inner Sea’s nobility or might plan to search the Mwangi jungles for an Ekujae relative.
Half-elves who have suffered especially heinous prejudice against their mixed heritage might dedicate themselves to the Sargavan natives’ cause against the oppression of their former Chelish rulers. Regardless of their reasons, half-elves are no strangers to adventure, and the lost colony of Sargava provides endless promise to anyone seeking danger and excitement.
Half-Orcs: Outcasts in most of the civilized lands of the Inner Sea, half-orcs often travel to the ends of the map to escape persecution, prejudice, and their shameful origins. Indigenous orc tribes are rare in Garund, so most half-orcs in Sargava are travelers from other lands. Those half-orcs native to Sargava are usually descended from such foreign half-orc colonists, though many claim native Mwangi parents. Among the demon-worshiping Bekyar common south of Desperation Bay in particular, human mothers see giving birth to a half-orc child as a blessing from Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters. These bestial children are raised to be mighty warlords and slavers, but it is not uncommon for half-orcs bred in such a way to reject their parents’ expectations and leave their homeland to forge their own identities free from demonic influence.
Halflings: As in most human lands, halflings often call the metropolitan cities and remote settlements of Sargava home, living quietly in the shadows of the region’s human population. A large number of halfling slaves were brought to the savage land when their Chelish masters colonized the region and have remained ever since. When Sargava gained its independence from Cheliax in 4643 ar, many of these slaves were freed either by decree or circumstance. These freed slaves began their own lives in Sargava’s bustling capital of Eleder, often working on the harbor’s extensive docks and shipyards. Escaped halfling slaves from current-day Cheliax and countless other lands may travel to Sargava in the hope of starting a new life in a land where both halflings and native humans alike live under the recent memory of subservience and embrace a potential future of liberty.
Halflings have lived within the Mwangi Expanse for as long as humanity, and early explorers from the north occasionally mistook them for a race of pygmy humans. Mwangi halflings generally live within the jungles and are culturally identical to the Zenj tribes dwelling in close proximity to them, worshiping the same gods and totems. Within the Kaava Lands, however, the myriad tribes of halflings that inhabit the jungle interior and the northern coast of Desperation Bay differ markedly from their cousins in both culture and temperament. Savage and territorial even toward other halfling tribes, these halflings treasure the preserved and posthumously tattooed heads of outsiders.
Humans: Sargava is an undeniably human land. Since time immemorial, Mwangi tribesmen have lived in the region. Other than indigenous Mwangi inhabitants, the most frequently encountered humans in Sargava are colonials whose ancestors may have lived in the region since 4138 ar, many of whom consider themselves as native to the land as the Mwangi. The draw of the Mwangi Expanse’s countless treasures and myriad mysteries bring members of all ethnicities to Eleder, however, and all human cultures might have reason to travel there.
Other Races: While the seven core races are the primary focus of the game, they’re not the only ones suitable to be played as characters. Other, even stranger races help populate the world, and—with the GM’s permission— also work well as player character races, creating fun and exciting new roleplaying opportunities. This section details the most common of such races found in Sargava. These races have just as much motivation to be adventurers as do elves, gnomes, and humans. And while they may not be as common in the major population hubs of the Pathfinder campaign setting, each of the races detailed presents its own unique background and abilities.
4) Choose a Class
The following suggestions should provide context for both native and foreign PCs of all classes, but members of each may find additional reasons to travel to Sargava based on their particular origins.
Alchemists: Often self-involved and aloof, alchemists are generally more concerned with their inventive extracts and newest formulae than with the world around them. That said, some alchemists belong to a local guild or arcane school – many of which exist in most major cities in the Inner Sea region. These organizations frequently send their members and apprentices to distant lands to collect rare reagents or explore unknown regional techniques. Sargava, isolated as it is from most of the Inner Sea by the Eye of Abendego, is the perfect destination for such an academic. Alchemists are sometimes misunderstood by society at large, and seen as strange, dangerous, even mad – often not completely inaccurate assessments – and might travel seeking a fresh start in far off Sargava. Native Sargavans may have traveled to distant lands to gather allies for an expedition into the Mwangi Expanse in search of ancient alchemical formulae among the region’s countless lost tribes.
Barbarians: Wild and reckless barbarians seem a natural fit for the untamed reaches of the Mwangi Expanse, and many warriors native to the region are more berserkers than trained fighters. Even races generally considered cultured – such as elves – have barbaric tribes in the Mwangi Expanse and Sargava. Sargava’s position on the edge of civilization attracts many brawlers who find life in other lands difficult, and dockside taverns and brothels teem with unruly warriors from as far away as the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, and Varisia; countless vessels bring such travellers to Eleder’s harbor on a daily basis.
Bards: Ever collecting lost lore and captivating tales of high adventure, bards are frequently drawn to the ancient lands of the Mwangi Expanse. Eleder, with its impressive docks and shipyards, makes an ideal destination for traveling bards from across Golarion, who often find the lawless and unscrupulous ports of Bloodcove or the Shackles more trouble than they’re worth. The ongoing struggle between Sargava’s colonials and Mwangi natives has raised the demand for political agents, and bards increasingly serve both causes as diplomats, mediators, spies, and inspirational orators.
Native bards often specialize in the tribal chants and rhythmic drum calling of the Mwangi people, in whose oral traditions they feature prominently. The thrumming beat of their ancestral drums resonates through the dense foliage and expansive savannas of the nation, maintaining an air of mystery about the drummers that still unsettles visitors to this day.
A unique brand of bards are the so-called “clerics” of Aroden. With a skilled synthesis of glib lies and powerful arcane magic, the bards continue to contend that Aroden is not dead and that he is testing his faithful. Over the years these clerics of Aroden have developed and perfected a new form of arcane magic – false divine magic. More information on False Divine Magic can be found in the Inner Sea Magic source book.
Cavaliers: Many cavaliers find Sargava a nation much in need of their talents. Battlefield marshals increasingly travel to Eleder aspiring to manage troops against the growing native unrest in Kalabuto or to secure Sargava’s border with Mzali. Native Mwangi cavaliers may have traveled to other parts of the Inner Sea to receive training by their order and are now returning to their homeland to put their skills into practice.
Cavaliers in the region typically ride horses, though the farther east one travels, the more likely one is to encounter strange jungle animals employed as mounts. Depending on the cavalier’s chosen order, he might be sent or volunteer to travel to Sargava to represent any established ruler, noble, or religion.
Samurai and Ninja
A ninja or samurai character doesn’t need be from Tian Xia – these classes and traditions, while rare in the Inner Sea region, are far from unknown. Adventuring samurai may be from the Ushinawa Isles, while ninjas may be sworn to service to the Red Mantis organization. Work with your GM to determine the details of how your character came to join this class.
Clerics: Priests of all faiths travel the world, and can justifiably be found visiting the ports of Sargava. Those most likely to travel to Sargava might be clerics of Abadar, hoping to quell rebellion and maintain order in Kalabuto, or faithful of Cayden Cailean hoping to help the natives reclaim their homeland or prevent bloodshed.
Members of the Bonuwat tribes often venerate a deity known as Shimye-Magalla, a janiform amalgam of Gozreh and Desna, though worship of the these two gods as separate deities is more common in the region overall. Nethys has a large following among the jungle tribes, which find the Mwangi Expanse’s many ancient ruins sources of immense and mysterious power. Less common, though nevertheless present, the Bekyar people worship a number of malicious demon lords; cultists from across Golarion may be drawn to the region in search of like-minded people, or demon hunters and holy warriors may travel here to hunt down and eradicate these evil sects.
Druids: Sargava serves as an active gateway to the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse, and few locations on Golarion attract druids in large numbers like the wild and untamed lands at the heart of Garund. Whether hoping to explore the region, harness its primeval powers, or guide civilization into the dense wilderness, druids often pass through Eleder and, more often than not, Kalabuto farther inland. Among the native population, many tribes employ shamanistic druids as spiritual leaders, and apprentice druids might have ties to one of Sargava’s many Mwangi peoples.
Fighters: Few classes are as well suited for the dangerous and violent lands of Sargava and the Mwangi Expanse as the dedicated and highly-trained fighter. Often hired to escort vulnerable explorers, scholars, and merchants through the imposing jungles, fighters travel with nearly every group on the roads or waterways of the region. In the more civilized areas around Eleder and Kalabuto, mercenaries from across Golarion may be hired to fight for either side of the ongoing conflict between the natives and colonists.
Gunslingers aren’t unique only to the Mana Wastes. This class, while rare in the Inner Sea region, are far from unknown. Adventuring pirates from the Shackles fighting with sword and pistol or trophy hunters exploring the Mwangi Expanse in search of big game are all classical gunslinger archetypes.
Inquisitors: Inquisitors of all faiths have good reason to make the long journey to Sargava. Zealous agents of lawful deities such as Abadar, Asmodeus, and Iomedae may endeavor to preserve order amid rising animosity among Sargava’s inhabitants. Freedom-loving inquisitors, such as those venerating Cayden Cailean, Desna, or Milani, may travel to Sargava to end the influence of the Sargavan colonials once and for all. The faithful of Nethys or Norgorber might plan to explore the Mwangi Expanse for long lost secrets, either to uncover eldritch magic or to keep history’s powerful mysteries hidden from the world. An inquisitor of any faith may set her determined gaze on Sargava’s shores for any of these reasons, or because of the simple, unceasing belief that her deity wills her to the exotic city for an as yet unknown purpose.
Magi: Sargava is often a proving ground for wandering magi seeking to practice both the art of magic and melee, but their training often requires constant movement and change of pace, and the journey to a distant land offers plenty of both. Like Fighters, Magi often are hired to escort vulnerable explorers, scholars, and merchants through the imposing jungles. And like Wizards, untold civilizations have risen and fallen in the heart of the Mwangi Expanse, leaving behind secrets and magical lore few adventurous Magi can resist the draw to discover.
Monks: Garund’s western coast is not typically a region known for its monk inhabitants, but there are a number of reasons one might travel to the region from Vudra, Tian Xia, or somewhere in the Inner Sea region. Among the native peoples of the Mwangi interior, there are many cultures which forego armor and manufactured weapons, preferring the increased mobility and spontaneity unarmed combat allows as they face unsuspected threats in the dangerous land; a Mwangi monk may lack fangs and talons, but his natural weapons are no less effective than those of the jungle’s most ferocious beasts.
Paladins: Holy warriors may travel to Sargava for any number of reasons. Paladins focused on maintaining order see the growing unrest in Sargava as needing their attention, and Iomedaean, Abadaran, and Erastilian paladins flock to Eleder and Kalabuto to face the threat of open rebellion from the native Mwangi inhabitants. On the other hand, paladins may pity the natives’ plight and work to right the injustices committed by colonial oppressors.
Paladins native to Sargava and the Mwangi Expanse may be sailing home after a tour in the Mendevian Crusades, the orc-wars of Lastwall, or other holy missions throughout the Inner Sea. The quest to liberate lost relics from the jungle depths also leads many paladins to explore the Mwangi Expanse, attracting those hopeful of discovering treasures to better the lives and further the goals of their brethren.
Oracles: The gods don’t generally intervene in the everyday events of nations or mortals, but their influence sometimes manifests in the form of enigmatic oracles – divine conduits of mysterious origin and purpose. For those rare individuals blessed and cursed with preternatural powers, the ancient, inscrutable jungles of the Mwangi Expanse are an attractive destination. Some oracles, ostracized from their homes by superstitious locals, make their way south on the Arcadian Ocean to the port of Eleder, where the Mwangi Expanse is only a short journey inland. There, many hope to find answers to pervasive questions regarding their very existence. Sargavan or Mwangi natives may likewise travel throughout the Inner Sea seeking their own answers and assurances amid the most reputable and prestigious universities and temples from Quantium to Korvosa. Whether successful or not in these quests to understand themselves, such oracles often return home to seek a peaceful life in their homelands.
Rangers: The jungles of the Mwangi Expanse call silently to explorers from across the Inner Sea to discover and tame them. Rangers often act as guides for scholars, archaeologists, or other parties venturing into the dark heart of the region. Some see it as their duty to protect the world from the strange and monstrous denizens of the deep jungle, and are adept at killing the foul creatures and malignant peoples that threaten the inhabitants of Sargava and the Mwangi Expanse itself. Other rangers see the region as prime hunting grounds to obtain a record-setting trophy and travel from across Golarion to traverse the vast swaths of the Expanse’s wilderness in search of rare big game, including dinosaurs, giant apes, and monsters only spoken of in legend.
Rogues: The treasures of Sargava’s jungles were instrumental in the nation’s rise to power under Chelish colonial rule, as settlers flocked to the ancient ruins south of Desperation Bay hoping to tap the land’s rich resources. The same treasures continue to attract tomb-robbers and fate-tempters from across Golarion, despite the nation’s increased isolation from the northern realms. Ambitious pirates and thieves take inspiration from the Free Captains of the Shackles, whose coffers have overflowed with tribute from Sargava’s government in exchange for decades of protection.
Whether from Riddleport, the River Kingdoms, or Ilizmagorti, many enterprising rogues make their way to the dangerous region to muscle their own living off the weak and needy. Endless and ever more embellished tales of fantastic and impossible treasures hidden in lost jungle ruins also tempt countless treasure hunters to venture into the heart of Garund, risking their lives for wealth beyond imagination.
Sorcerers: Ever exploring the far corners of the world in search of ways to test their mysterious powers, sorcerers often find that the Mwangi Expanse provides many such opportunities. Destined bloodline sorcerers frequently feel drawn to the ancient ruins of the region, as if their full potential can be realized only by tapping into the powers of the past. Similarly, arcane bloodline sorcerers find the ruins of lost empires a rich source of magical power, and often delve into the wild to uncover answers to ageless enigmas. Natives of the region often belong to the abyssal, serpentine, or verdant bloodlines, the result of millennia of either demon worship or the influence of the fecund jungle and its creatures on the inhabitants of the land. In rare cases, explorers who have never exhibited signs of innate arcane abilities manifest long-dormant powers when exposed to the strange and unknowable reaches of the deep jungle, and some youths journey recklessly into the wild hoping to unlock some as yet unrealized potential.
Summoners: Summoners share much the same drive to uncover ancient mysteries and long-hidden secrets as bards, sorcerers, and wizards, and few locations on Golarion hold as much potential for discovery as the jungles of Sargava and the Mwangi Expanse. Summoners can often feel the almost palpable power of extraplanar creatures throughout the region, especially in areas where the worship of ancient powers and practice of strange magic still survives. The Mwangi Expanse’s most remote ruins seem to hold strong connections to otherworldly purposes now lost to time and decay, and many summoners have dedicated their lives to tapping into this enigmatic and sometimes overpowering potential. Strong superstitions surround summoners of Mwangi origin, and many find that calling an eidolon results in their exile from their tribe. Most ostracized summoners travel the Inner Sea looking for acceptance or new sources of power, but in nearly every case they feel the eventual draw to return home.
Witches: Generally feared and misunderstood, many witches live reclusive lives on the edges of civilization; few locations within a reasonable distance of the Inner Sea are as remote and attractive to an outcast witch as Sargava, where the native Mwangi inhabitants are more open to their mysterious magics and aloof way of life. In small Mwangi settlements, witches serve as sages and healers, and many travel to the lands of the north to study in their youth before settling down in one village as the local mystic. Some witches neither settle down nor plan to, instead traveling about Golarion, seeking greater knowledge and a better understanding of the enigmatic powers that guide them. The jungles of the Mwangi Expanse offer elusive answers for the inquisitive, and the powerful forces that call the jungle home prove an irresistible lure to many a curious witch.
Wizards: Many wizard colleges encourage exploration or study in far-off lands, and Sargava—being one of only a few gateways to the Mwangi Expanse—is a natural choice for arcane scholars the world over. Whether from the Arcanamirium of Absalom, Korvosa’s Acadamae, or the Occularium in Manaket, apprentice wizards frequently sail to Eleder in the hope of discovering long lost secrets in the jungles to the east. Untold civilizations have risen and fallen in the heart of the Mwangi Expanse, leaving behind secrets and magical lore few adventurous spellcasters can resist the draw to discover.
Even if foreigners don’t plan to delve into the jungles themselves, the rich tapestry of arcane forms practiced among the varied populations of Eleder and Kalabuto are enough to draw wizards from around the globe.
The innate power of the mind is present within all creatures. But it is those who choose to take levels in psionic classes who can unlock and develop this immense power contained within. This mental energy exists in many forms: Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma are direct links to the conscious mind, but the physical abilities: Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, are also factors. Each of these component pieces is like a single facet of a greater whole.
Psionic characters do not simply tap into the power of the mind, but the power of the mind and the body together. The psionic classes utilize the totality of consciousness to transform thoughts, ideas, and dreams into the real world. Rules for playing psionic characters can be found here and are further detailed in Dreamscarred Press products.
XP Rewards: The Adventure Path uses the Medium Experience chart for purposes to determine advancing a level.
5) Skill and Feats
Allocate skill ranks and select your feats from the various Pathfinder RPG source books.
House Rule: Traits
When you create your character for a campaign, you gain two traits of your choice from the following list (Campaign, Combat, Faith, Magic, Social, Race, Regional, or Religion). When selecting traits, you may not select more than one from the same list of traits. Traits are further explained in the Advanced Player’s Guide, Pathfinder RPG Companion series, and in Ultimate Campaign. Campaign traits are furthered detailed here.
House Rule: Drawbacks
Drawbacks are traits in reverse. Instead of granting you a boon, they grant you a negative effect, typically in particular circumstances. Drawbacks also serve as loopholes in the alignment system. When role-playing your drawback, you might act well outside the bounds of your alignment within certain situations. If you choose to take a drawback, you can take a third trait that you have access to. You don’t have to take a drawback. Drawbacks are further explained in Ultimate Campaign.
6) Determine Starting Hit Points (HP)
A character starts with maximum hit points at 1st level (the maximum number on its Hit Die) or if its first Hit Die roll is for a character class level. To determine a hit points for levels beyond 1st, roll the dice indicated by its Hit Dice. Creatures whose first Hit Die comes from an NPC class or from his race roll their first Hit Die normally.
7) Get Equipped
A character begin with their maximum starting funds for their class. Equipment options are detailed in the Pathfinder Core Player’s Handbook and various Pathfinder companion books, including the Ultimate Equipment Guide.
8) Determine Saving Throws, Initiative, and Attack Values.
Determine all of the character’s other mechanical details, such as his or her saving throws, initiative modifier, and attack values. All of these numbers are determined by the decisions made in previous steps, usually determined by your class choice.
House Rule: Hero Points
There are moments in any struggle that influence the outcome. Does the brave warrior lay low the villain before he can finish casting a devastating spell? Does the sly rogue avoid detection as she sneaks into the giant chieftain’s lair? Does the pious cleric finish casting her healing spell before the rain of arrows ends the life of her companions? Just a few die rolls decide each of these critical moments, and while failure is always a possibility, true heroes find a way to succeed, despite the odds. Hero Points represent this potential for greatness.
They give heroes the chance to succeed even when the dice turn against them.
Hero Points are only awarded to player characters. NPCs, animal companions, familiars, cohorts, and mounts do not receive hero points. Unlike other points in the game, hero points do not renew over time or with rest. Once spent, they are gone forever. Hero Points are awarded as a character gains levels or whenever a character accomplishes a truly heroic feat. The GM is the final arbiter on the award and use of hero points. Hero points are further explained in the Advanced Player’s Guide or here.
9) Description & Personality
Choose or make up a name for your character or generate, determine his or her age, alignment, and physical appearance (such as height, weight, eye and hair color, etc). It is helpful to think of a few unique personality traits as well, to help you play the character during the game.
Combat House Rules
Advanced Naval Combat
A pirate ship can be as much of a character as the scoundrels crewing it, and once the PCs get their own ship, it will likely see as much action as do the PCs themselves. Whether the PCs are fighting rival pirates in hand-to-hand combat on the deck of a sailing rig, attacking a merchantman with a hold full of riches to plunder with their own pirate ship, or sending an entire fleet of ships against an enemy armada. Generally speaking, naval combat is handled in one of three ways: shipboard combat (normal combat on board a ship), ship-to-ship combat (combat between two or more individual ships), and mass naval combat (combat between two or more fleets of multiple ships). The rules for these three types of naval combat are detailed here.
The normal combat rules deal with attacks and hits in an abstract way, subtracting hit points and leaving the details of where the sword strikes up to the GM’s description. This system places more control in the individual’s hands, allowing characters to target specific areas of an opponent, with corresponding results.
The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game deals with hits and damage in a rather abstract way, treating almost all hits the same except for the amount and type of damage dealt. With these optional called shot rules, PCs, monsters, and villains alike can aim their attacks more precisely, potentially to devastating effect. Call Shots are further explained in the Ultimate Combat book or here.
Critical Fumble Deck
The Adventure Path will utilize the GameMastery Critical Fumble Deck.
When you make an attack roll and get a natural 1 (the d20 shows 1), you miss regardless of your target’s Armor Class, and you have scored a “threat,” meaning the hit might be a critical fumble.
To find out if it’s a critical fumble, you immediately make an attempt to “confirm” the critical fumble — another attack roll with all the same modifiers as the attack roll you just made. If the confirmation roll also results in a miss against the target’s AC, your original hit is a critical fumble and you draw a card from the Critical Fumble Deck. (The critical roll just needs to miss to give you a fumble, it doesn’t need to come up 1 again.) If the confirmation roll is a hit, then your fumble is just a regular miss.
If a character is not proficient with the weapon used in the attack, a fumble occurs on the result or a natural 1, 2, or 3 on the die.
The type of attack is used to determine the appropriate result on the card and the effects listed are applied. Unless otherwise stated, all of these effects are in additional to the attack failing. If the character committing the fumble also has Weapon Focus in the weapon used, he player draws an additional card and chooses which result to apply. A character with Greater Weapon Focus may draw three cards and choose which one to apply.
The Critical Fumble Deck is further explained here.
Massive Damage Rules
If you ever sustain a single attack that deals an amount of damage equal to half your total hit points (minimum 50 points of damage) or more and it doesn’t kill you outright, you must make a DC 15 Fortitude save. If this saving throw fails, you die regardless of your current hit points. If you take half your total hit points or more in damage from multiple attacks, no one of which dealt more than half your total hit points (minimum 50), the massive damage rule does not apply.