Hold the Line!
Character creation FAQ
What level is my PC?
All PCs begin the game at Level 5.
How do I generate ability scores?
With the point-buy system on p.15 of the Core Rulebook (Table 1-1 on p.16).
Sure, but what is the specific point buy for this game?
20 points (“High Fantasy”). Please remember that no score can be reduced below 7 or raised above 18 using this method. Racial modifiers are applied after the points are spent, so it is possible to begin play with a low ability score of 5 and a high ability score of 20, depending on your race choice.
Now, ask me why I am opting for such a cushy point buy.
OK, “Why are you opting for such a cushy point buy?”
Because the Storm Chief told me you are going to need it.
Huh? Who is the Storm Chief?
You might regret asking that. The Storm Chief is none other than…Wait! Aren’t we supposed to be focussed on the character generation in this FAQ?
Oh yeah! But hey, you totally started the tangent. Back on task: what source books can I use as I generate my PC?
Any official Paizo source.
If there is a specific 3rd party source material that you really want to use, you can inquire and explain why it would really enhance your PC concept. Sometimes I’m fun that way. But in general, in order to be consistent and fair to the rest of the players, it would be best if we stick to official product — gotta draw the line somewhere.
Can I use non-standard or non-core races?
“Possibly”. I really want you to play a character that gets you jazzed for the game and one you’ll be happy to play for the full duration of the game, so “yes”. Nothing is “banned”.
But there’s a real ‘but’ here. Your character concept needs to fit the adventure. That involves your PC acting as a defender of Lastwall. Lastwall is a human nation with a militia force that is predominantly human. While your fiendish half-gnoll with protean blood raised by awakened dire marsupials from Tian Xia may sound really cool — and probably is — it might not fit this particular game very well.
I anticipate at least half of the PCs in the party to be human, good men and woman of Lastwall. But if you can sell me on how your ‘off the wall’ PC concept actually works for the game, we’ll get it in.
Can I play an evil-aligned PC?
“Probably not”. Same issue. This adventure scenario involves a small desperate band marshalling against hopeless odds. An ally who can stab them all in the back at any moment isn’t really what we’re looking for. (I dig PvP games, but this isn’t one). But again, if you can sell me on how it works, I’ll consider it.
I can play a paladin though, right?
“Definitely.” But as you probably appreciate, playing a paladin inevitably brings with it the spectre that other players (as well the GM) will inevitably poke their noses in your business with their varied and forceful opinions as to what paladins with their mysterious code of conduct can and can’t do, or should or should not do. Most people I know who play paladins are used to that and cool with it. Just make sure that’s you. You have to play your paladin thematically, not just mechanically – and yeah, no two people agree on exactly what that means.
How much gold does my PC start out with to purchase equipment?
Use the starting value in table 12-4 from the Core Rules, p.399 which is 10,500 gp. You can spend it anyway you like, except that:
- No single item you purchase can cost more than half (5,250 gp); and
- You may not spend more than 25% (2,625 gp) on consumables (i.e. potions, scrolls and wands etc).
Here’s some more information on funky options when purchasing starting equipment:
A Word on Wands
You may elect to purchase wands at less than the full 50 charges and pay the cost pro rata (i.e. a 25 charge wand costs half the price). However, you cannot purchase a wand with less than 10 charges. The rationale is to prevent the purchasing of 20 different wands with just a single charge in order to make a more economical scroll collection.
How to get a ‘Big Ticket’ item
There is a possible work around for rule #1 above. If you have an idea for an item that will cost more than 5,250 gp, you can go ahead and buy it. But in order to do this you have to make a special post in the game thread about your item. For example, you might post a vivid and memorable description, or detail the item’s heraldic origins. Or you might regale us with a tale as to how your PC came to find this item. Entertain your fellow players. Until you fulfill your end on this, you might have the item written on your PC’s character sheet, but you can’t use it.
Special Promo: a one-time discount item! Order now while supplies last.
Another option: if you choose to take advantage of this, you are permitted to purchase one potion of cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, or cure serious wounds or one scroll of cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, cure serious wounds, or cure critical wounds at half the price. If you buy a second one, or any number thereafter, you pay the normal list price.
“I’ve totally figured this game out already – all I have to do is buy my PC a +1 weapon with the orc bane weapon property! Slay orc with ease, rinse and repeat baby!”
That is a good thought. Unfortunately the Storm Chief thought of that too. He told me that if I permitted this he would come to my village and annihilate it—something about the lamentation of the women. I thought that was an important consideration, so I’ve decided upon a compromise.
Given the proliferation of orc opponents in this game, there’s a tax on the orc bane weapon property. It costs an extra 2,000 gp. Coincidentally, that means buying an orc bane weapon will cost 10,300 gp plus the cost of the base weapon, probably coming pretty close to cleaning you out, leaving you with little or no other starting equipment. A few of you might still conclude that it’s worth it and that could be fun. Do keep in mind that despite the game’s central concept and location, there might be enemies other than orcs in this game.
Are you cool if when I design my character I decide to ‘dump stat’?
“Yes”. While it is unnecessary to enjoy this game, I am just fine with character optimization. I want you to be jazzed about your PC and if it bothers you that your “build” is not as a strong as it could be, you should do what you need to do so that you enjoy your PC, and if that includes ‘dump statting’, go for it.
However, I need to make a couple of warnings:
First, be sure to read ahead and check out the section on “Red Shirts” below once it’s posted. Having a decent Charisma score might be more valuable in this game than you might otherwise assume.
Second, there will be a mystery mechanic in this game which is adversely affected by low mental ability scores. It’s no deal breaker, but I wanted to foreshadow it in an annoyingly obscure way so that you cannot later complain you were not forewarned.
[Edit: In the liver game there will be no such mystery mechanic – we’ll have enough to worry about]
The PCs need hooks strong enough to explain why they are at Greywarden (the game’s central location – the outpost under siege) to begin with and why they have stayed.
But why would anybody be in Greywarden?
I find good players excel at coming up with cool explanations for these sorts of things, but here’s some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Feel free to use a variation of any of these or come up with a new or better one entirely:
Sample Greywarden Hooks
“In the Army” You’re a soldier sworn to serve in Lastwall’s defence force. Your commander has ordered you to hold the line at Greywarden and so that’s all there is to it. You’re going to hold until reinforcements arrive and you’re formally relieved.
“On Loan” Many temples and even some mage academies require their younger members to spend 1-3 years donating their talents to Lastwall for the common good. You’re on secondment to Graywarden. Hope you survive it.
“I. Hate. Orcs.” The green skin killed your family, or some other such macho backstory thing – maybe they took your parking spot. Now you fight the green skin whenever and wherever you can. Operating on the frontier of Lastwall just sounds like a big orc buffet to you.
“The Refugee” Driven from your home in the west, you fled to Lastwall and made it to Greywarden seeking protection. You would have fled further if you could, but now it’s too late. You’ll have to make your stand here.
“I’m with Stupid”. You wouldn’t still be at Graywarden at all if it wasn’t for the fact that your loved one (or brother etc.) refuses to leave. As long as he remains here, you’ll stand by his side and protect him to the bitter end.