Carrion Crown (Pathfinder Horror)

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Boss Frost, Oct 3, 2013.

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  1. Just in time for Halloween, how about a good horror-themed Pathfinder game? This one is a favorite of mine: a published campaign I've played halfway through once already (when the party died. So sad!). So, let's give a shot to:


    Carrion Crown
    Tales are told throughout Golarion of shadowy figures that lurk in dark corners—stories recounted
    at children’s bedsides feature bestial creatures that come out only when the moon is right, and fireside legends speak of otherworldly beings beyond reckoning, whose very existence is more than the human mind can bear to know. These are the legends that explain where the blood of the family cow went, and why clerics spend so much time ensuring the proper Pharasmin rites are observed at gravesites throughout the Inner Sea. One can write them off as simple, scary stories in Absalom or Westcrown, but in Ustalav, everyone knows the truth of the things that go bump in the night.
    In the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, the horrors of the night become undeniably real as the PCs undertake a journey that will decide the future of a nation. This guide will aid players in preparing for this campaign by providing background on the nation of Ustalav, from its traumatic history to its superstitious citizens, who struggle to eke out a living while holding back the darkness.

    This RP will take us across six 'chapters', each will have their own thread. In order, those 'Chapters' are: Haunting of Harrowstone, Trial of the Beast, Broken Moon, Wake of the Watcher, Ashes at Dawn, Shadows of Gallowspire.

    Because of this, I'm hoping to get people willing to stick with this for a long time. I want 4 to 7 characters, and creating a balanced party is a good idea. While there will be a lot of combat, don't neglect your social skills! There will be a lot of RP in this, and I hope everyone will have fun.

    Overview of Ustalav (The Setting)
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    The Immortal Principality of Ustalav lies on the northern shore of Lake Encarthan, a grim bastion of civilization amid the barbarian north, where a harsh landscape and a history rich in tragedies inspire a wary population with skepticism, religious devotion, and superstition. A conglomeration of loosely affiliated counties, each run by feuding nobles vying for power and influence, Ustalav is a pitiful shell of its former glory, before it was subjugated to centuries of slavery at the hands of the Whispering Tyrant’s undead armies. While the nation’s upper classes struggle to compete with the very nations that abandoned them to fend for themselves after the Whispering Tyrant’s defeat, the average Ustalavic citizen has it much worse.
    Hundreds of years of subjugation and the residual horrors that plague the countryside have left the people of Ustalav suspicious of magic, religion, foreigners, and their fellow citizens. Beyond their eccentric and insular qualities, Ustalavs often have a dour worldview. They resign themselves to lives of suffering, seeing nothing in their people’s history to suggest there is any hope for a better life. Despite the physical and psychological strains upon its populace, Ustalav nevertheless fosters extremely hardy and tenacious stock: men and women who firmly believe that no matter how bad it gets, history shows it could always be worse.
    Although Ustalav has little to offer its rural peasants, inhabitants of its many metropolitan cities fare somewhat better, and the centers of learning and culture they provide draw trade and travelers from throughout the Inner Sea region. The capital, Caliphas, stands on the banks of Lake Encarthan, and its fog-shrouded streets host some of the nation’s most esteemed centers of trade and academia. In the north, the city of Karcau boasts a thriving culture of music, theater, and other fine arts, and its opulent architecture rivals the excess of even the most exotic Taldan palace. Meanwhile, Ustalav’s northwestern counties have broken from aristocratic rule and formed their own local, democratic government without nobles, calling themselves the Palatinates and providing a glimmer of hope for the downtrodden people of provincial Ustalav.

    While the Carrion Crown Adventure Path takes place exclusively in the haunted nation of Ustalav, the campaign does not require (or even assume) that the PCs be natives of that land. Each PC is summoned at the start of the adventure to the town of Ravengro in the rural county of Canterwall from elsewhere in Ustalav or the Inner Sea region. Thus, PCs of any nationality or concept can work within the constraints of the Adventure Path. No matter what your PC’s background is, adventure and intrigue await when you arrive in Ravengro for the funeral of the recently deceased Professor Petros Lorrimor, famed scholar, explorer, and teacher.

    As with much of the Inner Sea, Ustalav is a nation inhabited primarily by humans, but that doesn’t exclude members of other races from participating in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. The capital city, Caliphas, is conveniently located on the banks of Lake Encarthan; trade with the neighboring nations of Druma, the Five Kings Mountains, Isger, Kyonin, Molthune, and Nirmathas bring nonhumans into Caliphas’s port, and from there into the heart of Ustalav. Trade aside, the rich and dark history of Ustalav is lure enough for the adventurous and curious among all the civilized races of the Inner Sea. Furthermore, Professor Lorrimor was more open-minded than many of his fellow countrymen, and counted members of all races among his friends and colleagues.

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    Dwarves are less than common in Ustalav, yet the proximity of the Five Kings Mountains to the Immortal Principality means that there is steady trade between the miners, weaponsmiths, and brewers of the dwarven stronghold and the large urban ports on Lake Encarthan. Stout folk native to the land can generally be found in the mining-rich counties of Barstoi and Versex, where they often hold inf luential positions in local salt and tin mines. While many dwarven traders and tradespeople find themselves most accepted in the metropolitan centers of southern Ustalav, some venture into the more provincial and sometimes prejudiced counties in the east to answer the silent call to stand vigil against the orc hordes of neighboring Belkzen. Though natives of these regions are generally suspicious of (and sometimes even outright hateful toward) non-human visitors, those who take the time to get to know their dwarven neighbors often come around to their foreign ways, appreciating them for their hardiness and staunch pragmatism.
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    Elves are uncommon in Ustalav, especially outside the cosmopolitan capital of Caliphas or the nation’s many centers of learning. Even the oldest living elves are too young to remember the reign of the Whispering Tyrant, but elven memories are long and current elders recount tales of their parents’ generation joining the ranks of the Shining Crusade to drive Tar-Baphon’s armies from the banks of Lake Encarthan. As such, many young elves venture into the Ustalavic countryside, hoping to uncover long-buried mysteries or even to see the land where a not-so-distant ancestor perished. Some elves find themselves subject to deep-seated prejudice from Ustalav’s primarily Varisian inhabitants, who collectively—if subconsciously—hold a grudge against the elves who returned to Kyonin once the Whispering Tyrant was defeated so long ago, abandoning the crippled natives to fend for themselves—a fate from which the nation of Ustalav has never fully recovered.

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    Ustalav isn’t home to any notable gnome settlements, and the inhabitants’ general superstition makes them wary of gnomes living among them. That said, Ustalav is a strange place, and gnomes from around the world often travel there to see its bizarre sights and sometimes even more bizarre citizens. Particularly charismatic gnomes have been known to embed themselves with a traveling caravan of Sczarni, performing an agreed-upon task in exchange for being led throughout the countryside to see the inspiring sights and experiences within. Similarly, some gnomes find themselves accompanying altogether different caravans: traveling circuses. In these cases, their freakish companions often provide enough inspiration to stave off the Bleaching, while the gnomes themselves occasionally exploit their people’s rarity by going on display for gawking rubes willing to pay to see a “freak” or “captured fairy.”

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    Half-elf populations are always small throughout the Inner Sea, and this remains true in Ustalav. Minute numbers of such half-breeds can be found in Ardis, Caliphas, and Karcau, though isolated individuals are scattered throughout the nation. The superstitious and uneducated population of rural Ustalav frequently see the pointed ears, inhuman eyes, and fair features of halfelves and mistake them for changelings, tief lings, or other more monstrous half-humans. Such folk then make the offenders’ lives difficult, sometimes even running them out of town. Thus, native half-elves are cautious, and often do their best to disguise their elven traits (see the Integrated alternate racial trait in the Advanced Player’s Guide.) Halfelves from other parts of the world are prone to wandering, however, and many find themselves in Ustalav on their way somewhere else or as a final destination, believing the ancient land may hold some answer they seek.

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    Half-orcs are an extraordinary sight in Ustalav, and outside the seedier side of Ustalav’s many urban centers, half-orcs are most often found along the nation’s western border. The Whispering Tyrant ruled Ustalav for nearly a millennium as master of the vast orc hordes of Belkzen, and even a thousand years after the Shining Crusade defeated him and drove his armies back into the wastelands, the residual bloodlines caused by generations of orc attacks on human settlements still pop up in even the most prestigious of families. Though Sczarni are typically capable of defending themselves and wary of outsiders, some vulnerable caravans have been known to hire the occasional half-orc guard to ensure that they have the brawn on hand to counter any unexpected resistance from the nation’s darker denizens. Despite this, half-orcs are seen as monsters by most Ustalavs, and a half-orc in any Ustalavic setting is often the subject of extreme prejudice.

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    As with elsewhere in the Inner Sea region, halflings live and work alongside humans, ever in their wide and ambitious shadows. In Ustalav, half lings are relatively rarer than in the nations of southern Avistan, such as Andoran and Cheliax. As with similarly statured gnomes, half lings may be found traveling the countryside as part of wandering carnivals or freak shows, on display for their miniature stature or performing as acrobats or jugglers. Nobles in the more urban cities of Caliphas, Ardis, and Karcau may look to the prosperous nations of Cheliax and Taldor and follow their lead by employing half lings as servants, ever trying to emulate more extravagant societies. In the northwestern counties known as the Palatinates, half lings f leeing from the bonds of slavery elsewhere in the world see the emancipated citizenry as an example of the life they wish to live, free from both bondage and the idealistic crusading of liberty-focused Andoran, and they live and work side by side with the free humans of the region’s peasantry.

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    Humans dominate Ustalav’s population, and among them most are ethnic Varisians whose ancestors also called the land home. Whether nobles clinging to the few drops of blood that grant them a claim—albeit a distant one—to the Ustalavic aristocracy, or stoic peasants struggling to make ends meet in the unforgiving countryside, heritage and history are incredibly important to Ustalavs. All modern Ustalavs feel directly connected through familial ties to the centuries of torment at the Whispering Tyrant’s hands and share an inherited acceptance of a life of struggle and suffering. Among the populace’s Varisian ethnicity are communities of nomads who travel as far as the Varisian coast, and the wandering Sczarni, who are scorned even by many fellow Varisians for their stereotypical unscrupulous ways. Both unsettled groups are typically considered backward and dangerous, and are thus treated as second class citizens. In addition, those humans of Kellid decent are treated with contempt, especially in the north, where they are negatively associated with the barbarian tribes of Numeria, the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, and the fallen realm of Sarkoris. Despite their relegation to second-class citizenship, Kellids are nevertheless common throughout Ustalav, and the monolithic remnants of their shamanistic society from before the arrival of the Varisians can still be found throughout the region.

    Other Races
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    While the preceding races are the most common in Ustalav, several non-core races might fit well into the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. In each case, these races will most likely present a more challenging time for players, especially in more superstitious and provincial regions of Ustalav, but they f it very nicely into the Adventure Path’s themes.
    Changeling: When hags trick members of other races into child-bearing unions, changelings are the result. Always female and often sporting different colored eyes, changelings are usually raised by unwitting parents of their father’s race, most unaware of the unnatural circumstances of their daughters’ birth.
    Dhampir: Resulting from the unlikely union of a vampire and a living human, dhampirs are graced with long life, an elegant appearance, and unnatural reflexes, but are cursed with an aversion to bright light and an aff inity to negative energy. In Ustalav, dhampirs are more common than nearly anywhere else in the Inner Sea region, but they are nevertheless seen and treated as monsters.
    Orc: While half-orcs are a standard option for PCs, Ustalav’s proximity to Belkzen opens up full-blooded orcs as legitimate possibilities for player characters. Of the non-standard races presented in this section, orcs face perhaps the largest and most widespread social stigma in Ustalav and will present serious obstacles for a player of this race, in both rural and urban environments.

    Few things define a character more than her class, and the Carrion Crown Adventure Path allows for incredible variety in the types of characters that take part in it. All eleven core classes and the seven base classes from the Advanced Player’s Guide and Ultimate Magic have a place within Ustalav and, by extension, this campaign. While creating your character, use the following class overviews as a guide for how your chosen class may fit into the Adventure Path, and possibly as inspiration for a new character concept. In addition to background information, each class also presents some suggestions for customizing your character to best suit the coming campaign, both from core options and alternate class features presented in the Advanced Player’s Guide. Each write-up includes at least one possible way in which your character may have met Professor Petros Lorrimor, the man whose funeral brings you to Ravengro to begin the Adventure Path; use this suggestion in combination with the campaign traits lower down to build your PC’s background and hook her into the coming adventures.

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    Ever on the fringes of society, alchemists often gravitate toward Ustalav, where varied centers of science and academia disguise their eccentricities and odd research. Schools like the University of Lepidstadt, Caliphas’s Quarterfaux Archives, and Rozenport’s Sincomakti School, along with the ancestral libraries of Ustalav’s crumbling nobility and long lost crypts of the armies of the Whispering Tyrant, provide ample draw for alchemists from around the world to venture into the haunted land, hoping to learn advanced formulae and discover eldritch extracts. An alchemist may have met Professor Lorrimor at a center of alchemical study where he came to speak or at a library where the two studied ancient formulae together.
    Recommendations: Alchemists’ great versatility allows characters of any bent to function well in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, focusing their daily mutagens and extracts to the current situation. Those alchemists skilled in Knowledge (arcana), Perception, Spellcraft, Survival, and Use Magic Device will find particular use for their talents over the course of the campaign.

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    Ustalav is a fairly civilized nation where barbarians are stigmatized for their lack of refinement and adherence to traditional values. Many hail from Kellid tribes to the north and east, further adding to the prejudice. Which stigma colored the other isn’t clear, but to most Ustalavs, Kellid and barbarian are synonymous words, and are often used as such. The Graidmere swamp outside Karcau also hosts its own xenophobic communities of unpredictable swampfolk, born from interbreeding between Varisians and mysterious, marsh-dwelling Kellids. Although Professor Lorrimor was a man of culture and academia, he nevertheless made many an acquaintance—and even a few friendships—with barbarians, especially when exploring and doing research in their native lands. Thus, wild warriors from locations as far-f lung as the Lands of the Linnorm Kings and even the Mwangi Expanse may have a place in the late professor’s will.
    Recommendations: Barbarians of all types and origins might be summoned to Ravengro, but barbarians from the lands around Ustalav may wish to employ the Superstitious archetype. Kellids attracted to the ancestral ruins that dot the land may also consider the Totem Warrior archetype. Suggested skills include Intimidate, Perception, and Survival.

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    Much of Ustalav’s countryside consists of rural farms and tiny villages, but it also contains some of the largest urban centers on Lake Encarthan. The antiquarian archives in Ardis; noble courts and aristocratic intrigue in Caliphas; Karcau’s world famous opera; and other academies of theater, dance, comedy, and song all draw bards from across the Inner Sea region. But even in rural areas, wandering performers, swindlers, and storytellers are common, and no Sczarni caravan is complete without someone to distract a mark while the rest of the crew lightens his purse. In his travels abroad, Professor Lorrimor often sought out lorekeepers when conducting research, and had bardic contacts in nearly every city in the Inner Sea on the off chance he needed a social introduction while in town.
    Recommendations: Bards are incredibly versatile and can fill a number of campaign roles. Those who focus entirely on enchantment or mind-affecting effects may find some portions of the Adventure Path challenging; at least passing skill in combat or the ability to magically enhance allies will come in handy. Good class archetypes include Archivist, Detective, and Magician. Suggested skills include Acrobatics, Bluff, Sense Motive, and Stealth.

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    Ustalav is home to numerous mounted warriors and dedicated crusaders. In the south, amid the Hungry Mountains, cavaliers and paladins from Lastwall patrol the scarred land looking for signs of the Whispering Tyrant’s lingering power. In the more lush, wooded areas of northern and western Ustalav, cavaliers of noble lineage participate in competitive hunts, always trying to prove their superior horsemanship. When exploring dangerous parts of the world or hunting for proof of legendary creatures, Professor Lorrimor often hired cavaliers to serve as escorts; many of these served him more than once, and he became very close to several.
    Recommendations: Cavaliers make excellent team leaders and can be invaluable on the battlefield in any adventure. The Carrion Crown Adventure Path includes a number of traditional dungeon crawls and urban encounters that may present a challenge to cavaliers with Large mounts, so having nonmounted combat options is recommended. Orders that work well in this campaign include the order of the cockatrice, the order of the shield, the order of the star, and the order of the sword. Suggested skills include Diplomacy, Climb, and Sense Motive.

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    Nomadic Varisians worship Desna almost exclusively, while most common Ustalavs respect her but pay their truest homage to Pharasma. The Lady of Graves’ faith is particularly strong throughout the nation and has taken on an insular, fatalistic bent seen few other places. Many of her followers believe that they are fated to experience bad things and that their role is to endure and thus to achieve a fair judgment by their goddess upon their death. Professor Lorrimor was himself more interested in the pursuit of knowledge than matters of faith, but frequently met with religious scholars throughout the Inner Sea, and always took a healer or two on his many archeological expeditions.
    Recommendations: While clerics of any faith may find themselves summoned to Ravengro, priests of Desna, Iomedae, and Pharasma may find they have the closest ties to the events of the Adventure Path. Clerics who specialize in commanding, destroying, or communicating with undead will be particularly effective. Suggested domains include Death, Good, Healing, Knowledge, Magic, Protection, Repose, Rune, Sun, and Travel. Suggested skills include Knowledge (religion), Sense Motive, and Spellcraft.

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    Ustalav is not a land known for its nature-priests, though their presence is more pronounced the farther from civilization one goes in the mysterious land. While native druids are less than common, adherents to the Green Faith often travel to Ustalav to examine the nation’s wastelands, both the residual taint of the Whispering Tyrant’s reign and the war-scarred expanse known as the Furrows. Many have the idealistic hope of ridding the nation of the foul stain of its former subjugator. These crusaders of the natural world are most prevalent in the southwestern region of the nation, in and around the Hungry Mountains. Savage druids also find themselves drawn to the ancient standing stones that dot the nation and the varied deadly beasts of the Shudderwood. When Professor Lorrimor had questions on various mysteries and oddities of nature, his druid acquaintances were often the first people he consulted, and many of them became close friends over the years.
    Recommendations: Several portions of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path take place in and around Ustalav’s many settlements, so druid characters may wish to consider the urban druid archetype from the Advanced Player’s Guide. Druids with a particular affinity for the blighted land of Virlych may likewise consider the blight druid archetype. Any animal companion native to temperate land environments would be appropriate for this adventure, particularly cougars, falcons, owls, and wolves. Druids who specialize in overland travel and tracking will also find their talents particularly useful. Suggested skills include Knowledge (Nature), Perception, and Survival.

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    Capable fighters can be found across Ustalav, whether as members of local militias, guards, bodyguards in the service of nobles, or trained hunters. Especially along the land’s border, members of the country’s wary military keep careful vigil, knowing that the greatest threats to the land’s people come from beyond, not within. The famed dueling fraternities of the University of Lepidstadt are also renowned for their traditions and the pride with which they train some of the most capable fencers in the Inner Sea. Mercenaries make a decent living because their talents are in such demand, whether as guards, caravan escorts, or personal bodyguards. Professor Lorrimor often found the need for protection or hired muscle, and over his long life, he held many fighters in his employ, both locally and abroad.
    Recommendations: Fighters of any ilk will find themselves with plenty to do in this Adventure Path, and any of the fighter archetypes presented in the Advanced Player’s Guide will serve well, Crossbowman, Free Hand Fighter, and Weapon Master being especially common. Suggested skill selection for this campaign includes Intimidate, Knowledge (dungeoneering), and Survival.

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    In a nation like Ustalav, which has suffered centuries upon centuries of torment and strife, people often have little to turn to but their faith. In the Immortal Principality, this sometimes takes the form of religious zealotry. An ever-growing sect of Pharasmin inquisitors maintain the puritanical belief that suffering is a punishment for the people’s misdeeds. These zealots frequently instigate witch burnings and are very suspicious of the arcane arts. Inquisitors of other faiths are somewhat less common, with the exception of Iomedaeans, who still scour the Ustalavic countryside for remnants of the Whispering Tyrant’s reign. Over his long career, Professor Lorrimor assisted a number of inquisitors by providing esoteric information and lore. Many of them came to him as a source time and again.
    Recommendations: Inquisitors of any faith may find a role in this campaign, though those affiliated with Desna, Iomedae, and Pharasma may feel the most connected to the events of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. Useful skills for this Adventure Path include Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sense Motive, Stealth, and Survival.

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    Masters of both spell and blade, magi constantly search for perfection of those arts. This blending of arcane and martial skill often marks them as different, and therefore not to be trusted, with the common populace. However, the siren call of Ustalav’s fabled centers of learning, the arcane legacy of Tar-Baphon’s rule, and a mercenary’s life all draw these individuals to the Immortal Principality. In Ustalav, magi might come from the ranks of the land’s baroque nobility, many of whom receive a motley education including both scholarship and swordplay, or who indulge eclectic whims. Agents of the country’s various rulers, power players, and organizations—like Thrushmoor’s Sleepless Agency—often cultivate a varied repertoire to help them face the nation’s innumerable and often mysterious menaces. Professor Lorrimor traveled widely in his exploration of the known world and encountered magi in the field as well as at the universities, archives, and monasteries he often frequented.
    Recommendations: Characters with talent for both sword and spell will find a special connection to the events of this Adventure Path. Magi of the Bladebound, Hexcrafter, Spellblade, and Staff Magus archetypes will all have equal opportunity to shine. Suggested skills include Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), and Spellcraft.

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    While Ustalav does not feature any world-renowned monastic orders, devotees of self-perfection and the martial arts can periodically be found traveling through the region—may have come from backgrounds of self-training, sportsmanship, or barbarity. However, Professor Lorrimor’s travels took him far beyond his native land, and he encountered monks in distant cities and isolated monasteries the world over. He fondly recounted his long philosophical discussions with aged monks in far away corners of the Inner Sea region, and was rumored to have even imparted some of his esoteric wisdom to eager young trainees he encountered on teaching tours.
    Recommendations: Monks’ strong defenses and versatility will prove useful in this campaign. Players seeking to customize their monks beyond the standard fare should consider the Hungry Ghost Monk, Ki Mystic, and Monk of the Healing Hand archetypes in the Advanced Player’s Guide. Suggested skills include Acrobatics, Perception, and Sense Motive.

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    Because the source of their divine powers is frequently misunderstood, oracles are often viewed with suspicion by Ustalavs, especially in particularly superstitious regions such as Barstoi and Versex. Despite their aversion to these spiritual conduits, when things turn grim—and they often do in Ustalav—oracles are sought out by villagers and nobles alike in need of healing, soothsaying, a medium’s talents, or other occult services. Many oracles from other parts of the world travel to Ustalav to better understand their own nature, hoping the residual magic of the Whispering Tyrant’s rule or a lost tome in a forgotten library will enlighten them as to their divine purpose. Professor Lorrimor went through a period of intense study of oracles, during which time he met with many of them, working closely with several.
    Recommendations: Oracles of all mysteries can take part in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, but those of battle, bones, and life may find themselves particularly well-suited to the challenges the campaign will present. Similarly, oracles cursed with the haunted, wasting, and tongues curses may feel additionally tied to the themes the Adventure Path presents. Suggested skills include Diplomacy, Knowledge (religion), and Sense Motive.

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    Few locations in Golarion are as in need of paladins as Ustalav. Whether one sets out to vanquish evil and eliminate any remnant of the Whispering Tyrant’s long reign or to heal and bolster the downtrodden Ustalavic citizens weary of their years of suffering, there’s never a shortage of good to be done in the Immortal Principality. Non-native paladins frequently serve Iomedae and hail from Lastwall, though holy warriors of Sarenrae are also somewhat common. In his innumerable explorations, Professor Lorrimor uncovered several holy relics and was often accompanied by paladins of the aforementioned churches. He also had the opportunity to meet paladins while visiting religious archives throughout Golarion.
    Recommendations: Paladins of any variety will find the Carrion Crown Adventure Path rife with evil to smite and innocents to save. The Undead Scourge archetype in the Advanced Player’s Guide is an especially good match for this campaign, though the Divine Defender, Hospitaler, and Warrior of Holy Light archetypes make good alternatives. Suggested skills include Diplomacy, Knowledge (religion), and Sense Motive.

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    There are countless threats in the wilds of Ustalav, and a character with the ability to hunt these menaces is highly valued. Whether serving as a guide on the wealthy’s hunts into the wilderness, stalking the ravaged countryside for undead or other monstrous nightmares, or pursuing a criminal on the streets of Ardis or Karcau, a ranger need not look far to find a niche in Ustalav. Time and again, Professor Lorrimor consulted with rangers regarding terrain and wildlife while planning expeditions or preparing lectures, and he took the best of them with him on especially dangerous expeditions.
    Recommendations: Suggested ranger archetypes for the Carrion Crown Adventure Path include Guide, Infiltrator, Skirmisher, and Urban Ranger. Good favored enemies include aberration, animal, construct, humanoid (human), and undead. Rangers with the favored terrains of forest, mountain, swamp, and urban will find their talents most useful during the course of the campaign. See the druid section for suggested animal companions. Suggested skills include Knowledge (dungeoneering), Perception, and Stealth.

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    With as many Sczarni on the streets and highways of Ustalav as there are, it’s not surprising that the nation teems with con artists, pickpockets, thugs, and thieves. No Sczarni caravan is complete without a number of rapscallions ready to play their role in separating their mark from his money, whether through deception, quick fingers, or violence. Despite the myriad problems plaguing the people of Ustalav, many citizens see the actions of the Sczarni as a pressing concern, and view members with warranted suspicion. At the same time, with as many mysteries and secrets as haunt the country’s nights, it often falls to skillful investigators, detectives, courtiers, and common folk familiar with the ways of the shadowed streets to bring the truth to light. Sometimes, in the course of exploration or research, Professor Lorrimor would hire a rogue or two to help defuse traps or procure difficult to obtain information, the most efficient of which he remained in contact with after the job was done.
    Recommendations: Rogues of all sorts can be found in Ustalav, but members of the class with the Acrobat, Burglar, Cutpurse, Rake, and Thug archetypes are most common and will find their talents particularly helpful in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. Suggested skills include Disable Device, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility), and Stealth.

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    The arcane scars on the land of Ustalav run deep, etched into the very fabric of the nation from centuries of rule by the Whispering Tyrant and his undead armies. As such, it isn’t uncommon for children born in the Immortal Principality to develop inherent spellcasting abilities as they mature. Near Virlych, where the Whispering Tyrant remains locked in his prison of Gallowspire, sorcerers often have an aff inity for the undead, while the ancient Kellid ruins of Versex and Vieland are often blamed when sorcerers in the county manifest aberrant powers. Elsewhere in Ustalav, sorcerers exhibit signs of celestial inf luence, perhaps a residuals effect of the forces of good that battled the Whispering Tyrant in the Shining Crusade. Many sorcerers manifesting these and other bloodlines travel to Ustalav to plumb its ancient arcane mysteries for some idea of their own origins, and for many years Professor Lorrimor was one of the most sought after experts on the subject.
    Recommendations: Sorcerers of the aberrant, arcane, celestial, destined, and undead bloodlines will fit particularly well in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, though no bloodline would be a poor fit. Players who wish to use bloodlines from other sources may wish to look into the orc bloodline in Pathfinder Player Companion: Orcs of Golarion—especially given the nation’s proximity to the Hold of Belkzen—and the dreamspun and starsoul bloodlines in the Advanced Player’s Guide. Suggested skills include Bluff, Intimidate, and Knowledge (arcana).

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    Suspicion and superstition are rampant in Ustalav, and summoners often face the worst of both. Seen as cavorting with strange and evil forces (not to mention their often bestial eidolons), summoners typically have a difficult time existing within Ustalavic society. Those few summoners who do live in the region are often hermits living alone in the wilderness or cloistered academics who rarely venture from their libraries into public. Given the nation’s varied, unspoiled wildernesses and nearness to the even denser wilds of the north, many summoners in this region tap into the weird powers of the First World, calling forth never-before-seen feylike creatures from that infinite potentiality. Alternatively, strange dreamers reach out across the gulfs of space and the planes to command unnameable beings, garnering their service, but perhaps also the scrutiny of other unknown entities. Professor Lorrimor was known to hold a number of summoners in high regard, men and women he consulted on planar matters, and who in turn approached him with particularly vexing questions of their own.
    Recommendations: Summoners with eidolons of all shapes and sizes will function well in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, though roughly humanoid eidolons will blend in better in social or urban situations. Summoners are likely to receive the most benefit from ranks in Knowledge (arcana), Linguistics, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device.

    Show Spoiler

    In most parts of the Inner Sea region, witches are outcast for their strange connection to powerful forces others can’t understand. In Ustalav, however, witches serve an important role as rural healers and spiritual leaders, sometimes traveling between isolated communities where the beleaguered population has little choice but to accept their aid, despite rampant prejudice. Ustalavic witches are often associated with the ancient Kellid religion, the worship of a mysterious pantheon, and powerful ritual sites scattered throughout the region. Whether a witch’s patron is actually connected with these eldritch forces depends on the individual witch.
    Recommendations: Witches in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path should have ample opportunities to utilize both their magical, mystical, and combat expertise. Any non-aquatic familiar will work well in the campaign, though players may find that bats, cats, foxes, owls, rats, ravens, vipers, and toads fit well in the misty haunts of Ustalav. All patrons will work equally well within this campaign. Suggested skills include Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nature), and Spellcraft.

    Show Spoiler

    Ustalav’s legacy and identity are inseparable from the fact that Ustalav was the cradle that spawned one of the most powerful wizards of all time, the dreaded Whispering Tyrant, Tar-Baphon. Although he was long ago imprisoned, the arcane lore amassed by his servants and the crusaders who rallied against him remains alive in modern Ustalav, albeit often buried in dusty libraries and tombs scattered across the land. Many wizards travel to the region in search of ancient lore or artifacts or to teach or study at the various universities and isolated monasteries that dot the countryside. Himself a devout scholar, Professor Lorrimor found it easy to relate to wizards, and he held many as close friends, colleagues, and competitive rivals.
    Recommendations: While wizards specializing in any arcane school will find the opportunity to shine in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, those who devote their study to abjuration, divination, evocation, and necromancy will fit well with the themes and plot of the campaign. Enchanters and illusionists may find that many of their talents go unused throughout the Adventure Path. Wizards who take familiars may consider any of the options in the core rules as appropriate. Suggested skills include Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (planes), Knowledge (religion), Linguistics, and Spellcraft.

    Campaign Traits
    Character traits are essentially half-feats that help customize a PC’s background and tie her to the themes and events of a particular adventure. Each character should begin play with two traits, one of which may be selected from the Carrion Crown campaign traits below.
    All of the following traits revolve around ways characters may know the late Professor Petros Lorrimor, whose funeral draws them to Ravengro, and whose final will and testament launches the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. You can take a look at these traits to get a general, spoiler free idea of the types of foes and challenges your character might encounter over the course of the Adventure Path. Knowing that there are going to be elements of horror tainted landscapes, secret societies, foul plots, ancient magic, politics, and the like should help you build a character that fits more organically into the campaign you’re about to join.
    You may choose one of these traits in addition to the two you'd get normally.

    Show Spoiler

    Chance Savior: Fate smiled on you and Professor Lorrimor one day in the not so distant past. Through a matter of pure chance, you were in a position to save the late scholar’s life and did so. His gratitude was effusive, and he promised that he would never forget you. You are unsure of the nature of the summons in his will, but believe he may have listed you as a possible heir in thanks for saving him from an untimely demise. Your ability to think quickly on your feet has stayed with you, and you quite often feel that you’re in the right place at the right time. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Initiative checks.

    Subject of Study: Professor Lorrimor approached you as part of his studies, as he had heard that you had survived a recent encounter with a strange monster or had another fateful encounter. Interested in the conditions of the run-in and the means by which you avoided death or injury, he met with you and maintained frequent correspondence until several months ago. The scars of your experience and his continual reminders of the encounter prompted you to hone your skills lest you someday face the same type of creature again. The professor assisted you in this endeavor, providing you with insight into the anatomy and defenses of the creature that attacked you. Years of study have improved your combat effectiveness against your chosen foe. Choose a non-humanoid creature type (and subtype if outsider). You gain a +1 bonus on damage rolls against creatures of this type. See the ranger favored enemy suggestions for a list of creature types most likely to appear in this campaign.

    Inspired by Greatness: Whether you knew Professor Lorrimor well or only in passing, as a colleague or competitor, his career and lifetime of discovery inspired you to be better at what you do. As you honed your craft, you and the professor corresponded, and he was delighted to hear that he had directly or indirectly motivated you to strive for your full potential. Saddened by the news of his death, you feel that you should honor his memory by fulfilling his final wishes and attending his funeral, and by ever striving to attain greater heights and someday match the inf luence and impact of your idol. Choose one spell you can cast. From now on, you always cast this spell at +1 caster level.

    Making Good on Promises: At some point in the past, Professor Lorrimor did you a favor under the condition that he would someday call on you to repay it. After he came to your aid, however, you never saw nor heard from him again, leaving you with a sense of unending anticipation that each day might be the day you were asked to return the favor. Yet that day never came, and your fears and anxiety about what the professor would call on you to do abated. Assuming the old man had either forgotten about you or died, you eventually assumed you’d never have to follow through on your end of the bargain. When you received word of the professor’s death, and that he had named you specifically in his will, your dread of what he could possibly want from you has grown throughout your entire journey to Ravengro.
    Years of living with the fear and uncertainty of the unclaimed debt to Professor Lorrimor have inured you to extreme anxiety. You gain a +2 trait bonus on saves against fear effects.

    On the Payroll: Whether he needed a bodyguard in a rough neighborhood, a guide to an isolated archeological dig, or information on a specialized topic, Professor Lorrimor was never shy about hiring professionals to help him attain his goals. Over the course of his long career, thousands of people throughout the world served his needs and benefited from his generous wages (usually covered by his academic benefactor at the time). He had contacts in most areas of expertise in every corner of the known world, a knack for recognizing talent, and a desire to be surrounded by the best and brightest at all times. Whatever job the professor originally hired you for, your performance captured his attention, and he hired you many times throughout your career, sometimes even for jobs away from your home, always paying your expenses and compensating you well for your time. In your area of expertise, you are among the best. Your years of hard work have paid off, granting you an additional 150 gp in starting wealth.

    Teacher’s Pet: Professor Lorrimor traveled the Inner Sea region lecturing and teaching at universities in locations as far-f lung as Manaket and Magnimar, and as different in scope as the bardic colleges of Taldor and the battle colleges of the River Kingdoms. Speaking before standing-room-only lecture halls on topics as widely ranging as military strategy, planar anomalies, theology, and agriculture, Lorrimor’s time was highly valued among those ambitious to benefit from his expertise. Despite this, he still managed to provide one-on-one assistance to the most promising of his acolytes. When he saw the potential for greatness in one of his charges, he took it upon himself to nurture their spark. You were such a student. Over the course of several months, you and the late professor spent hours debating the finer points of your topic of interest, and the intellectual doors he opened for you continue to flavor your outlook on the world. You gain a +2 trait bonus to one Knowledge skill of your choosing and consider it a class skill.

    Beyond the tips here, I am looking for a mostly good or neutral-aligned characters. They have to be level 1, and the point buy for your characters are 25 points. Start with 200 gold to spend on equipment.

    Aky (Played by Hedonist Redd): Ifrit Vampire Hunter
    (Played by Fredrica-sama): An undine druid.​

    Vay - Fetchling Paladin (Reserved)​
    Dawn - Dhampir Witch
    Cerulean - Cleric​
    Boss Frost - ???​
    #1 Boss Frost, Oct 3, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  2. WIP!

    Alignment: Neutral Good
    Deity: Sarenrae
    Race: Fetchling
    Class: Paladin 1 (undead scourge variant)
    Level: 1

    Size: Medium

    Light Load: 0 - 76lb
    Medium: 77 - 153
    Heavy: 154 - 230
    Drag: 1150

    Age: 25
    Height: 5' 1
    Weight: 106 lb

    Hair: Silver
    Eyes: Green (monochrome, glowing)

    STR: 16 (+3)
    DEX: 14 (+2)
    CON: 13 (+1)
    INT: 10 (+0)
    WIS: 10 (+0)
    CHA: 16 (+3)

    HP: 11

    Speed: 30ft
    Initiative: +4 (+2+2)

    Fort: +3 (+2+1)
    Ref: +2 (+0+2)
    Will: +2 (+2+0)

    BAB: +1

    Class features:

    Aura of Good
    Detect Evil
    Smite Evil (1/day)

    Race Features:

    Type: Native Outsider.
    Shadow Blending (Attack made against Fetchling in dim light have 50% miss chance).
    Shadowy resistance: +5 cold, +5 Electrical resistances.
    Disguise self (1/day)
    Variant Trait: World Walker. (+1 Knowledge nature, +1 knowledge Local, replaces +2 Knowledge planes)
    Dark Vision
    Low light Vision

    Skills: (ability mod, ranks)

    Acrobatics: +2 (+2, 0)
    Bluff: +3 (+3, 0)
    Climb: +3 (+3, 0)
    Diplomacy: +7 (+3, 1, trained)
    Disguise: +3 (+3, 0)
    Escape Artist: +2 (+2, 0)
    Fly: +2 (+2, 0)
    Intimidate: +3 (+3, 0)
    Kn. Nature: +1 (+0, 1, racial)
    Kn. Local: +1 (+0, 1, racial)
    Kn. Religion: +4 (+0, 1, trained)
    Ride: +2 (+2, 0)
    Stealth: +4 (+2, 2, racial)
    Swim: +3 (+3, 0)


    Power Attack (-1 attack for +2 damage, +3 for 2H weapons)



    #2 Vay, Oct 4, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  3. Aww, I wanted to join, but it seems a bit complicated for me.
  4. I don't understand the last bit about the equipment and point buy and stuff.
  5. Dhampir Witch on the way :D
  6. Thanks, Dawn and Vay!

    [MENTION=5465]Fredrica-sama[/MENTION]: The game we'll be playing here is the tabletop RPG, Pathfinder. It's a far more streamlined and easier-ruled Dungeons and Dragons. If you'd like, I'd be happy to help you make a character and go through the basic ideas of the game. The best way to learn, of course, is to play.

  7. Thank you, I would very much like that, :)

    I was thinking of making a Dhampir witch too, though, but I guess I'll have to go with something else ;_;
  8. Well, you could always be related.

    Alternatively, you could pick a different 'sort' of vampire to be descended from, a different Patron for your witch... and you end up as completely different characters.

    Heck, if we get a third Witch, you could even start as a coven or something in your backstory. XD

  9. No problem, I thought up something else. I still need help understanding the whole system, though.
  10. No problem! Go ahead and send me a convo telling me what you've thought up, and we'll go from there.
  11. Don't worry. I'm a total noob at this.
  12. Crap, sorry about the late post, is there room for one more, Frost?

    EDIT: Herfaderp, just saw my name. Not sure if I'm going Inquisitor though, I'll PM you the kind of character I was looking to make, Frost, and we'll see the class that fits it best!
    #12 Hedonist Redd, Oct 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2013
  13. Alright, I've got pretty much everything done for my character. so I'll go ahead and post some stuff up! ^_^

    Character Sheet:

    (I find that Firefox or Google Chrome is best for viewing these!)

    For those who don't feel like spreadsheets, here's a basic bio.

    Name: Aku
    Race: Ifrit
    Sex: Male
    Class: Inquisitor/ Vampire Hunter
    Age: 90
    Height: 6' 0"
    Weight: 130 lbs
    Hair: Varies from dark red when calm/bright crimson when angered
    Eyes: Amber
    Alignment: Neutral Good
    Deity: Sarenrae; The Dawnflower; The Healing Flame (his preference)

    Personality: Very rough around the edges, can be anti-social at times, but doesn't do it intentionally. Willing to help anyone who seems to be in dire need, without repayment or recognition as reward. Very fatalistic in his world view, not placing his own life in too high of regard. Very devout to his religion, trying to follow the tenants of his faith as best he can. Believes everyone is worth saving if they only wish to be saved; evil ones who do nothing but spread chaos are immediately met with his blades of flame and silver.
    Tends to be quiet, lets his actions speak for themselves, but becomes rather talkative when it comes to religion, protecting someone, or when severely angered.
    Treats anyone related to vampires or the undead with a heavy amount of caution and/or scorn.


    Basically, the clothes and figure of this one -----v
    Picture (open)

    And the face, skin color and hair of this one! -----v

    Picture (open)

    Be warned, this history is a pretty wall of text. And, as such, wrapped a spoiler around it.

    History of Aku (open)

    History: Born to two loving Ifrit parents, in the land Ustalav, he was brought into a world of hardship from the get-go. His parents were nomads, living off the very harsh land of Ustalav, roving from place to place. His mother was a musician, his father a salesman, and both were thrown out of cities everywhere, the people very weary of people with flaming heads. He grew up ridiculed and shunned, but his parents always protected him, and taught him how to live for himself, as free as you can be, by living off the land, no matter how unforgiving. By the time he was 50, he was still roaming around with his family, his parents getting on in age, having birthed fairly early. He learned from them all the wisdom he could, revering them for living out on this harsh land.

    One day arrived, as they were setting up camp, and they were ambushed by a group of vampires, wanting to capture them and use them as testing subjects, Ifritii being a rare find in Ustalav. His father died in combat, and Aku and his mother were captured. They awoke to a lair, and were tortured and tested on for months on end. Finally, his mother snapped and set fire to two of the scientists working on them. For her actions, she was fed to undead lab subjects, in full view of Aku. He stayed there for 2 more years, being poked, prodded and beaten. He, at last, managed to kill one of the scientists who worked on him in the mornings, and managed to escape.

    When he arose, he was lost. His parents, who were his guiding force had been killed. He simply wandered, truly lost as to what to make of his life now. He ended up half dead in front of a shrine of Sarenrae, one of the very few in Ustalav. They took him in, and taught him the tenants of the Dawnflower, raising him as their own. They didn't shun him, and thought his flaming personage was a gift from Sarenrae herself. He stayed for 30 years, eventually becoming a leading member of the clergy. Even after so long, his feelings about his parents still hurt deeply, and finally decided to leave the shrine, going out to spread the word of the Dawnflower, and to keep others from falling to the same fate he had.

    His time in capture and his fighting training from his father and the shrine made him very grisly and jaded, finding that he was best suited for roaming the land like his parents alone, doing anything to fight against the many blights that tainted Ustalav. He had made a name for himself among the travelers; "The Flaming Priest" as people called him that knew him. He stumbled along Professor Lorrimor, who had heard of him and his ordeals. He kept correspondence with him, asking him many, many times of the events that took place with his parents, knowing that Larrimor would use the info to better help combat the fiends. He took the news of his passing hard, having grown to appreciate his candor over the years. He made his way to Ravengro, like his will stipulated, having no idea what await him when he arrived...

    Theme Song:
    (I chose this one because of how bad ass it is, really. xD All jokes aside, the slow start up like a real dirge fits him because of how solemn he is and how he erupts into combat if the need arises!
    Aaand because I used to play bari sax. :D )

    Be warned, it's LOUD! And FUGGIN' SWEET!
    #13 Hedonist Redd, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2013
  14. Sweet, Ceru's bringing in a Cleric. Which of course means we have one Divine Caster and a Stealthy character (Red's Inquisitor). Our missing roles are a Warrior and an Arcanist.

    When Fredrica posts up her character, we'll have a second Divine caster, a druid. This should be helpful as well.

    I'm hoping to get this started by the 20th. Please get you sheets in/completed!
  15. *grabs frost by his fur anf shakes him.* I've been wanting to talk to you.
  16. Wait, stealthy? o_o I didn't make him to be stealthy. D:


    But really, I think I need to make adjustments if my guy is supposed to be more stealth oriented. PM me Frost if you think it'll be an issue.
  17. Wait we have three divines? Cleric/Druid/Paly. THE GODS ARE ON OUR SIDE!
  18. Heh. No, it shouldn't be a problem, Red. Repeat after me: "Alternative Problem-Solving Techniques".

    The gods are INDEED on your side - but ask yourself: WHICH gods? Mwahaha.

    Though I am curious if anyone's going to be picking Traits, such as the Campaign Traits that'll tie you better into the story (and give you a slight boost to an ability). You get two traits, which must be from different lists, and a free Campaign Trait (total of three traits). For kicks, each Campaign Trait can only be taken by a single party member.
  19. I've been looking at chance savior, or making good on promises/
  20. I am a jerkbutt and I still want to join. I will try to get this damn sheet filled out asap :|
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