Carrion Crown Campaign

Introduction

All primary PC characters (eg, not counting cohorts or other companions) must have a minimum combined mental score of 24 or better (after racial adjustments, but before stat-boosting items). Otherwise, the character can’t reasonably participate in investigations, which are a major portion of the campaign. As well, at least one character needs max ranks in Diplomacy and Knowledge (local), though not necessarily in the same character.
Allowed Material

The Pathfinder WotW campaign allows all material indicated below. Any allowed rule must use the most correct version (eg, use the most updated errata). Epic level play requires the Mythic Adventures rules from Paizo. Note that the madness rules of the Gamemastery Guide are definitely in play.

Energy Drain House Rules

This is a house rule to avoid any future rules arguments. Most rules regarding energy drain (Su) and similar spells or spell-like abilities are fairly clear. Rays and other weapon-like spells (such as melee touch spells) can make use of feats and spell buffs just like fighter types can for their attacks.
Note this is not the case with energy drain as a supernatural effect – the written rules specifically call this out in the bestiary for critical hits with an energy drain effect.

Bonus Community Spells

Prepared casters are fundamentally different from spontaneous casters; the latter have both have a restricted set of spells known, and their progression of new spells known is built into their spellcasting advancement. Prepared casters, on the other hand, by definition can know any number of spells, yet their progression in spells known is built into class advancement, not spellcasting advancement, so if the spellcasting advances with a prestige class, spells known advancement is not provided for.

Despite this, prepared casters always have the means of greatly adding to their spells known due to whatever circumstances provide at a given time. For example, if a wizard happens upon a new spellbook (possibly from another wizard defeated by the former’s allies), he can simply add the new spells to his own spellbook, assuming no time or money restrictions. For most prepared divine casters, there’s literally no spell known issues, as they have access to prepare their entire spell list, assuming they’re of sufficient level.

For most high level PC parties (above 10th level), the party wizard or magus will have every core spell in their spellbook for each level up to about 2 levels below their highest spell level. This makes sense, because PC wizards and magi go around exploring dungeons and defeating powerful NPC wizards, such as an ancient lich 3 class levels higher than the APL.

NPC wizards and magi, by comparison have no such access, instead having to make due with the puny new spells known allocation provided by the wizard spellbook rules, or none in the case of a prestige class build. While perfectly supported by the core rule book, this makes no sense however, as most NPC wizards (if no true adventurers themselves) will be working with a mage school in the city they live in (or the nearest one). In this school they will exchange spellbooks with like-minded peers for little or no cost, as there’s mutual benefit.

Other arcane prepared casters have similar access to a wider community of peers, though not of quite the same scale. Alchemists (though not spell casters, alchemists exchange recipes for their extracts, bombs and mutagens), like wizards, often will work out of a mage school or university. Witches will usually be part of a larger community of witches (such as an extended coven), having their familiars meditating to exchange spells, instead of sharing spellbooks (the fetish mask and spell poppet of the scarred witch doctor and gravewalker witches respectively exchange spells in a similar manner).

To abstract the process of acquiring spells through the larger community, we have a homebrew rule about arcane prepared casters within a larger community. For the NPC (or cohort) arcane prepared caster, take ½ the character’s caster level x (1/2 spellcasting modifier / spell level) for each spell level to find the number of additional spells known (or in the spellbook, spell poppet, etc) through the character’s extended community. This only applies if there’s at least a couple of peers of equal or higher level as the given character; if the highest peer only has top spells a lower level than the given character, the NPC only gains the extra spells for the spell level that matches the highest of the peer or peers. This still won’t be as great as the resources of a PC party, but will go a long way to addressing the imbalance.

So as an example, Frank the wizard is 9th level, Int 22 and can cast 5th level spells; his highest peer is only 7th level, though. So his first level community spells are calculated as 4x(3/1)=12; and his fourth level community spells as 4x(3/4)=3. But he gains no bonus community spells for his fifth level spells, as he’s got no peers able to cast 5th level spells.
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0th Level PCs for Carrion Crown

Each player creates a 1st level character using a 10-point build for the Carrion Crown AP, creating a character background as normal. The character will actually start at 0th level to better facilitate the character’s background into the campaign; by the end of the first session all players will have 1st level PCs with fleshed-out backgrounds. All player characters must have an ability score of at least 5 at 0th level, after all modifiers are included; the total mental ability score for all the mental abilities, after modifiers, at 0th level must be a minimum of 20.

Note that the 0th level characters are effectively ‘immortal’, as the 0th level encounter the character goes through is just to facilitate the character background, which will have plot hooks to be picked up later in the AP. Each PC has an individual 0th level encounter tailor-made for that character, so the first session will be a series of short encounters exploring the background of the characters, preliminary to the first encounter of the Haunting of Harrowstone (“The Last Will and Testament of Petros Lorrimor”).

0th level characters are created as normal (PC or NPC), but don’t receive their traits, feats (whether class, level or race feats), class features, or race and sex ability bonuses (see below) until they reach 1st level; they start with 0 XP. The PCs receive the normal hp for a first level character, minus the ‘hp per level’ increase, rounding down to 1 hp; their hp per level is still modified by their Con modifier. So a 0th level fighter with Con 13 gains 5 hp (10-6+1), while a 0th level wizard with Con 7 gets 1 hp (6-4-2).

The 0th level PCs do receive their BAB, BSBs, normal skill ranks (skill ranks for 1 level of class + Int bonus) but with no class skill bonuses, armor and shield proficiencies one rank lower than normal for their starting class, and weapon proficiencies one rank lower than normal for their starting class (so if you normally get medium armor, you start with light, or if you normally get light armor, you start with none). The 0th level character gains all racial abilities, with the exception of ability bonuses; the character still gains the ability penalty, if the race has one. The character doesn’t gain their sex template bonuses or abilities as a 0th level character, but he still gains the sex template ability penalty.

Note that in the game rules, fractional numbers (such as for hp calculation, for bonuses and penalties, etc) round down to the nearest whole number; the nearest whole number for totals such as ‘one half of 0’ is taken to be 0.

This campaign follows Pathfinder’s slow advancement track; thus the PC advances to 1st level at 1200 XP. Once the PCs have advanced to 1st level, they gain a +1 bonus to all ability scores (a one-time award for the extra work starting out). Otherwise, the character statistics sheet is brought up to that of a normal 1st level character of the specified class. This now includes the race and sex templates (sex template includes male, female and neuter, as outlined below), including the bonuses to abilities they didn’t get at 0th level.

As players advance past 1st level, hp gained per level are the average for the die, rounded up; so a cleric gets 5 hp each level, instead of rolling 1d8 (the Constitution modifier per level still applies). NPCs and cohorts get the average hp per level rounded down for NPC class levels, or rounded up for heroic class levels.

Homebrew Rules

Pathfinder Sex Template
(By Max)

Strain-Injury HP Variant Rule
(By Evil Lincoln)

Location Specific Rules Material

Generally, any location specific rules material that is otherwise allowed in the list below that is taken at first level must be accounted for in the character background. Location specific rules material (such as a feat or prestige class requiring a regional affiliation) is allowed only if the character spends a significant amount of time there during the campaign.

For example, you could take the Noble Scion feat at 1st level only (a requirement of the feat), but only if your character is a noble, and part of a Cheliax noble house; she could have an associated region like Korvosa or Nidal as her background region, but would have to explain why she grew up in Korvosa or Nidal instead of a Cheliax community. Or your character could have the Aldori Swordlord (Brevoy) fighter archetype, but not only would your character have to be from Brevoy, but also explain why he’s a ‘Swordlord’. He could become a ‘Swordlord’ during the campaign (if his first fighter level begins at 3rd character level for example), but again exactly how he becomes a Swordlord must be accounted for during the campaign.

Feat Revisions

Some feats are so poorly written that no one ever actually uses them. Most aren’t important enough to waste time with, but some such feats could be helpful with a small change in wording or restructuring. Some examples follow.

Spell Mastery (General)
You have mastered a small handful of spells, and can prepare these spells without referencing your spellbooks at all.
Prerequisite: 1st-level wizard
Benefit: When you take this feat, choose one spell per spell level that you already know, and that are already written in your spellbook; also choose a number of cantrips equal to your Intelligence modifier. Excepting cantrips, you’re restricted to only one spell per spell level. From that point on, you can prepare these spells without referring to a spellbook. As you advance in level, add one spell per new spell level; each time you advance a level, you can change your choices, as long as the choices are spells already written in your spellbook.
Normal: Without this feat, you must use a spellbook to prepare all your spells, except read magic.
Special: you can take Spell Mastery as a wizard bonus feat.
Changes from official feat:
This change adds new restrictions: you can now only take this feat once, and are restricted to only one spell per spell level, other than cantrips.
In return, the houserule allows you one spell per spell level regardless of your Intelligence, you can change your choices as you level, and you don’t need to burn another feat just to gain access to higher level spell mastery choices. Additionally, the new wording makes this feat best taken at 1st level, as cantrips are the only spell level where you can include more than one spell per spell level. On the other hand, this feat now dovetails better with the high level feats Spell Specialization and Spell Perfection.

School Mastery (General)
You have mastered a small handful of spells of your chosen school, and can prepare these spells without referencing your spellbooks at all.
Prerequisite: 5th level wizard, Spell Mastery
Benefit: When you take this feat, choose one spell per spell level, belonging to your specialist school, that you already know, and that are already written in your spellbook; you also choose a number of cantrips of your specialist school equal to your Intelligence modifier. Excepting cantrips, you’re restricted to only one school spell per spell level (aside from Spell Mastery choices). From that point on, you can prepare these spells without referring to a spellbook. As you advance in level, add one school spell per new spell level; each time you advance a level, you can change your choices, as long as the choices are spells already written in your spellbook.
If your school is the universalist school, just choose an extra mastery spell per spell level, from any school.
Thus with this feat, you now have 2 mastery spells per level, instead of just one (other than cantrips).
Normal: Without Spell Mastery, you must use a spellbook to prepare all your spells, except read magic. Without School Mastery, you can have only one mastery spell per spell level, other than cantrips.
Special: you can take Spell Mastery as a wizard bonus feat.
Changes from official rule: This feat doesn’t exist in the official rules. It grants the wizard more flexibility by memorizing two spells per level instead of just one, while not providing so much cross-over that the wizard is infringing on spontaneous caster turf.

Strain-Injury HP Variant Rule

From the Paizo Homebrew Messageboard
Including Evil Lincoln, Max and others.

With this variant rule, deadly damage must be logged separately from normal lethal damage; this total reduces the maximum hp total by the same amount until the deadly damage is somehow healed. Any creatures with regeneration or who are immune from critical hits ignore deadly damage, treating it as strain damage instead. With this system, there’s no non-lethal damage, just hp damage or deadly damage; some rule describes a creature taking non-lethal damage, the creature instead takes ½ the stated amount as normal hp damage. With this rule variant, hp damage from starvation, thirst, or suffocation are considered deadly damage.

Fast Healing and Regeneration
Certain creatures such as a troll have regeneration; others, such as an imp have fast healing. In the case of the troll, the monster has regeneration 5; the troll regenerates this damage by 5 at the start of her turn. Likewise the imp has fast healing 2, healing 2 hp at the start of her turn. If either creature goes below 0 hp, the regeneration or healing still works, so the creature automatically stabilizes, and doesn’t need to make any immediate death saves.
A regenerating creature usually doesn’t die from hp damage unless the attack form is a type the creature is vulnerable to; she does still fall unconscious when her hp are below 0, however. A regenerating creature
Deadly damage is healed by fast healing or regeneration at a rate of every minute instead of every turn (so 5 hp of deadly damage to a troll is healed every minute); starvation, thirst, or suffocation are not healed at all by fast healing or regeneration, however. If a creature like a troll is cut into individual pieces, the largest piece contains the creature’s soul, and is the only part to retain its regeneration ability; if the amount of deadly damage remaining is more than 5 times the creature’s normal maximum hp, the regenerating creature dies. Unlike regenerating creatures, creatures with fast healing can die normally from deadly damage just like any other creature.
Regenerating creatures can regrow lost portions of their bodies and can reattach severed limbs or body parts if they are brought together within 1 hour of severing. Severed parts that are not reattached wither and die normally. Creatures with fast healing can’t do this, and are just as inconvenienced by crippling or severed injuries as are normal creatures; if given sufficient time however, the creature with fast healing will repair crippling injuries or replace severed limbs

HP Damage
• Hit point (hp) damage from non-critical hits is mostly minor damage. Normal hp damage represents taxing dodges, parries or blows absorbed by shield or armor that strains the defender’s system or ‘knocks her wind’, reducing her combat readiness. Some of the damage is actual minor injury damage (such as bruising or minor blood loss), but the game system doesn’t discriminate between the two.
• Normal damage recovers with rest at a rate of 20% of max hp per 20 minutes of non-strenuous activity.

Deadly HP Damage
• Damage sustained from critical hits is “deadly” damage. Deadly damage represents solid hits that cause significant injuries such as ligament cuts, broken bones, heavy blood loss, organ damage, etc.
• Disabled: When your current hp total drops to exactly 0, you are disabled.
You gain the staggered condition and can only take a single move or standard action each turn (but not both, nor can you take full-round actions). You can take move actions without further injuring yourself, but if you perform any standard action (or any other strenuous action) you take 1 point of deadly damage after completing the act. Unless your activity increased your hit points, you are now at –1 hit points and dying.
Healing that raises your hit points above 0 makes you fully functional again, just as if you’d never been reduced to 0 or fewer hit points; the healing will first heal the deadly damage, however, and if the healing is just normal rest, the deadly damage remains.
You can also become disabled when recovering from dying. In this case, it’s a step toward recovery, and you can have fewer than 0 hit points because you’re now stable (see below).
• An attack that puts a character below 0 hp is deadly damage, as is an attack when the creature is below 0 hp. If the creature’s deadly damage reaches an amount equal to or more than her Constitution score, she’s dead.
• If a creature starts her turn at less than 0 hit points (but is not dead), at this time and on all subsequent turns, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check to become stable. The character takes a penalty on this roll equal to his current deadly damage. A character that is stable does not need to make this check. A natural 20 on this check is an automatic success. If the character fails this check, she takes 1 point of deadly damage. An unconscious or dying character cannot use any special action that changes the initiative count on which his action occurs.
• Hit points lost to deadly damage do not heal normally, and must be restored with magic or the heal skill.
• Whenever a creature takes deadly damage, the creature must make a Fortitude save DC 15; if the creature fails this check she suffers 1d4 bleed damage, unless she’s immune to bleed damage (this doesn’t stack with other bleed damage unless they’re of different types; use the more severe bleed damage). If the creature fails this Fort save by 5 or more, she also gains a permanent wound (see below), and her bleed damage is Constitution damage instead of hp damage. If she fails this Fort save by 10 or more, her bleed damage is Constitution drain instead, and she takes two wounds. All the above bleed damage is halted normally (see bleed damage under Conditions in the Core Rulebook). If the target taking the deadly damage is an object, she must still make the Fort save, as the wound or wounds still apply to the object, re-flavored as necessary.

Massive Damage
• 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 35 Fortitude save. If you fail this save, ¼ of the damage done is deadly damage. If you fail this save by 5 or more, you’ve suffered a wound (see below); if you fail by 10 or more you suffer two wounds. These wounds are in addition to any suffered from the included deadly damage (roll for the deadly damage bleed and wound effects separately). If you fail this save by 20 or more, you die regardless of your current hit points or deadly damage.
• 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.

Wounds
d20 Battle Scar or Amputation
1–5 Minor scar—lose 1d6 hp each day due to pain; heals with Fort save DC 35 (roll 1/day at the start of the day; a natural 20 cures the wound, but a minor cosmetic scar remains)
6–9 Moderate scar—cut on face (+1 bonus on Charisma-based skill checks for first scar only, consider subsequent cuts as a major scar); otherwise as for minor scar, but natural 20 doesn’t automatically cure
10 Major scar—severe cut on face (–1 penalty on Charisma-based checks**, -2 penalty for Charisma-based checks that require verbal interaction; all spells and spell-like abilities with verbal components require a concentration check DC 10 + spell level); loose 1d6 hp at the start of each day from pain
11–13 Loss of finger or toe (for every 3 digit lost, –1 Dex); for toe, -1 to initiative; for finger, -1 to attacks
14 Impressive abdomen wound (–1 Con); -2 to Fort and Ref saves; when you take hp damage (or are nauseated), you must make a Fort save against a DC equal to your level or are nauseated for 1 minute
15 Impressive chest wound (–1 Con); -3 to Fort; when you take hp damage (or are fatigued), you must make a Fort save against a DC equal to your level or are exhausted for 1 hour
16 Impressive head wound (–1 Con); -3 to Will; when you take hp damage (or are nauseated), you must make a Fort save against a DC equal to your level or are nauseated for 1 minute; when you fail a Will save by 5 or more, you’re confused for a number of rounds equal to the difference of the failed save
17 Loss of eye (–4 penalty on all sight-based Perception checks); all spells and spell-like abilities require a concentration check DC 10 + spell level; at the start of any encounter, you have a 10% chance of treating a random creature (other than a trusted ally) as a trusted ally for 1 minute
18 Loss of hand (cannot use two-handed items*); if loss is favored hand, -2 to all attacks (50% chance favored; after 1 game year, you’re considered ambidextrous)
19 Loss of leg (speed reduced to half, cannot charge)!; -4 to Ref saves and cannot make attacks of opportunity; -5 to all Athletics and Acrobatics checks; Dex bonus to AC cannot be higher than +1; -2 to initiative; cannot make a 5 ft step or withdraw action
20 Loss of arm (–1 Str, cannot use two-handed items, choose weapon or shield*)!; -2 to all attacks (50% chance favored; after 1 game year, you’re considered ambidextrous)

  • Losing a single hand or arm does not prevent a spellcaster’s ability to cast spells with somatic components, but all spells or spell-like abilities with somatic components have a 5% chance of failure
    • At the GM’s discretion, characters with major scars may also be granted a +1 bonus on all Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate checks against other warrior types, as the scars of battle are much admired by combatants.
      ! With this wound, the character’s bleed damage (minimum of 1d4) is all Constitution drain, and the Heal DC has a -5 penalty on the check to stop the bleeding.

Healing
• HP damage and deadly damage are both affected normally as Hit Points by effects (other than rest) that replenish HP damage.
• Healing effects restore deadly damage before restoring stamina damage.

Falling Damage

Creatures that fall take 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6. Creatures that take lethal damage from a fall land in a prone position. This hazard has a chance for deadly damage; make a falling deadly damage check by rolling 1d20 for any lethal damage from a fall; if the result confirms, the falling damage is deadly damage. The critical range for this check is 20 on the d20 roll; on a threat, re-roll to confirm (two threats confirm for this roll). Add +1 to the critical range for every 10 feet past the first 10 feet, for any falling damage that could be deadly damage; this stacks to a maximum of 2-20 (so a result of 1 on the critical damage check is always normal damage).
If a character deliberately jumps instead of merely slipping or falling, the damage is the same but the first 1d6 is normal hp damage, not deadly damage. A successful Acrobatics check DC 15 allows the character to avoid any damage from the first 10 feet fallen and keeps any damage from the second 10 feet as normal hp damage. Thus, a character who slips from a ledge 30 feet up takes 3d6 damage, and must roll a critical check with a critical range of 18-20. If the same character deliberately jumps, he takes 1d6 points of hp damage and 2d6 points of possible deadly damage, with a critical range of 19-20. And if the character leaps down with a successful Acrobatics check, he takes only 1d6 points of hp damage and 1d6 points of potential deadly damage, with a critical range of 20.
Falls onto yielding surfaces (soft ground, mud) also convert the first 1d6 of damage to normal damage. This reduction is cumulative with reduced damage due to deliberate jumps and the Acrobatics skill.
A character cannot cast a spell while falling, unless the fall is greater than 500 feet or the spell is an immediate action, such as feather fall. Casting a spell while falling requires a concentration check with a DC equal to 20 + the spell’s level. Casting teleport or a similar spell while falling does not end your momentum, it just changes your location, meaning that you still take falling damage, even if you arrive atop a solid surface.
Falling into Water: Falls into water are handled somewhat differently. If the water is at least 10 feet deep, the first 20 feet of falling do no damage. The next 20 feet do normal damage. Beyond that, falling damage is potential deadly damage.

Characters who deliberately dive into water take no damage on a successful DC 15 Swim check or DC 15 Acrobatics check, so long as the water is at least 10 feet deep for every 30 feet fallen. The DC of the check, however, increases by 5 for every 50 feet of the dive.

Pathfinder Sex Templates

These are additional homebrew templates to add the obvious sexual differences (male and female) seen in most humanoids and other advanced primates. A third template, the ‘neuter’ template is more flexible to allow for the odd species that doesn’t fall neatly into male/female sex typing, and for adventurer characters (PCs and significant NPCs only). These templates provide various adjustments, including abilities, that stack with the more common racial ability modifiers. These templates are only used with humanoid or monstrous humanoid characters – for other creature types, just use the given abilities.

Sex Template Quick Rules
For creatures that will likely only appear in one encounter, it’s not worth the effort to rebuild the creature (NPC or monster) for the one encounter. Instead, just use the following quick rules, compensating for the missing template:
Combat Creatures: apply +1 to all attack rolls and damage rolls, +1 to CMB and CMD, +1 dodge bonus to AC/touch ac, +1 to Fortitude and Reflex saves, and +1 to ability checks and skill checks based on physical ability scores.
Casters: apply +1 to spell DC, +1 to the number of spells per day for each spell level (the extra spell is chosen at the time of casting, but must be on the class list), +1 to Reflex and Will saves, and +1 to ability and skill checks based on the same ability as the casting ability.
A creature can’t gain both of these benefits, only one or the other, but all creatures also gain +1 hp/HD.

Male Sex Template
The male sex template doesn’t apply to creatures smaller than Tiny size.
Male Template: Str +2, Con +1, Cha -1. Dr 2 non-lethal. Healing from rest: +1 non-lethal hp, for any healing of non-lethal hp.
Male Template (Large size or larger): Str +3, Con +2, Cha -1. Dr 3 non-lethal. Healing from rest: +2 non-lethal hp, for any healing of non-lethal hp.
Male Template (Tiny size): Str +1, Cha -1

Female Sex Template
The female sex template doesn’t apply to creatures larger than Large size
Female template: Str -1, Dex +1, Cha +2. For Con checks or Fort saves to recover from disease effects, or survive birthings, +3. For Cha checks and Charisma-based skill checks other than Intimidate, +2 bonus
Female template (Large size): Cha +1. Con checks and Fort saves to recover from disease effects, or survive birthings, +5. For Cha checks and Charisma-based skill checks other than Intimidate, +1 bonus
Female template (Tiny size or smaller): Str -2, Dex +2, Cha +2. Con checks and Fort saves to recover from disease effects, or survive birthings, +1. For Cha checks and Charisma-based skill checks other than Intimidate, +2 bonus

Neuter Template
For All sizes of living creatures: +2 to one ability, +1 to another ability, -1 to a third ability. Add a +2 bonus to ability checks and skill checks based on the ability with the +1 bonus.

Carrion Crown

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