- 25 ability points – (use the point method for character creation listed on page 16 of the Core Rulebook)
- Any race that is not precluded from an evil alignment is allowed from the Pathfinder Rules Set, Paizo’s reference website, and the d20PFSRD website. 3rd party races are subject to pre-approval as are the uncommon races listed in the Advanced Race Guide so please check with me before using. Keep in mind the setting and try to avoid something way out there (unless you have a good back story for it). Some character races may not be easily accepted by others (e.g. Ratfolk), even spark immediate, outright hostility from NPCs and possibly other PCs (e.g. Strix). I’m not ruling anything out completely but some races will definitely need a good back story to be approved.
- Just a note about the Strix race: I will allow the race but it would have to have the Wings-Clipped alternate racial trait and the Stretched Wings feat is not allowed either. I feel that having an innate ability of 60 foot (average) fly speed (maneuverability) is just too much of an advantage over the way this adventure path is written.
- Gillmen and Merfolk are not allowed as well since they both have requirements of needing bodies of water to survive and that just cannot be guaranteed to be available when needed.
- Most character classes and archetypes are allowed from the Pathfinder Rules Set, Paizo’s reference website, and the d20PFSRD website. If the character class has an Unchained version in the Pathfinder Unchained Source Book, then the unchained version is to be used. 3rd party character classes are subject to pre-approval so please check with me before using. This will also apply to prestige classes later on as well. But if you have an idea of what you’re planning for your character’s eventual class-prestige class mix, include it in your write up, so if it is a class/prestige class I’d rather not have in the mix, you’ll have ample time to modify your choices (note that I don’t see any class/prestige class not being approved at this time).
- Maximum hit points for 1st level. After 1st level you can roll or take the value of half a hit die + 1 - whichever value is greater (e.g. If you have 10 sided hit dice, level two can be a roll or take 6, and of course add any CON modifier you have to that).
- Starting money – Use the maximum listed per class
- NO GOOD alignments allowed – all others are allowed.
- Healing: Since evil clerics channel negative energy and can’t spontaneously cast cure spells, you have to plan ahead for healing in an evil campaign. Picking up a wand and plenty of potions is always a good thing to do, but evil spellcasters have an additional bandage in their kit — the infernal healing spell. This spell (and its greater version) originally appeared in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide. It is also reprinted in the Hell's Vengeance Player's Guide for reference. (And no I am not handing out any "free" healing items in the beginning)
- Choose a campaign trait from the Hell's Vengeance Player's Guide (I have also posted them below).
- Choose one additional trait per the standard character trait rules (for a total of 2 traits). If you wish you can get an additional trait (for a total of 3) but only if you also take a drawback (subject to approval). Traits are listed in the Advanced Player’s Guide, the Adventure Path Players Guides, Paizo’s reference website, and the d20PFSRD website. 3rd party character traits are subject to pre-approval so please check with me before using. Try to choose traits that play into the chosen theme of your character. Please note that traits that give an identical bonus will not stack (e.g two different traits giving a +2 trait bonus to initiative will only give a total of +2, not +4 to initiative).
- Hero Points: We will be using Hero Points in this game (see Advanced Player’s Guide pages 322-325, Paizo’s reference website, or the d20PFSRD website). Please note that the feats and magic items and spells are available to use. If you do not want your character to use Hero Points (i.e. be an Antihero), then you can choose 1 feat as a bonus (any feat you qualify for). Your character sheet needs to say that either you are using Hero Points or you are considered an Antihero. This choice cannot be changed once play begins.
- I would like a back story – the more detailed the better, but I don’t need a complete history (that can develop over time). Of course, the more you write, the more I will have to play off of.
- Your back story should include a reason for you being in Longacre in the nation of Cheliax (be it born there, visiting relatives, down on your luck and begging, even “how the hell did I get here?” etc.) In addition, since the adventure starts out just about in the middle of some action, your backstory should have references to how you know one of the main NPC's in the beginning of the story - Cimri Staelish - a local thug (see the NPC page for a little more about Cimri).
- Email me your character outline/back story and/or any questions, requests for help / clarifications, etc, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hell's Vengeance Campaign Traits (excerpts from the Hell's Vengeance Player's Guide)
These campaign traits tie characters to the Hell’s Vengeance Adventure Path, which begins in the town of Longacre in the nation of Cheliax. Though player characters created for this campaign are not officially working for House Thrune when they start play, that opportunity arises early in the Adventure Path, and they should all be eager (or at the very least, willing) to serve and ally themselves with House Thrune and the Thrune dominated government of Cheliax. These traits provide a reason for characters to support House Thrune, and are designed to help players create characters perfectly suited to adventuring through this campaign.
You have always looked after yourself first, and done whatever you need to do to survive. You’ve killed before, and you’ll kill again, but you don’t lose sleep over it. If it’s you or them, you invariably choose yourself. You follow no code, unless it’s doing whatever brings you to the top. Of course, sometimes you have to work with others, and that’s fine too, as long as the pay is right—whatever it takes to get the job done. With the current unrest in Cheliax, it’s starting to look like a good deal to work with House Thrune. You know Thrune rewards those who serve it well, and there’s no one else in Cheliax who can offer the power, prestige, and money that Thrune can.
You’ve got a keen eye for what makes a good arrangement and when to walk away from a bad deal. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Sense Motive checks, and Sense Motive is a class skill for you. In addition, as an immediate action once per day, you can shift your effective alignment so that you are considered neutral instead of evil for the purpose of good effects that target evil creatures (such as holy smite or a paladin’s smite evil ability). Your alignment does not actually change when you use this ability. You must be neutral evil to take this trait.
It’s no secret that conjuring and binding devils is a popular pursuit in Cheliax, and you have served as an apprentice to a diabolist since a young age. Eventually, however, you decided you wanted more for yourself than a life of study and service, and when you felt you had learned all that you were likely to from your master, you struck out on your own. You know you can achieve the loftiest heights of power with the support of Hell behind you, just as you are aware you can fall to the lowest depths if you’re incautious and lose that support. You are determined to use your skills and abilities to bind Hell and its minions to your will, and to make a name for yourself as one of Cheliax’s premier devilbinders.
When you cast a summon monster spell to summon a devil or fiendish creature, the duration of that spell increases by 1 round. In addition, you gain a +1 trait bonus on opposed Charisma checks against devils conjured with planar binding spells, and payments to devils you conjure with planar ally spells are reduced by 10%.
You grew up in the church of Asmodeus, and have served as a faithful follower your entire life. You’ve studied the unholy texts, committed the rigid hierarchies of Hell to memory, and striven to eliminate emotion and mercy from your mind in emulation of the Prince of Darkness. You may have continued your career in the church, officially joining the priesthood and aspiring to advance to positions of higher authority and greater power, or you may have left the church, deciding the life of a priest was not for you. In either case, the education you received in the church has remained with you. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Diplomacy, Knowledge (planes), and Knowledge (religion) checks, and one of these skills (your choice) is a class skill for you. You also know the Infernal tongue (this does not count toward your number of languages).
You had the fortune to be born into one of Cheliax’s noble families, and even more importantly, your family is one of those loyal to House Thrune. Perhaps your family has been allied with Thrune since the Chelish Civil War, or maybe Thrune granted your family its title in exchange for its support during that conflict. In any case, your experience growing up among the nation’s well-to-do has given you an upper hand when it comes to knowledge of high society, and you start the game with a modest inheritance. With the nascent uprising of the Glorious Reclamation in Cheliax, there is much concern among the aristocracy, and House Thrune needs the support of loyal nobles now more then ever.
This trait assumes you belong to a minor noble human family with a small manor or estate in some backwater of the empire. If you’re not human, either you were adopted into a noble human family, or your family was recently granted a nonhereditary noble title (see the Chelish Nobility sidebar on page 15).
You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (nobility) checks, and Knowledge (nobility) is a class skill for you. In addition, you gain a +1 trait bonus on Charisma based checks against other members of the Chelish aristocracy. The Noble Scion feat (Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide 288) does not have a Charisma prerequisite for you. Lastly, you start play with a noble’s outfit, a signet ring, and a single additional nonmagical item worth no more than 200 gp.
Some people follow codes and traditions; others look out for only themselves. You don’t care — you do what you want, when you want, sometimes for a good reason, and sometimes for no reason at all. You revel in your status as an outlier, and take pride in the fact that you follow no one else’s orders — at least most of the time. In a lawful land like Cheliax, one has to be more careful and at least pay lip service to the rules and restrictions of society. As a result, you try to manage the chaos that rages within your soul, but you’re always on the lookout for the opportunity to truly unleash destruction. These days, there’s plenty of work for someone who will do what needs to be done, no questions asked, and the rewards from House Thrune for those who work with it are a strong incentive as well. If working with others gives you the freedom to carry out some of your darkest instincts without fear of repercussion, then why not—at least for now. You can worry about the future when it comes.
Your unpredictability and volatile temperament gives you an advantage over your foes. You gain a +2 trait bonus on initiative checks. In addition, you are willing to work with others, and have learned to use your allies’ strengths to reinforce your own skills and abilities. Once per day, as long as an ally is within 10 feet of you, you can reroll a single attack roll or skill check before success or failure is known. You must take the results of the second roll, even if it is worse. You must be chaotic evil to take this trait.
You, or perhaps your family, were once worshipers of Iomedae, but something happened that made you lose your faith. Perhaps your family was accused of being dishonorable or cowardly, or maybe one of your family members was the victim of church “justice.” Or perhaps you simply met someone who opened your eyes and showed you the truth—that the Inheritor’s so-called honor, valor, and justice are just tin plating on a strict dogma that seeks to control people by restricting their free will. In any event, you left the church, and as a result, your family was subjected to scorn and holier-than-thou disapproval. Ever since, you’ve vowed to some day get revenge against the church of Iomedae—and with the current situation brewing in Cheliax, you might finally have the opportunity.
Choose one: against followers of Iomedae, including many (but not all) archons and angels, you gain a +1 trait bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls, or you gain a +1 trait bonus on the save DCs of your spells.
Halflings are a common sight in Cheliax and make up the majority of that nation’s slave population. Known derisively as “slips,” halflings are almost universally treated with scorn and contempt, while paradoxically valued as the most precious slaves. You are a Chelish halfling, but unlike most of your race, you have embraced your role in Chelish society, and used it to your own advantage. People constantly overlook you or discount you as an inconsequential slip, but you know the truth — halflings are just as vital to the empire’s health as its nobles, priests, and warriors. You may have been born a free halfling who has never known the chains of slavery, or a slave who was later freed after a period of loyal servitude. Or perhaps you are still a slave, happy (or at least content) in your enslavement, and hoping for some eventual recognition of your contribution, however small, to Cheliax’s great and orderly society.
You are skilled at prevaricating and dissembling, both to deflect blame away from yourself and to mislead others as to your true abilities and role. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Bluff checks, and Bluff is a class skill for you. In addition, your tacit support of Cheliax’s social structure, and the clear knowledge of your own place in society, strengthens your resolve. Once per day, when you are adjacent to a human ally of Chelish descent, you can reroll a Will saving throw before success or failure is known. You must take the results of the second roll, even if it is worse. You must be a halfling to take this trait.
Hellknight Aspiriant– (was Oghma’s Faithful)
You have always admired the authority, discipline, and righteousness of the ebon armored Hellknights. Whether it’s their unwavering self control, uncompromising dedication to law and order, relentless pursuit of justice, or merciless administration of punishment, you have tried to model your own actions on the Hellknight philosophy called the Measure and the Chain. Your most fervent wish is to eventually join one of the Hellknight orders and take your place among the grim ranks dedicated to upholding and enforcing the laws of Hell and of Cheliax.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (planes) checks, and Knowledge (planes) is a class skill for you. In addition, choose one of the following Hellknight orders. You have trained yourself in the use of that order’s favored weapon (if more than one weapon is listed, pick one), and gain a +1 trait bonus to your Combat Maneuver Defense whenever an opponent tries to sunder or disarm you of that weapon.
Order of the Chain: Flail.
Order of the Gate: Dagger.
Order of the Godclaw: Morningstar.
Order of the Nail: Lance or halberd.
Order of the Pike: Longspear.
Order of the Pyre: Glaive.
Order of the Rack: Longsword or whip.
Order of the Scourge: Heavy mace or whip.
You were born and raised in the town of Longacre on the southwestern fringes of the Whisperwood, or at least have lived there long enough that you’re considered a native. You’ve never been one for the quiet life, and have been considered a miscreant and reprobate since you were a child. As an adult, you’ve made something of a name for yourself as a thug, enforcer, and petty thief in town, hiring yourself out to anybody who needs muscle in exchange for a few coins. In the course of such employment, you’ve worked with another local troublemaker named Cimri Staelish and have become friends. Cimri has recently gotten involved with some shadowy, though powerful, characters, and as Hell’s Vengeance begins, you and a group of other ne’erdo-wells have agreed to help Cimri burgle a tannery just outside town. With luck, this could be the start of bigger and better things than just working as hired muscle.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on Intimidate checks, and Intimidate is a class skill for you. In addition, you gain a +1 trait bonus on weapon damage rolls when you are flanking a foe with an ally.
Scion of the Nine Circles
While the worship of Asmodeus is widespread throughout Cheliax, you follow a different path: that of the philosophy of diabolism. Asmodeus and the other archdevils are worthy of respect and emulation, certainly, but rather than worship one Lord of Hell above all others, your faith is instead based on the veneration of the order and laws of Hell itself as a model for a perfect society. Free will must be suppressed to prevent rebellion, slavery is required to keep the unworthy in their place, and evil and cruelty are necessary for good and kindness to exist.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (planes) checks, and Knowledge (planes) is a class skill for you. You also know the Infernal tongue (this does not count toward your number of languages). In addition, your studies of Hell’s underlying structure give strength to your determination. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Will saves against the mind-affecting effects of outsiders with the good subtype.
The Thrice-Damned House of Thrune rules Cheliax with autocratic power, and its representatives can be found throughout the empire, drawn from all walks of life. Most of these agents do not work directly as government employees, but they still serve House Thrune in whatever ways they can. You are a true patriot of Cheliax, and have long worked for House Thrune as a paid informant. You report what you see to the authorities, and occasionally carry out specific tasks suited to your skill set and abilities when asked. People like you help prevent potential traitors and other “undesirables” from undermining Thrune’s authority and keep Chelish society running smoothly. You hope that with continued faithful service, you will eventually be rewarded with greater authority and autonomy as a sworn agent of House Thrune.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks to gather information, Disguise checks, and Knowledge (local) checks, and one of these skills (your choice) is a class skill for you.