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Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign

Moderator: JC Denton

Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign

Unread postby icycalm » 10 Dec 2020 01:54

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First off, you should read my thoughts and directions on Paizo's line of "Player's Guides" for their campaigns that I posted in the Runelords campaign thread for the D&D2 group: https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7324

All that stuff applies to you too, so we can skip straight to the fun part here.


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CHARACTER TIPS

Unlike the Runelords and Crown guys, you get no tips :(


BACKGROUND TRAITS

Unlike the Runelords and Crown guys, whose campaign traits are optional, yours are mandatory. You have to choose one of them.

Even before Curse of the Crimson Throne begins, you and the other characters have a shared trait—you’ve all been wronged, in some manner, by a local crime lord, the despicable Gaedren Lamm. The campaign you are about to begin starts as you and several others are brought together to do what the city guards cannot (or will not) do—to see that Gaedren Lamm answers for his crimes, be that in a court of law or at the edge of a vengeful blade. Presented here are six ties to Gaedren you can choose for your character, historical snippets that explain how this detestable crime lord has affected you in the past. Each trait presents an unfortunate event, painted in broad strokes so you can customize it to your needs, that helped shape your character. Once you’ve selected a trait, pick a benefit that matches your own concept for your character. Feel free to adapt and rework the particulars of your chosen trait to fit your history. So long as you have a reason to see Gaedren pay for his crimes, you’ll have a built-in reason to take up a life of adventuring and, more importantly, a reason to bond with your new companions. You’ll also get a nice bonus that’ll help you along your way in the ordeals to come!

Most of these traits assume that your character spent a significant portion of his childhood in Korvosa, although a few of them allow for more widely-traveled characters. For the most part, though, Curse of the Crimson Throne works best with characters who are natives to Korvosa, so that's what we'll go with.


BETRAYED
You were hardly a model citizen as a child or young adult. Your reasons for turning to a life of crime may be varied, but what matters is that you eventually fell in with a certain well-connected and notorious crime lord named Gaedren Lamm. His reputation as a snake and a treacherous scoundrel was known to you, but for reasons of your own, you chose not to turn him down when he offered you a chance to work for him. You may have assumed you were an exception, or that you’d be able to handle him, or perhaps even planned to betray him. As it worked out, though, Gaedren got the upper hand and took you down first. You may have served time in jail, may have been beaten by his thugs and left for dead, or could simply have had your profits stolen out from under you. Whatever the cause, Gaedren wronged you, and you are eager for the chance to get revenge.

Choose one of the following benefits.

Hungry for Revenge: You’ve never forgiven Gaedren for his betrayal, and have vowed to make him pay for what he did. Whether that’s seeing him rot in jail or a shallow grave, you hope to taste vengeance someday. Whenever you deal damage with a melee weapon on a creature that is flat-footed, you gain a +1 trait bonus on the damage roll.

Reformed Criminal: You’ve given up the life of crime, and managed to talk your way out of any repercussions such as jail time or fines. You’ve told yourself that you would rather leave your past behind, yet the concept of seeing Gaedren Lamm pay for his crimes still appeals to you. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks, and Diplomacy is a class skill for you.


DRUG ADDICT
Someone you know has become addicted to shiver, a drug distilled from the venom of tropical arachnids known as dream spiders. The drug induces sleep filled with vivid dreams, during which the user’s body shakes and shivers, giving the substance its street name. You’ve always thought of shiver as a problem of the lower class, but then someone you know overdosed on the stuff. You’ve done a bit of investigating and have learned that the villain who got your friend addicted in the first place was a crime lord named Gaedren Lamm. Unfortunately, the guards seem to be focused on the bigger dealers. They don’t have time to devote many resources to what they’ve called “a bit player in a beggar’s problem.” It would seem that if Gaedren’s operation is to be stopped, it falls to you.

Choose one of the following benefits.

Addicted Friend: The addict is a friend or lover who might or might not have survived the overdose. Your research into the drug scene and local politics has given you a respectable education in street knowledge. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (local) checks, and Knowledge (local) is a class skill for you.

Personal Addiction: You were the addict. You blame Gaedren for your brush with death and hate how his drugs are causing similar problems among other youths. Fortunately, your body recovers quickly from toxins, and you gain a +1 trait bonus on Fortitude saving throws.


FRAMED
Someone you know and love was accused of murder. A supposed eyewitness account from a local fisherman seemed to be enough to seal the case, but the accused had enough alibis that sentencing wasn’t immediate. Someone confronted the fisherman and discovered he was intimidated into providing false witness and forced into planting the murder weapon by the actual murderer—a local crime lord named Gaedren Lamm, whose thugs killed the fisherman before he could recant his testimony. Although this removed the key witness and resulted in the accused being set free, the stigma was enough to badly damage the accused’s reputation. If you can find Gaedren, you’re sure you can find evidence that ties him to the murder and can clear the accused’s name.

Choose one of the following benefits.

Dropout: You were the one accused of the murder. Although you were eventually freed when a friend confronted the fisherman and got the truth, the damage had been done. You were forced to leave your school or church. As a result, you were forced to self-train and promised yourself you would become better at your chosen profession despite the spurning of your peers. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Spellcraft checks, and Spellcraft is a class skill for you.

Family Honor: The person who was framed was a family member, perhaps a father or sister. You managed to trick the fisherman into revealing the truth with your skilled tongue. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Bluff checks, and Bluff is a class skill for you.


LOVE LOST
Someone you loved was knifed to death in a dark alley one night. You were called to the scene by the Korvosan Guard to identify the body, and as rough as that was for you, you also noticed a ring was missing from your loved one’s finger. Whoever murdered your loved one stole that ring—you’re convinced of it. You’ve done some investigation on your own and recently found the ring for sale at a local merchant’s shop. To your great frustration, you can’t yet afford the 500 gp to buy it back, but the merchant did tell you from whom he purchased the ring: a man named Gaedren Lamm. It seems likely this criminal killed your loved one, or at the very least, he knows who did. The only problem is finding him.

Choose one of the following benefits.

All Alone: The murder victim was a lover. With your lover’s death, a part of you died as well, leaving you haunted, grim, and prone to dark musings. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Intimidate checks, and Intimidate is a class skill for you.

Orphaned: The murder victim was your only surviving parent. You had to work hard to make ends meet for yourself and any siblings, and often had to scavenge for food. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Survival checks, and Survival is a class skill for you.


MISSING CHILD
You suspect that a child you know has been abducted by Gaedren Lamm. Whatever the relationship, you’ve heard rumors about “Lamm’s Lambs,” and of how the old man uses children as pickpockets and agents for his crimes. You’ve even heard rumors that the child you’re looking for has been spotted in the marketplaces in the company of known cutpurses and pickpockets. Although the Korvosan Guard has been understanding of your plight, it has its hands full with “more important” matters these days, it seems, and has not yet been able to learn anything more about Gaedren. No one else is interested in bringing Gaedren down and rescuing his victims—that task falls to you. Yet where could the old scoundrel be hiding?

Choose one of the following benefits.

Missing Sibling: The missing child is a brother or sister. Although everyone else has given up hope, you believe your sibling still lives. Your constant search for the missing sibling has developed into great skill at rumormongering and finding out information from others. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Sense Motive checks, and Sense Motive is a class skill for you.

Missing Son or Daughter: The missing child is a niece or nephew, or a child you were charged with protecting. The child was abducted during a trip to the market or other daily event. Your stubbornness and long hours spent searching for rumors grant you a +1 trait bonus on Will saves.


UNHAPPY CHILDHOOD
You spent a period of time as one of Gaedren Lamm’s enslaved orphans, doing all manner of dirty work for him. Maybe you were abducted from your parent’s home or during a trip to the market. Perhaps the irresponsible matron who ruled your orphanage traded you to him in return for a desperately needed financial loan. Or perhaps you, like most of Gaedren’s slaves, were merely a child of the street who succumbed to his promise of regular meals and a roof in return for what he said would be “a little light work.” Whatever the case, you spent several years of your life as one of “Lamm’s Lambs” before escaping. You’ve nursed a grudge against the old man ever since.

Choose one of the following benefits.

Religious: While on a job for Gaedren, you found a holy symbol of the god you worship, and intrigued by it, you snuck off to attend services. When Gaedren found out, he beat you to within an inch of your life and broke your holy symbol. Your faith let you block out the pain, and you escaped his control and took shelter in the church, where you spent the rest of your youth. You gain a +2 trait bonus on concentration checks and Constitution checks to stabilize at negative hit points.

Tortured: After you made one too many errors, Gaedren tortured you and left you for dead in a garbage heap. Your scars and memories have motivated you to hone your reaction speed and make you rather jumpy. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Reflex saves.
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icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

Unread postby icycalm » 17 Dec 2020 22:45

Updated the overworld with the following text for Korvosa:

Korvosa, the Jewel of Varisia, has long sparkled on the shore of Conqueror’s Bay. Established just over 300 years ago by Cheliax at the height of that empire’s expansion, the city now commands its own destiny. A line of Korvosan kings and queens emerged to rule the city, establishing an infamous seat of power—the Crimson Throne. Rulers have sat upon the Crimson Throne for more than a century, and the city has flourished; yet the monarchy always seems on the brink of disaster. The Crimson Throne is not a prize to be won—it is a curse. No monarch of Korvosa has died of old age, and none has produced an heir while ruling. Even though King Eodred II controls Korvosa more fully than any previous monarch, that control remains tenuous, and many secretly count the days until their latest king falls to what they call the Curse of the Crimson Throne.


Note that the overworld will be a living document, so eventually this description will be replaced as the world evolves. That's why I want some text recorded in the campaign threads in the forum. So that they will make sense to people who read them long after the overworld has changed.
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icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

Unread postby icycalm » 05 Jan 2021 10:21

A DM-made a trailer for Curse of the Crimson Throne for his group: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nReBwVys2w8

It's pretty much spoiler-free, and quite epic, all things considered. This DM is definitely a good one, and I will certainly look into creating trailers myself now that I've seen what can be done with them.

How cool would it be if you had a trailer like this for every campaign or even adventure, before picking it? On the other hand, none of them can be 100% spoiler-free, because then you'd have nothing to put in them...
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icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands


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