Phew! Sometimes you just end up with a week or two of go,go,go! I organized an online convention last weekend and will be GMing at GenCon Online and helping out the KD team wrangle our guests for some of the Gen Con Coverage! Add my day job and putting together this blog on top of that and I’ve had a pretty busy two weeks! I know I’m not the only one busy, but it sure can get hectic. I was fortunate enough to work on some of my outline while I was an Overseer for SFS 2-00: Fate of the Scoured God. Unfortunately, my kitten decided to knock it off of my desk yesterday and then went on to destroy it. Apparently she thinks I’m spending entirely to much time at my desk instead of cuddling her on the couch! Luckily for me, writing it out is the important part of the outlining process. Alas, there is no scanned-in image of my handwritten outline.
For Quest #3, instead of the Raktavarna, which I used in Quest #1, instead I am thinking a Bloatmage type character will be a “Lieutenant” type character. It fits well with the Sanguine Raider name that I chose for the group. My biggest worry with using a Bloatmage-type character is that body image representation is important to me. The prestige class as written in Pathfinder 1st Edition has some troubling text:
“By magically overriding their bodies’ fail-safes and producing more blood than they need, bloatmages are able to greatly increase their magical abilities, but at the cost of becoming grotesque, bloated masses of engorged flesh.”
This equates fatness to ugliness first of all, and then it also alludes to the fact that this fatness is 100% a choice made just for the purposes of power. I don’t have the time to give a very thorough reasons for why this to be wrong. But this, like other representation things is just a bit of the rot hanging out in our hobby, much like race is, as discussed by Alex Augunas here . Maybe in my “setting” hemotheurges have figured out a way to replenish blood in a manner that takes the character’s weight and shape out of the picture. After all of this thinking about the Bloatmage,I did some digging on Archives of Nethysys and DriveThruRPG and could not find any thing close to a Bloatmage for Starfinder or Pathfinder 2nd Edition. I might need to change that for at least Starfinder in this blog, and maybe even 2e. Or maybe Randal can find the time to do it, similar to his Eidolon Summoner archetype, before Paizo publishes their version sometime in the unknown future! For Starfinder, though I’ll make sure to really take Alex’s advise on Starfinder archetypes to heart!
Related to thinking about how designing to be inclusive is important, I have begun putting together my entries for Wayfinder 21. I was thinking through an archetype, but realized a day or two after that initial idea occurred, that it would be an archetype built around a fairly brutal police force. I’ve decided to set that idea aside for now. Maybe one day, I’ll pick up the mechanical ideas that I had and move them over to another organization.
With the hemotheurge in mind, here are the requirements I’m setting down for Quest #3:
- Ensure there is a “What to do if they didn’t play Quest #2”
- Use skill checks to get around wandering guards, and through toxic & caustic environments (base off of a section of SFS 2-00)
- Have some guards and a hemotheurge lieutenant in the way, as the PCs see Iovita boarding a ship that takes off.
- Allow the party to learn some more about the possible discovery of hemotheurgy in the planet’s ruins.
As I’m starting to get really get into this, I am discovering that apparently I do refer my outline notes quite a bit more often than I had believed. This will leave me to protecting my handwritten outlines quite a bit more. I don’t want to lose those again! I suppose, I might be accidently be testing out Ron Lundeen’s advice on what happens when you might “punt” some of the outline to the writing phase.
- The gang is now headquartered in an industrial complex that is still fairly active. The gang has been using it as a front, and have been recruiting from the workers here
- Underneath this complex is an unreported underground complex that contained the initial secrets of hemotheurgy.
- RakTech may have found out about this, and on top of the raw resources on the planet, they wanted to take control of the planet
- Hiran (currently disguised as Iovita) keeps a starship on standby to escape the planet and report back to RakTech
- PCs given a briefing by the Cosmic Captain
- Explains how information was found
- Discover that complex is heavily guarded, they’ll have to sneak in.
- They will encounter some dangerous working conditions within the complex and need to work through those
- Discovering the gang leader escaping the players are accosted by a delaying force
- Cosmic-Captain Farasa lets the party knows that the gang’s headquarters is in a currently operating mineral refinery.
- Explain that there isn’t much information on how the refinery is layed out because the corporate owners have mercenaries protecting the grounds
- The corporate owners do not appear to be tied to RakTech by anything but an elite forensic accountant.
- This will be a small skill challenge first utilizing a montage while the players are making skill checks (Look at SFS 2-00 for setting this montage up)
- Utilizing Perception/Stealth/Disguise to first sneak past the basic guards
- Survival/Computers to find way through refinery
- Engineering/Medicine to work out some dangerous working conditions
- Calculate the number of party successes and at the end, determine the possible damage or conditions
- Sickened/Fatigued if to many failures
- The “block text” will describe what appears to be Iovita running up a boarding ramp of a starship, and a trio of people stepping forward
- We will utilize the stat blocks used from Quest #1 for two of the enemies
- The leader of this group will be a hemotheurge [Note: While the archetype is not built, I can give at least one interesting ability to this NPC]
- After this fight, the party will discover some of the recent history of hemotheurgy, and then the party must scurry off to their ship!
I’d like to think it is obvious, but I write a lot of my commentary as a stream of thought as I put these blog posts together. With that being said, I can now say for sure, that I want to have handwritten notes as I go into putting my outline posts together. My writing process now includes doing a rough handwritten first product and then transcribing it into a digital format. That transcription allows me to think about my first thoughts and massage them into even better ideas. It may have been accidental, but it is interesting to see how my process has grown since I have started this journey in January. Check back in in two weeks for the full text of Quest #3!
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Bloodmage Art Credit: Indi Martin © 2015