Pathfinder Off the Beaten Path
- 20 ability score points (high fantasy)
- All characters add 1 skill rank at each level in addition to racial or favored class bonuses.
- Two traits selected with reference to their descriptions/flavor text.
Spells, Feats, Traits and items that are associated with specific races, regions and religions are generally available, but there should be some story-based reason for starting with them.
Starting wealth is maximum for a character’s class, but no single item can be worth more than the average starting wealth for the class.
Backstory Bonuses: Each character gains a +2 bonus to skill checks related to a limited class of creatures, sites or objects. This works like a ranger’s favored enemy bonus, but only applies to skill checks, not attack or damage rolls. PC’s can make untrained Knowledge skill checks concerning these creatures regardless of DC. In addition, PCs can make untrained Knowledge skill checks regarding major elements in their backgrounds regardless of DC.
I suggested the following bonuses, but please let me know if think something else would be more appropriate for your character.
Nadya: bonus with hags. Knowledge checks with Jadwiga, winter witches and Irrisen.
Nick: bonus with duelists. Knowledge checks with Brevoy and other dueling traditions.
Sa’hetna: bonus with air elementals (and bears). Knowledge checks with Shoanti (and bears).
Thrindil: bonus with magic items and artifacts. Knowledge checks with elves.
Zuristoi: Instead of the usual bonus, Zuristoi can cast the Harrow to determine if an encountered creature’s destiny is intertwined with the heroes (he can tell if an NPC is important to a storyline or if it’s just there for background or flavor, to give quests, or to fight). This takes 10 minutes and requires him to cast a Harrow spread. Zuristoi then makes an opposed Perform (fortuneteller) check. In most cases this will automatically succeed, but if the target is trying to hide from or deceive the party the check is opposed by the appropriate skill or spell DC.
Wealth and Magic Items
Advancement will continue to be benchmark-based, but will likely be slightly slower than with Adventure Paths, except for the first two levels, which will be fast.
Character wealth will be low fantasy, which is half the standard wealth-by-level and encounter treasure value. This will be partially offset by slower advancement, fewer generic defensive magic items for NPCs, and my plan to ignore the suggestion that no single item exceed half the character’s wealth-by-level. I plan to treat item and spell availability much the same as Carrion Crown (Low Fantasy).
Following Adam’s lead, unless there is some compelling story-based reason to do so I will not require anyone to track mundane ammunition, food or water.
Hero and Harrow points
Since we’re starting in Varisia, I’m looking at allowing players to choose between standard Hero Points and the Harrow Cards that appear in Carrion Crown. To help balance the cards against the points, players will be able to select cards instead of drawing them randomly. No card may be selected more than once during the entire campaign. Unlike Hero Points, a character is not limited to the number of Harrow Cards he or she may have. I’m also looking at continuing one-use awards for posting to the forums.