The Sundering of Vaul
The life of and adventurer is a dangerous one, and sometimes characters will die. Fortunately in the world of Vaul powerful magic can restore to life those who fall in battle. Unfortunately, such magic is rare and expensive. The Pathfinder rules for death and resurrection are modified in the following way: the negative level from resurrection spells is not temporary, and is not even technically a “negative level” – the PC simply goes down one level, and has their XP set to halfway between their new level and the higher one. This can be prevented by using the more expensive “True Resurrection” or a variety of other magical effects if the PCs are lucky and powerful enough to have access.
The equipment of a dead PC may not be used by other PCs. The only exception allowed, at the GM’s discretion, is if the dead PC was carrying an item vital to the plot of the adventure.
If a PC is returned to life immediately after death, the PC receives XP and GP as normal. If returned to life at the end of the adventure, the PC receives XP and GP up to the point of the PC’s death. If the return to life causes the PC to lose a level, use their new XP total, after raising, for the starting XP on the AR. Add the awarded XP to this new total.
The player of the dead PC has sole control over whether their PC would accept being raised from the dead. Any such return to life must be resolved during or directly after the adventure in which the death occurred; else the PC is permanently dead; in this case, the GM should void all the PC’s certs and records. The PC may use any of his own surviving wealth or favors or receive help from other PCs or cohorts in the form of GP or favors in order to pay for the spellcasting needed. There are two ways to pay for raise dead or resurrection. First, you may pay the cost as listed on the chart under NPC Performed Spellcasting, later in this chapter. Second, if you cannot afford the spells, you may pay all the GP you have and spend time working the rest off. You must spend 5 TUs and a minimum of 2,500 GP for raise dead or 10 TUs and a minimum of 5,000 GP for resurrection. You may sell equipment or receive contributions from other PCs at the table to help pay for either method. You do not need to pay upkeep on these TUs and the TUs may be paid out of next year’s total. You may then use Charity of Friends, if applicable.
If a PC has the appropriate feats to craft magical items, they may do so by spending TU’s after adventures. PCs can craft up to 7000gp of items in each TU used this way. Crafted items are treated as salable certs. The “Caster Level” prerequisite for all item creation feats is replaced with “Character Level”
In order to craft an item, you need all of the following:
1: The appropriate item crafting feat
2: A sufficient character or caster level
3: The requisite skills, feats, or what have you
4: Enough gold (and if necessary XP) to pay the crafting cost for the item
5: Access to the required spells
*This last is worth some explanation. In pathfinder a spellcraft check can be made to craft certain types of item without actually knowing the requisite spells. This is fine, with the proviso that only spells to which you have access can be simulated in this way. So you can duplicate most lower level spells from the core book – but not some of the higher level spells or spells from other sources. You also may not use spells that are not on your caster list. Wizards, for example, cannot cast “Cure” spells, and therefore no amount of spellcraft will allow them to create cure potions.
6: A base item, if required (for example, a masterwork sword is required to craft a magic Sword).
These guidelines differ from the Pathfinder Rules in the following ways. First, spellcraft can only substitute for spell knowledge, and only open spells. It cannot be used to make items you cannot meet the caster level requirements for, or items you lack the skills, alignment, feats, or any other requirement. Second, as you saw above, characters who are not casters can learn item crafting feats.
This makes it easier for characters to do at least some crafting, but tends to limit the scope of what they can craft… alone. Characters can also team up to craft items during down time, so long as at least one character on the crafting “team” meets the prerequisites for each item crafted, it can be made. For example, Durek the dwarven smith has Craft Magic Arms and Armor. He wants to create a flaming sword. He needs the knowledge of Angus the Pyromancer to meet the spell requirement. So long as both characters spend the time in crafting, they work together and create the item. As far as who KEEPS this item, hopefully they have made an arrangement between themselves before doing the work (or with a third party who wants to buy it once finished).
Characters do not need to play in the same adventure, or even live in the same region to do this team crafting – once both players have spent the TUs required (and this could, conceivably, be weeks apart) the item is finished.
Anybody engaging in joint crafting should decide who will be spending any needed gold and XP. Any character involved can pay the costs, but this needs to be figured out BEFORE people start spending TUs.
Cohorts and the Leadership Feat
Characters become eligible for the leadership feat at level 6 in this campaign.
Once a character has the leadership feat, they can bring a cohort along on the adventure, with the following restrictions:
- A cohort is a member of the party and changes the APL accordingly
- A cohort cannot be brought if there are already the maximum number of players (including other cohorts) at the table
- A cohort cannot be the last character that makes up a legal table.
Basically, this means that a cohort can be brought when there are 4 or 5 players, and if multiple people have cohorts, they will have to sort out amongst themselves whose cohort comes.
Cohorts can be drawn from various sources
- Certed cohorts come from certs, characters or creatures you meet during your adventures that are willing to serve and accompany you. They gain XP and treasure as normal unless otherwise noted on their cert.
- Generic cohorts are basic characters from the adventurers guild, they may be taken to fill in a basic role in the party (What?! Nobody here can heal??!!). They do not gain XP or Treasure and are just there for the one adventure.
- Requested cohorts are created by the GM for the player, you can request a cohort of a specific class, race, gender, level, and alignment – the GM will flesh out the mechanical details, and take care of leveling them up. They gain XP and Treasure as normal.
- Temporary cohorts are other PCs you have created that are an appropriate level to serve as cohort. Temporary cohorts do not gain XP or Treasure. You can only bring one of your own PCs.
- Cohorted PCs allow the greatest level of control over exactly how your cohorts work. Any PC you have can be “Cohorted” once they have gained 2 levels (i.e. at level 3 if they started as level 1 characters). A cohorted PC is assigned to another PC who has the leadership feat, and is thereafter their cohort. Cohorted PCs gain XP and treasure as normal, and the player totally directs their leveling up, purchasing, and so on. Any cohorted PC can be “uncohorted” and returned to play as a PC after gaining 2 levels as a cohort.
Some general information and guidelines on cohorts are in order:
- First off, cohorts do not exist for cheating purposes such as money laundering. You and your cohort can engage in reasonable trade (they can purchase your cast off magic items for example) but they are NOT there just to craft magic items for you, donate money to you, or gather up certs that you want to snag.
- Remember that your cohort is an independent person (or creature, perhaps) and does not care to be mistreated, thrust first into every danger, or used as a dumping ground for curses and unwanted treasure.
- You will note that to get the most effective in game benefit from your cohort, you have to put some work into designing them and having them adventure on their own. This is intentional, as they should have some backstory and experience under their belt before they start tagging along with more powerful adventurers, and it will also make them more rounded.
Cohorts and XP, treasure, certs, item crafting, etc.
- Which cohorts get xp and treasure are noted above. They function exactly like characters in terms of how much they gain – which includes the rule that if they go on an adventure to far above their level (more than 1 off) they only gain half the XP and treasure. This will be rare for PCs, but not all that uncommon for cohorts.
- Cohorts get certs just like characters at the end of the adventure, and have a log just like full characters. A cohort will generally not receive any unique or plot based certs if any “real” PC is eligible, even if they are more qualified.
- Cohorts can trade and barter just like any other character.
- Cohorts do not track or use TUs. They can only spend “down time” crafting items or what have you if your character is also spending that time.
- Cohorts can assist in crafting magic items just like other characters with whom you cooperate.
- Cohorts who die can be raised in precisely the same way as characters
- Cohorts who gain too much XP, and attain a level at which they would no longer willingly serve as your cohort, may either be set aside until your character gains a level, or may forfeit ALL rewards from the adventure that would have caused them to level up inappropriately.
- Cohorts may not have cohorts. They can have the leadership feat, if they really want to, but they can’t USE it while they are cohorts.
What about followers? The rules say I get followers too!
Followers are a pain and clutter up the game. Your followers have no game effect at this time, although later they may serve a purpose. See the next section on “other stuff that follows you around and does your bidding” however.
Henchmen, Animals, and the like
From time to time you may wish to bring other creatures along with you on an adventure. Anything which you gain as a class feature is assumed to be part of your character, so a wizards familiar, a paladins mount, a druids animal companion, etc. are NOT part of these rules, they work just like it says in the core rulebook. Spells, such as planar binding, are not class abilities, so if you bind things to your service that way, these rules WILL apply.
A player may bring up to 4 companion type creatures in addition to anything brought through class features or the leadership feat. Examples might include bound demons, created skeletons, a prized warhorse, or a team of porters. These creatures may increase the APL of the adventure if they are sufficiently potent.
You are responsible for keeping track of such creatures, and need to be able to do so quickly. Have stats for them. On paper. Know how their abilities work. If too much game time is taken up rolling assorted checks for your pack of rabid squirrels, that is bad. Also, if you bring companion creatures of such might that the APL is significantly increased, the odds of someone dying go up, and that is bad too.
Summoned creatures are a temporary spell effect, and do not count as part of this limit unless they are going to stick around for the whole adventure, but the guidelines about knowing what you are doing apply double.
You are, at this point, free to trade or sell items, secrets, services, or whatever else crosses your mind to other players (provided the items are certed salable). The price of the item should serve as a guideline, but you are in no way obliged to follow that. This is intended to create a somewhat realistic marketplace and encourage item crafting both magical and mundane.
NPC shopkeepers will always be willing to buy a magical item for ½ of its listed price. They do not haggle, and will thereafter attempt to resell the item for a profit. When an item is sold or traded, please make a note of this, either on the cert, if it has one, or somewhere else, as these may be reviewed from time to time.
Note how short the above rules were? I hope I can keep it that way. As soon as somebody starts using their secondary character or cohorts as farming tools to increase their main character’s wealth, and somebody else sells a flaming sword for a pack of real world cigarettes, and yet a third person starts using the funds of his high level character as a slush fund to provide no interest loans to his lower level friends so they can get a free leg up and then return them to him when he finally wants to buy something, then SO HELP ME GOD I will create so many anal-retentive tracking sheets and pricing guidelines and rules that it will be as big a pain for you as it is for me, and nobody will even bother trading any more.
If you have any doubts about the difference between making an honest profit and gaming the [lack of] system, please feel free to ask for guidance.
At this time there is no mechanic for retraining or changing your characters decisions, except those times laid out in the rulebook where spontaneous casters may change a known spell. There may at times be opportunities presented, and if you feel you have a REAL need to make a change, feel free to ask for special dispensation. This will more often be granted to inexperienced players than to experienced players.
The one time this may come up is when your character is using a special certed ability, such as a feat or prestige class, which did not exist in the Pathfinder rules, and then a Pathfinder version is published. When this happens, the Pathfinder rules will generally take over, and the DM will work with you to make sure that your character does not lose out (or become overpowered) because of the change.
The Charity of Friends
If, after receiving your GP for an adventure, your total character worth is below ½ the
total for your level on the Character Wealth by Level from the COR, you may spend 10 TUs to gain enough GP to bring you to ½ of the value listed on that table. Compute total character worth by adding all coin on hand to the full market value of all equipment owned. Write “Charity of Friends” on your AR. In the GP Gained box, write the amount of GP needed to bring you to the correct GP total. Your GM must verify both your character worth and how much GP was gained. You do not need to pay upkeep on these TUs. If you are a wizard and have lost your spellbook(s), you may use Charity of Friends to gain a new copy. Your total character worth, not counting the new spellbook(s), must be no higher than ¼ the total for your level on the Character Wealth by Level from the COR. You may surrender any equipment or give up GP on hand to bring your total character worth, not counting spellbook(s), down to the prescribed value.