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Planar Adventures Month—Week Two
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Planar Adventures Month—Week Two

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Four Horsemen Blog

Planar Adventures Month Week Two—Planar Plots

Welcome back for week two of Planar Adventures Month! Famine returns this week to offer some starting points for exciting planar adventures, as well as a few story feats for plane-touched characters.

Whether you're playing a spontaneous game, a published adventure, a one-off, or an extended campaign, plot is everything. A nuanced villain has an agenda that ultimately only the PCs—the stars of your weekly show—can stop. In a plane-touched adventure the options for villains, plots, and motivations are as diverse as the options for player character races and backgrounds. Perhaps ultimately the core devices for a plot are similar across settings—a villain can seek revenge or a syndicate might expand an illegal operation anywhere there are the tools for such things. But the inclusion of planar elements give a classic trope (a protagonist has a singular destiny in a time of trouble) a very special flavor (our protagonist is the son of a philandering deity with a jealous wife who must undergo trials to prove his worth). Consider the following uncommon seeds as launching points for one of your planar adventures.

1. A fortress on the Plane of Shadow brings undead and assassins to a peaceful kingdom.

2. A convergence with the Plane of Dreams causes real versions of nightmare creatures to attack.

3. A desperate tribe begs an ancient demon for victory over its neighbors.

4. A serial killer or violent gang turns out to be barghests and xill who've come to feed and mate.

5. Druids punish a nearby settlement by stopping all fire from burning.

6. Every pet in the city acquires the fiendish template and becomes hostile to their families.

7. An immense storm contains acid rain, shards of hail, strokes of lightning, and flame strikes.

8. Proteans place a series of shapeless runestones that warp and unmake everything nearby.

9. A waiting place for souls awaiting judgment releases occupants of varying alignments to complete the business they left unfinished in life.

10. A cult summons kytons to teach them how to torture the living.

For Players:

Your plane-touched PC should never be reduced to a half-breed with a tendency toward a certain alignment. While the tension of having one hoof in each world can be fun and compelling, the idea of being invested by a race of outsiders ought to carry a sense of mystery and destiny tied to a larger story. After all, a half-breed character might come from any two races. A drow half-orc or a dhampir can tell the story of a mixed-race character with the same conflict or resolution as any plane-touched character, so a plane-touched PC needs a calling from beyond. Maybe your character struggles against an evil nature or resents the meddling of outsiders in mortal affairs. Perhaps elemental forces bend easily to your character's will, which allows you to undertake adventures others cannot. With a little trust and planning, you might enjoy playing a plane-touched protagonist that doesn't even know her own race or capabilities. The following story feats help shape the direction of your character's story, although the specific details are up to you.

Apotheosis (Story)

Your bloodline bears just enough planar influence to transcend your mortal ancestry.

Prerequisite: Humanoid or monstrous humanoid race without the extraplanar or native subtype.

Benefit: When you take this feat, choose one race with the outsider type and extraplanar or native subtype. Whenever you take a level in your favored class, you can choose your favored class benefit from the options available from your race or from one race with the extraplanar or native subtype. You can also ignore these benefits and take a skill rank or increase your maximum hp by 1. When you take this feat, you gain one additional favored class benefit, as if you were one level higher in your favored class.

Goal: You must gain acceptance from your chosen outsider race as one of their own. You and your GM decide how you accomplish this, but possibilities include upholding the ideals of a community made up of your chosen race, risking your life to defend the race, or completing a test wherein you forsake or defeat a rival community of different outsiders.

Completion Benefit: For every racial option you have taken as a favored class bonus,  you retroactively gain 1 hp or 1 skill rank. Each time you gain a new level, you chose one racial favored class bonus from your chosen outsider race, and also gain either 1 hp or 1 skill rank.

Elemental Authority (Story)

The elemental energy of the inner planes is inherent in your blood.

Prerequisite: Spellcaster level 1st.

Benefit: Choose the acid, cold, electricity, or fire descriptor. If you have an elemental bloodline or oracle mystery, or your race has an elemental subtype, you must choose the matching energy descriptor. You cast spells with the chosen energy descriptor at +1 caster level. In addition, you gain a +1 bonus on Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (planes), and Spellcraft checks related to magic of the chosen energy type, and one of these skills is always a class skill for you.

Goal: In three separate game sessions, you must succeed at a caster level check to dispel an effect or overcome spell resistance with a spell you cast. The dispelled effect or your spell must have the same energy descriptor as your racial subtype or the energy type you chose when you took this feat. The caster level checks must each have a DC of at least 16 + your character level.

Completion Benefit: You earn recognition as the descendant of an elemental prince or some other agent of significant elemental power. You gain the subtype associated with your element if you don't have it already. You gain a +4 bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks against creatures that share your elemental subtype with you.

Mysterious Birthright (Story)

Your racial heritage is revealed as your destiny unfolds.

Prerequisite: Plane-touched race (see below).

Benefit: At 1st level, your GM chooses a plane-touched race (a race with the outsider type and /or extraplanar or native subtypes) in secret and substitutes half of its Race Points in traits with other traits. You gain these new traits in addition to any remaining traits, which constitutes your new race. You can request specific traits, but these traits must balance with the story you seek to resolve with this feat, and with the race the GM initially chose for you. See the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Race Guide for more information on races, traits, and Race Points.

Goal: You must resolve the secret of your special heritage, whether that includes the identity of one or more parents, or any special circumstances surrounding your conception, birth, or infancy.

Completion Benefit: You inherit the remainder of your race's original traits, keeping the substituted traits your GM assigned at 1st level. You are forever regarded as a full member of your race, with your additional traits marking you as a unique member of that race.

Special: This feat can only be taken at 1st level. Once you choose a race and the alternate traits you exchange, these traits cannot be changed and this feat cannot be retrained. If your race is made up of more than 15 RP in traits (after you gain your completion benefit), you cannot gain the completion benefit of this feat before 6th level. If your race is made up of more than 30 RP in traits, you cannot gain the completion benefit of this feat before 11th level.

I hope you'll come back next week when we'll talk a little more about planar characters. Have a great week and play some great games!

 
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