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Thread: COTE Rules

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Cool COTE Rules

    Assembled in one spot for your convenience, everything you need to know to build your character and learn the House Rules...


    1) Have fun!

    2) Support the fun of other players!

    3) Post at least twice per week from Monday to the following Sunday.

    *If a player (or players) cannot participate in a given week, I will post a first turn for the player(s) on Thursday. If need be, I will take a second turn for the player(s) on Sunday.

    (In the event that 2/3 or 3/4 players do not post for a week, I will not be posting in their place---I will be trying to contact them to make sure everything's okay and find out when/if they'll return.)

    Of course real life comes first, so no hard feelings if you haven't got the time or wherewithal---just try to let me know ASAP? This rule is meant to give the game momentum and ensure progress.

    Character Building House Guidelines, Part I: Basics

    (For full Pathfinder texts, see

    1) Choose any class or alternate class features from Core Rulebook or Advanced Player's Guide or Advanced Race Guide. (No other books allowed, not even for me, except Bestiaries I-III of course.)

    2) Choose any race from Core Rulebook, and/or any racial trait variations from the APG or Advanced Race Guide. If you want an uncommon race from Advanced Race Guide instead, just check with me first. (Ixnay on any undead races.)

    3) Choose two Traits from the Advanced Player's Guide. (See "New Rules" chapter), but you may not choose a Campaign Trait or the Social Trait "Adopted."

    4) ABILITY SCORES: Assign these six ability scores to your Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, & Charisma: 12, 13, 15, 15, 16, 18.

    5) Take a free bonus Feat, in addition to the normal Feat at first level. (Unless you are human---they already get two Feats.)

    6) Give yourself "Quick Draw" as a SECOND free bonus Feat. Quick Draw allows you to draw your weapon as a free action, any time.

    7) COMBINED SKILLS: Count Intimidate/Bluff/Diplomacy as the single skill "Persuasion." (Still based on Charisma modifier, and please include which method of persuasion you are using in your OOC notes.)

    8) MORE COMBINED SKILLS: Count Acrobatics/Climb/Ride/Swim" within the single skill "Athletics." (Base your Athletics on your strongest Ability: Strength or Dexterity.)

    9) Give yourself 5 bonus Skill ranks.

    10) Give yourself 700 gold pieces to spend on gear, etc. (Recommended gear: Backpack, waterskin, bedroll or blanket of some kind, rope, grappling hook, torches, weapons appropriate to your class.)

    11) No Evil alignments allowed, if I even need to say this.



    1) Coin Flip: "Who Goes First" (the Players or the Enemy in a combat encounter) will be decided by a Coin Flip by your DM. Players are always Tails.

    Of course, if Players surprise an enemy, they will go first.

    2) Group Initiative: Players all take their turn at the same time as a group, a mighty fighting unit if you will. Same goes for the enemy.


    1) If you roll a "1" for your attack roll, you miss (natch) and the enemy gets +2 to attack rolls against you (called a "combat advantage bonus") for one round. It likewise works in your favor when the enemy rolls "1."


    1) Prepared spellcasters (clerics, alchemists) do not need to select specific spells every morning. Instead they may cast any spell from their "known" list at any time, so long as they have not used up their total spells for the day.

    And to make it fair, spontaneous casters will not be bound by the usual list of known spells either.

    On a related note, every spellcaster knows all O-level spells (for their class) and can cast them an infinite number of times per day.

    Every morning (after a good night's sleep of course) characters regain their maximum spells for the day. This is a teaching game for our newest player, so softening the rules of spellcasting seemed appropriate--plus it encourages experimentation.


    1) All divine classes (paladins, clerics, oracles, inquisitors, or druids) gain proficiency with their deity's favored weapon.

    Character Building House Guidelines, Part II: Gear

    1) You gain a free masterwork tools set OR kit from your mentor (grants +2 circumstance bonus to certain Skill Rolls, also called "Skill Checks") :

    In-game examples...

    For Drake/Mingy, mwk crafter's tools to make armor

    For Simoriah/Fuego, mwk portable alchemist's kit

    For Sarha/Sarha the tengu, healer's kit

    For Madkerik/Mort, mwk carpentry tools

    For Micah, mwk healer's kit

    2) Free magic item worth about 13,000 gp and granting a specific Level 5 class ability:

    For Drake/Mingy, Beastmaster Belt (enables giant weasel companion)

    For Simoriah/Fuego, Bombardier Gloves (enables 3d6 bombs)

    For Sarha/Sarha the tengu, Amulet of Channel Positive Energy (enables 3d6 channel)

    For Madkerik/Mort, Diadem of the Destructor (enables melee touch vs constructs 1d8+5 for 3 + Cha mod/day; constructs are treated as living creatures for compulsions and other mind-affecting spells)

    For Micah, Deck of Fates (enables 3/day casting of the spell harrowing...see OOC for details)

    The purpose of these magic items is to highlight some unique aspect of your character concept (and enable you to face tougher challenges).


    The harrowing spell:


    School divination; Level bard 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
    Casting Time 10 minutes
    Components V, S, F (a Harrow deck)
    Range touch
    Target one creature
    Duration 1 day/level or until fulfilled


    You use a Harrow deck to tell a fortune for yourself or someone else. If you cast harrowing on another creature, you must remain adjacent to the target for the duration of the casting time. A harrowing must describe one set of events or course of action (for example, “hunting down the pirate king,” or “traveling to Viperwall to search for a magic sword”) that the target of the spell intends to undertake at some point during the spell’s duration. If you have access to a Harrow deck, draw nine cards when this spell is cast. If you do not have a Harrow deck, you can simulate the draws by rolling a d6 and a d10 for each of the nine cards.
    Record the ability score and alignment associated with each card. Each of these cards grants a luck bonus or a penalty on a specific type of d20 check; the magnitude of the penalty or bonus depends upon how closely that particular card’s alignment matches the target creature’s alignment. If the card and target’s alignments are identical, that card provides a +2 luck bonus on the associated suit’s check. If the card and target’s alignments are of the opposite alignment (see below), the card inflicts a –1 penalty on that associated check. If the card has any other alignment, it provides a +1 luck bonus on the associated suit’s check.
    While penalties persist on all associated checks for as long as the harrowing persists, the bonuses are one-use bonuses that the harrowed character can “spend” at any time to modify that card’s associated check. You can spend a bonus to modify an appropriate roll after the die is rolled, but cannot spend the bonus once you know the result of the roll. Since all of the bonuses granted by a harrowing are luck bonuses, they do not stack with each other. Penalties, on the other hand, do stack. Once you spend all of the bonuses granted by a harrowing, or once the spell’s duration ends, the spell ends and the penalties are removed.
    A single creature can only be under the effects of one harrowing at a time. If it is subjected to a second harrowing while a previous harrowing is still in effect, the new harrowing automatically fails.
    Associated Suit Checks

    SuitAssociated checkHammer (Str)Attack rolls (ranged and melee)Key (Dex)Reflex saving throwsShield (Con)Fortitude saving throwsBook (Int)Skill checksStar (Wis)Will saving throwsCrown (Cha)Any d20 rollOpposition Alignments

    AlignmentOppositionLGCENGNECGLELNCNNLG, LE, CG, or CE
    (pick one when spell is cast)CNLNLECGNENGCELG
    Last edited by UngainlyDodge; 07-14-2015 at 10:15 PM. Reason: added Micah's item
    "Fall into my pit trap, shame on you. Fill my pit trap with bloodthirsty sharp-toothed goblins with abyssal templates, shame on me." ---SuperBall

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Addendum: Character Building Questionnaire

    While your Character Sheet will focus on your Class (and Skills, and gear, and stuff), this focuses on what makes you an individual...race, gender, age, background, physical features, distinguishing habits or accessories, and quirks.

    The purpose of this questionnaire is to establish what the other PCs already know about you. I find games flow much more smoothly when allies aren't strangers.


    1) What is your class? (See, RPG books Core Rulebook & Advanced Player’s Guide...see also Advanced Race Guide.)

    2) What is your race? (11 choices: human, elf, half-elf, dwarf, halfling, gnome, half-orc OR ifrits, tengu, catfolk, or tiefling)

    6 Common Races: human, elf, half-elf, dwarf, halfling (hobbit), gnome, or half-orc (from Core Rulebook)

    1) Human:

    Townsfolk response: Nothing special. You blend in so effortlessly you can move about undetected. Not pictured here…try a mirror.

    Appearance: Taller than humans. Slender limbs. Long pointed ears. Odd eyes.

    Townsfolk response: Folks are respectful and in awe of you (or envious) due to your beauty, grace, centuries-long life span, and (assumed) mystic connection to nature and talent for magic. Many expect you to predict the weather or have intuitive knowledge of plants to help them, and may seek out your judgment or dissect your words for hidden wisdom.

    2) Half-elf:

    Appearance: Looks human except for pointed ears (smaller & more rounded & than an elf), exotic colored eyes like an elf.

    Townsfolk response: Elves are sympathetic or condescending about your mixed birthright. Humans tend toward jealous and are inclined to flirt with you, offer you favors, or try to impress you. Most people expect you to have a special destiny & seek you out for a number of reasons just to be near you.

    3) Dwarf:

    Appearance: Stockier/shorter than humans (under 5 ft tall).

    Townsfolk response: Folks are extra polite and a intimidated by your long-lived race’s reputation as humorless, gruff, tireless craftsmen and relentless warriors. You are often assumed to be highly traditional and a perfectionist. You may be sought out to fix tools/weapons or appraise valuables or perform a feat of strength.

    4) Halfling (hobbit):

    Appearance: Look human except for pointed ears & being very petite (rarely taller than 3 ft). Usually brown hair on your head and the top of each foot.

    Townsfolk response: Folks are extra friendly to you and (due to your race’s reputation) often expect you to be brave, funny, lucky to be near during a crisis, and an excellent cook. You may be sought to give an opinion on the finer things in life or to retrieve things from small or hard-to-reach spaces.

    5) Gnome: Ancestry includes faeries.

    Appearance: Like a halfling, petite and around 3 ft tall, but due to your faerie ancestry your features are more pointed and common hair colors are red, green, purple, & orange w/ equally exotic eye colors.

    Townsfolk response: Folks are friendly but watchful because your race has a reputation for impulsiveness, peculiar inventions & obsessions, communing with animals, & seeking thrilling new experiences. You may be sought to fix gadgets, deal with an animal, or come up with a creative solution to a problem.

    6) Half-orc:

    Appearance: Look human, except a little monstrous/orcish. It varies. Skin color (or tone) may be green or gray or brown, ears are either tapered or bat-like, nostrils may be slits or nose may squash or tilt up like a snout, & may have slight (or long) fangs or tusks.

    Townsfolk response: Your youth prevents folks from being terrified of you, but many are nervous. Some avoid you or are hostile, while others go out of their way to be kind & try to steer you down the path of goodness. You are assumed to have a volatile temper. Folks try not to upset you (except ‘tough guys,’ who may provoke you). You may be sought out to deal with bullies, hunt or track, or perform a feat of strength.

    (*Roleplaying hint: Think of the Lord of the Rings for these races: elf, half-elf, dwarf, halfling (hobbit), or half-orc. Gnome is like hobbit, but gnomes are born knowing how to cast a few spells.)

    4 Uncommon Races: ifrits, tengu, catfolk, or tiefling (from Advanced Race Guide)

    7) Ifrits: Ancestry includes an elemental being of pure fire.

    Appearance: Look human, except for pointy ears, mottled horns on brow, hair that looks & moves like fire, bronze skin

    Townsfolk response: Folks are often respectful and flattering to the point of fawning, and many are leary of your (supposed) unpredictable, fiery temperament. Given the town’s ever-burning flame tradition, you are also considered a rare blessing and supernaturally lucky. You may be offered gifts in exchange to rub some part of your head ‘for luck.’

    8) Tengu: Crowperson.

    Townsfolk response: You are welcomed, but folks assume you can’t help being addicted to shiny things, like a magpie. Many believe that like a bird, you eat roughly your weight in one day and enjoy insects. Your race’s reputation for skilled swordsmanship may inspire folks to want to spar with you. They may also ask you to help them find (or appraise) shiny things, or may hide their shinies from you.

    9) Catfolk: Catperson.

    Appearance: Slit pupils, soft fur, fingers with retractable claws, cat ears & tail.

    Townsfolk response: You are welcomed, but folks assume you’re nosy and a risk-taker (curious). Folks feel tempted to touch your fur and ask you to do tricks or stunts. They may also assume you share cat behaviors like an appetite for mice and fear of dogs. You may be sought to retrieve things from high or difficult to reach places…or deal with rodents.

    10) Tiefling:

    Ancestry includes a fiend from another plane of existence.

    Appearance: Look human, except for monstrous/devilish features like curling horns, barbed tail, exotic hair or highlights, & oddly colored eyes. (Some also have vestigial wings, fangs, or claws.)

    Townsfolk response: Your youth prevents folk from being terrified of you, but many are nervous. Some avoid you or are hostile, while others go out of their way to be kind & try to steer you down the path of goodness. You are assumed to be highly charming but prone to rage or revenge. Folks try not to upset you (except self-righteous church-goers, who may provoke you). Your help may be sought for deception, cleverness, or diplomacy OR magical talent.

    3) What is your nationality/ethnic background? (9 choices, from Inner Sea World Guide)

    (Golarion is a typical medieval fantasy world. For your roleplaying convenience I give you real-world equivalents below to inspire ideas for dress, accent, attitudes/beliefs, hair & eye & skin colors, or worship.)

    (1) Chelaxian (Germans or Russians, countries Cheliax, Molthune, or the country our adventure takes place in: *Nirmathas)
    Skin: Pale/white
    Hair: Dark, usually brown or black or deep red
    Eyes: Dark shades of brown, blue, or green

    (2) Kellids (Neanderthals/cavemen & nomadic barbarians, main country Realm of the Mammoth Lords or *Nirmathas)
    Skin: Deeply tanned
    Hair: Dark, usually brown or black or deep red
    Eyes: Black, blue, or steel grey

    (3) Mwangi (Africans, region is the Mwangi Expanse)
    Skin: From brown to coal black
    Hair: Black
    Eyes: Dark

    (4) Shoanti (Native Americans, widespread clans that revere various animals but countries are Belkzen/Varisia/Lands of Linnorm Kings)
    Skin: From deeply tan to ruddy to dark brown
    Hair: Shave heads, decorate w/ face paint to indicate clan affiliation
    Eyes: Vary

    (5) Taldans (Europeans, especially France & Great Britain, countries called Taldor & Andoran)
    Skin: Light bronze
    Hair: Dark shades usually
    Eyes: Green, gray, or amber

    (6) Tians (China/Japan, country is Tian Xia)
    Skin: Pale
    Hair: Dark shades usually, some shock white or silver-white (good omen)
    Eyes: Brown or dark, usually

    (7) Ulfen (Nordic barbarians/Vikings, countries are Irrisen & the Land of the Linnorm Kings)
    Skin: Pale
    Hair: Light brown, blond, or red
    Eyes: Blue, green or grey

    (8) Varisians (Roma/gypsies or Bavarians, countries Varisia & *Nirmathas)
    Skin: Dusky
    Hair: Any average color
    Eyes: Wide & expressive, varied colors plus exotic shades of gold or violet

    (9) Vudrani (India/Bangladesh, country is Vudra)
    Skin: Swarthy reddish brown
    Hair: Black or dark brown
    Eyes: Dark shades

    4) What is your age? (Choose anywhere from age 13 to age 18)

    5) What is your gender?

    6) What do you look like?
    Skin color:
    Hair color:
    Eye color:
    Height & weight:

    Any distinguishing features like scars or tattoos or face paint or physical weaknesses?

    Are you carrying any favorite weapons, tools, talismans, mementos, or other distinctive accessory?

    Is your typical outfit decorative/fashionable, or practical? Do you wear bright colors or plain earth tones? Does your attire reflect your ethnic/national heritage? Are your clothes clean or grubby? Etc. (You are also free to use Google Images to find a pic of your race that you like and make it your “profile” pic.)

    7) What are you most afraid of? (You CANNOT pick spiders. It can be, but DOES NOT have to be something physical or fatal. It could be a situation or event.)

    8) What gets under your skin? In other words, what spurs you to act, or speak up, or leave? It could be as mild as a pet peeve or as serious as a personal crusade.

    9) What was your childhood like?

    For your young characters childhood is not just a distant memory. What is your backstory? If you need them, here are more specific questions to answer for me that will help you write a brief backstory:

    (1) Did you grow up in Kassen (the town where the adventure takes place, in the country called Nirmathas), or elsewhere? (If you want to have a strong cultural identity other than Chelaxian, Kellid, or Varisian, I suggest you have at least the first 8 years of your life take place in that culture, from the table I provided.)

    (2) Who are (or were) your parents---names, jobs, primary personality traits? Are they still alive?

    (3) Who raised you…and/or who taught you or became your role model?

    (4) Any siblings or close relatives, and how did you get along?

    (5) How safe were you while growing up?

    (6) Did you witness or participate in anything growing up that left a strong impression on you?

    (7) What activities did you enjoy as a child, and what activities do you enjoy now?

    (8) What do you want to become---an adventurer seeking treasure or glory or justice, or another profession?

    Those questions are an attempt to flesh out your influences. I will also be assigning a mentor figure (a seasoned adventurer in Kassen) to each of you (based on your Class) once you complete and return this questionnaire. Your input on this mentor is welcome and encouraged!

    10) Have you any words or phrases that you use frequently...or other quirks or habits?
    Last edited by UngainlyDodge; 02-25-2015 at 10:20 PM.
    "Fall into my pit trap, shame on you. Fill my pit trap with bloodthirsty sharp-toothed goblins with abyssal templates, shame on me." ---SuperBall


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