How to navigate Perpetual Black: the blog

How this site works:

This site is a kind of companion guide for the players of the campaign and those who are simply following along out of morbid curiosity. With this in mind, posts of this site are carefully categorized in order to keep relevant information easily accessible. These categories are as follows:

  • Campaign History – This section is dedicated to logging the gameplay sessions of the party. Usually this is broken down into a bullet-point list that lightly touches every achievement of the party. For example, one point might be “spoke to Davick Soren about scratches being found on the front doors of homes, after Ink”. While this information isn’t extremely detailed, it tells players what they should look for in further sections of the site.
  • Campaign News – Here, information regarding the game as a whole can be found. In most cases this will be about out of game events, like the game being postponed due to certain circumstances or maybe other people joining the campaign as spectators or PCs. Information from this section will usually be on the front of the site because it should require the least amount of information gathering from other categories.
  • Location Dossiers – This section revolves around each of the locations that the players visit or hear about. This will not, however, have any information that the party does not already have or isn’t widely known. For example, it will have the respective leaders of each town are or where that town gets it’s income from.
  • Persons Dossiers – Posts located here hold information regarding people or organizations that the party has come into contact with by either meeting them in person or simply by hearing information about them. While this information will be highly detailed, it will only contain information that the players already know, or can be assumed and/or gathered from other sources. For example who the person is married to, and their occupation.
  • Quest Tracker – This section is another list-based type. Here, players can see what quests they have active and what is the next expected objective. This includes rumors that they might have heard or simple questions that are asked of them by NPCs.
  • Rulings – Here, players can read up on homebrew rules and active effects that the might change how dice rolls are handled or what they can and cannot do. Information is listed here and explained so that no questions need be asked of the DM directly and players do not feel cheated due to lack of information.
  • The Party – This section could potentially be the most updated section in the entire blog.  Here, players can get detailed information about that status of the PCs. This includes the injuries that they have received and how much time it will take for them to heal. More information regarding wounds can be found in the section above.
  • The Setting – Finally, the last and probably most important section. This will include information about the setting as a whole, like how the Ink works, what the people are like in general, and even how they respond to changes in the weather. This section is made for players and spectators to really get themselves immersed in the world and gain information as their character sees it.

Remember that all the information on these pages are meant to organize and keep track of information that the players have already received. While I will be maintaining it, for the most part, it is up to the party to gather the information required to fill it by asking the right questions and witnessing the right events.

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Introduction to Perpetual Black

   I don’t think I have ever seen my father’s face clearly until he died. Light is so scarce that we cannot afford to use it to look into the face of another person. Of course, I know my mother’s face. I think kids can piece the blackness that is the ink better then any adult. To be honest, that’s not surprising, but that information doesn’t help us right now. Back on task then? I hated him. My father I mean. I know we’re supposed to be looking out for ourselves, but really? I heard him eating food that he has stored in the middle of  the ink. I know. I went and found his hiding place the following moonrise. You can look out for number one without being AGAINST the woman who bore your children. Asshole.
    But I digress. No, that’s not why I killed him, Basura [Trash]. I did it because I am addicted to the feeling. You won’t understand. That’s what I never spoke about it before. You can’t. No one ca–, No. That’s not true.  I know someone who can… Hehe.
   I have no intention on telling so you might as well not even ask. We’re going off task again, cabrón [Bro].
   I do it for the feel of the blade. The wet sinking feeling, if you know what I mean. Hehe. You know… The feeling of the knife as it slides through muscle and tissue. The subtle eruption of blood that flows between your fingertips. The sound that is released as the essence of life escapes riding upon one’s final breath. It’s… It’s.. ecstasy.

   At first, I was told that killing someone allowed you to see through the ink. That’s a lie, cabrón. I’ve killed many. People and animals alike and I couldn’t “see” through it. Though.. it gave me the.. the… “hunter’s instinct”? But that’s not sight. Nah, now i just do it for the alegría [Fun] of it.

The “Perpetual Black” campaign paints its own world in a thick layer of ink that the players must swim through in order to explore and take part in. The goal is to reinstate the fear that was relevant in the earlier editions of tabletop RPGs. To do this, we will be using the setting itself to limit the toolbox that the players have access to, forcing them to think outside of the box when it comes to situations. Even basic ones, like survival. With this in mind, there are a bunch of different effects that are constantly in play throughout the campaign which can be found in the RULINGS section. The majority of the story in this campaign revolves around the “ink”. In this world there is no “Day”. Instead there are two, twelve hour phases called “Moonrise” and “Ink”. Moonrise would be the equivalent of earth’s night, where there is a moon (exceptionally large in this case) that sheds of a moderate amount of light. During “ink”, however, there is a black fog that covers everything.  This fog is so thick that regardless of lighting, one cannot see more then 2 feet in front of themselves. This strange phenomenon distorts anything that tries to pass through it, including sound, heat and of course vision; however, since the world has been like this since the so-far-known history, people have adapted to living under the circumstances.
If you knew that regardless of whatever you did at night, no one could see you, or hear you, what you could get away with? With that knowledge, what would others do? How do you survive? This allows for plots of unknown proportions to continue right under your nose and still remain completely uncontested.

How long can the players last in a world that has its own interest at heart? How long can the players last in a place that murder is so easy to commit that wagons pass by once a week to collect the dead? How long will they live, swimming in ink that threatens to pull them below its surface, effectively removing them from existence? And if they can survive… how long will they last until they too are tainted, painted black like the rest of the corruption that surrounds them?

[Person Dossier] Bethany Roe

Name: Bethany Roe

Short Description: A guard who patrols the corner of Maro and Florens in Sensa.

Image: Here

Gender: Female

Age: Unknown

Occupation: Town Guard

Height: Roughly 5’8″

Wheight: Roughly 150 pounds without armor.

Personality:

Address: Unknown

Notes: Assumed single mother, working as a guard to provide for her child or children.

Found by: Gargoryn (Bertrand Brompton)

[House Rule] Play-by-Post Rules

Welcome back,

After careful considerations, I have decided to make this a play-by-post campaign. This will allow the game to start and continue at any point in time. Recently, my job has been changed, so I now sit at a computer for most of the day (I also will be getting paid more! :D)
What this means is that all of the rules still applies but there are a few additions:

  1. Posts are automatically saved in the log. You can play the game here:
  2. I refuse to play the game like an RP session. With that in mind, the game runs as if it were a tabletop meaning you still have to make die rolls. To make a die roll go to this website: http://www.invisiblecastle.com. In your post you put the result in parenthesis… stabs his sword into the gut of the dragon (Atk: 26, Dmg: 19).. and then link your die rolls down at the end of the post. The website lists all of your roll history and you can even separate by campaign so there should be no mistakes and no cheating.
  3. Note that when a monster/enemy appears (I might even consider putting any character the players meet) I will post it’s stats so that the players can roll and effect in thier posts immediately. It should look something like this: Your concentration on the lock is suddenly shattered by the sound of chittering coming from behind you. You whirl around to see kobolds [AC: 19, HP: 10, Saves: 3,6,2] charging at you with spears pointing at your face! [Surprise round init: 19]..
  4. Posts should be of moderate size. You should continue until you cannot continue any longer which could be: The end of your turn in combat, waiting for a response about something important, etc. In the case of die rolls, if you cannot determine the result with the stats given (for example sneaking up on someone) assume that you succeed. Posts can be edited after the fact.

Good luck and try not to die.

[House Rule] Character creation!!

Finally, character creation at its finest. The rules for character creation are as follows:

Level: 1 Pathfinder
HP: Double Maximum.
Abilities: 20 PB
Classes: No 3rd Party
Feats: No 3rd Party (excluding those from this website)
Races: No monstrous races & no 3rd party.
Note: I suggest not picking any race or class that has some kind of special sensing mechanism, like seeing or scent because during the ink it will not work. Attempting to pull one over on the DM will result in your character not functioning like you intended and you will feel nerfed. Fair warning.
Starting funds: Normal.

Important** Note that light is an important resource. Torches will be counted and they will run out per use.

[House Rule] Time is Everything

So, this is the first true houserule for this campaign. I notice that in most of the campaigns that I have taken part of, my allies seem to take a large amount of time to sort things out, come up with ideas, deal with conflicts, etc. Which is fine; however, I want to stress the importance of time in this campaign. The characters in the world have to deal with the constant threat of the Ink, but if the players can simply move at their leisure then this ideology goes to waste.

With that in mind, time will be a factor in this campaign.

When not in combat, time moves on a 1:1 ratio. And things that could be taken as actions, such as “talking about what to do” will be transferred into the game. For example, if the players have a hostage and they start talking about if they are going to kill after they interrogate him, and that hostage is in the same room, he will hear it and act accordingly.

When in combat time moves like normal combat suggests. In 6 Second increments. With that in mind. Talking is indeed a free action but it is limited. On your own turn you can make 3 sentences. These can be broken up into a fewer shorter ones, and of course longer ones will be split. You may sacrifice a sentence to get a response from one of your allies but unless you do this, they cannot talk.

Example:
Mage: “Warrior, can you come over here and block for me?”
Warrior: “Sure, I cannot really block but I can grapple that guy and take him off you.”
Mage: “Cool. That should be enough.”

The exception to this rule is questions to the DM, like rule questions and so on. If it’s not your turn, please do not talk. Infractions will come out of XP totals. You do gain RP exp for following this rule, but you’ll also lose it for breaking it.

[FEATS] Wounding & Called Shot feats. Aim for the throat!

With the new house rules, I have created a few feats that should help you and your character adapt to the changes.

  • Improved Called Shot [Combat]
    • Description: Called shots from melee range no longer put you out of position
    • Benefit: You do not provoke attacks of opportunity whenever you attempt a called shot when in melee range. In addition, the penalties to hit specific areas of a target’s bodies are reduced by one.
  • Greater Called Shot [Combat]
    • Description: You have an excellent understanding on how to create weaknesses on your opponents.
    • Prerequisites: Improved called shot, Base attack bonus +4
    • Benefit: The penalty to hit specific body parts of targets is reduced by an additional one. This stacks with Improved called shot giving you a total reduction of two.
  • Mutilator [Combat]
    • Description: You are more efficient when creating wounds on opponents bodies.
    • Prerequisites: Improved Called Shot, Base attack bonus +3
    • Benefit: Whenever you successfully land a called shot and subsequently cause a wound, its severity is increased by one step. So, an attack that wound normally cause a minor wound, instead causes a moderate one.
  • Aim for the throat [Combat]
    • Description: You are extremely proficient at causing wounds on your favored enemy.
    • Prerequisites: Favored enemy class feature.
    • Benefit: You know the anatomy of your favored enemy to the extent that you can cause wounds to them with ease. Penalties to called shots are reduced by two against your favored enemy. Also, you take no DIA (difference in anatomy) penalty when dealing with them. You also grant a +1 circumstance bonus to allies whenever they attempt a called shot on a target who is your favored enemy.
    • Special: This feat can be taken multiple times; however, its effects do not stack. Instead each subsequent feat applies to a different favored enemy.
  • Walk it off
    • Description: Your body’s natural resiliency has allowed you to adapt more to dealing with wounds.
    • Prerequisites: Toughness
    • Benefit: For a number of rounds per day equal to your hit die, you can shrug off the effects of a wound. These rounds do not need to be in order. Note that it only shrugs off the effect and not the damage it deals. So a person with this feat can run normally when they have a leg wound; however, they still take the bleed damage per round.
  • Accelerated Healing
    • Description: You heal wounds faster than the average person
    • Prerequisites: Con 15+
    • Benefit: Your high constitution allows you to heal wounds faster than most. The time it takes to heal your wounds is reduced by 25%. This means that a wound that would take you 4 weeks to heal only takes 3. This includes magical healing as well.

[FEATS] Ink related feats that just might save your life.

After being a part of this world, it is not unlikely that people would have started to become adapted to the ink environment. Here are a few feats that might help shed a little light into what is otherwise pitch black.

  • Ink Adaptation
    • Description: One of your senses has become mildly proficient at dealing with the ink.
    • Benefit: You can now perceive things much better than most. Based off hearing, you can tell if something is moving within 30 ft. of your  position and you can see it if its within 15 ft. The vision from this is hazy at best and you cannot determine exact information, so beyond size you could not determine exactly who it might be or get detailed facial information. This also doesn’t give you greater knowledge of the area. You still cannot determine the features of a room that you have not been in until its within 5 foot.
  • Greater Ink Adaptation
    • Description: Your senses have evolved to the point of competence within the ink.
    • Requirements: Ink Adaptation, Perception 7 Ranks.
    • Benefit: Similar to Ink Adaptation; however, with double the range. So, you can hear movement within 60ft, and see it within 30. You can also see detail within 15 ft. So people within 15 ft are easily identifiable as well as objects so long as they’re within 15 feet.
  • Picture Memory
    • Description: So long as you have been within an area once, you remember where everything is so long as it has stayed the same.
    • Benefit: You have realized that the key to success while living in the ink lies in memory. So long as nothing within an area has changed, if you have been there once you can easily remember exactly where everything was and navigate through it. This means means that new areas do not count as difficult terrain so long as you’ve been there once.
  • Chessboard of the Mind [Teamwork]
    • Description: So long as they don’t lie, you can tell your teammates where they are in relationship to the area.
    • Prerequisites: Picture Memory,  Int 14+
    • Benefit: So long as you are in direct communication with them, you can direct your allies on where to move based on memory and spacial awareness.  So long as they do not lie to you, you can predict their movements and guide them so that they do not collide with misc. objects within the area. This means that allies within 100 feet of you can ignore half their movement speed of difficult terrain in relationship to the ink, so long as you’re within an area that qualifies for Picture Memory. Effectively this means allies can move 75% of their movement speed within the ink, or charge so long as they only move half their movement speed.
  • Ink Eye [Heritage]
    • Description: You were born with the ability to see through the ink; however, this makes those you meet extremely distrustful of you.
    • Prerequisites: Character Level 1
    • Benefit: You were born with one eye that was capable of seeing through the ink. You can see clearly within 60ft of you, including terrain; however, this ability is obvious and appears like a curse on your body. As such, the eye itself is black and the iris is clouded over as if blinded. It cannot see during the day but your normal eye cannot see during the ink. The eye also produces a murky black liquid at seemingly random times rendering it obvious to anyone who sees you. Anyone you come into contact with, including animals, start out as one step towards hate when you meet them for the first time. While this does not mean they will attack you on contact, it does mean they will not be willing to work with you or those who are your obvious colleagues until you increase favor with them.

Mutilation & Wounding

Once again, the point of the campaign is to incorporate fear into the players and to accomplish this, it limits the tools in their toolbox. With less ways to manage each scenario, players are required to think outside of the box to accomplish more. With this in mind, the campaign uses the “Persistent Wounding” rules detailed as follows:

How wounding works:

  1. First, when a player receives a wound. It needs to be diagnosed by a successful heal check. This determines the severity of the wound and how long it would take the character to heal it by normal means. This number is based off the severity of the wound.
  2. If the appropriate supplies are handy, the player can then be mundanely helped by either the same heal check or by a new one from a different person. Mundane help are things that a normal doctor can do, like stitches, splints and wrappings.
  3. If there is magic available, the caster can use his heal spell directly on the wound itself to aide in the healing process. Keep in mind that the caster must know the details of the wound so they can properly target. For example, if someone takes an axe wound to the leg, while the caster can obviously see the massive gash, they may or may not realize that the bone below it is broken. A incorrectly healed wound will cause the character to suffer the same penalties as in the healing process.
  4. Cure spells take 1 week per die roll off the healing time. So a wound that would normally take 7 weeks to heal, will take 6 weeks after a successful cure light wounds.

How to dish out the pain:

  1. The mutilation and wounding rules also apply to the enemies as well. Players can deliberately target a vulnerable area and cause a massive wound for the opponent. To do this, they make a “called shot” attack. This is a standard action.
  2. If they do not have “Improved Called Shot”, the player triggers an Attack of Opportunity from the target due to lack of skill and the strangeness of the maneuver. Being hit by this attack does not stop you from finishing the called shot.
  3. After declaring the called shot, the player makes an attack roll at their highest BAB with a penalty based off of targeted location.( An arm would be easier to hit then a leg.) The severity of the resulting wound is based off the resulting damage dealt. A miss does nothing of course.

Notes:

  • Certain things automatically do called shots. For instance, bear traps always do leg wounds.
  • For quick reference, called shots vs humanoids are as follows. Head -8, Arm -4, Leg -6, Foot/Hand -8. These penalties can be lessened by feats.
  • Smaller creatures gain a benefit towards called shots for legs only.