Legacy of Tears
1. The Realm
In the Legacy of Tears campaign, the setting is a dark Fae land generally called the Realm. There are no gods other than the Realm itself, often referred to as the Earth Mother or the Goddess. While civilization has progressed to a medieval fantasy scope, it is widely understood that the Realm itself is very much a prescient and living thing. Maps have less value here, as the landscape sometimes changes. Nearly every commoner has had an encounter with an intelligent and speaking wild animal, awakened by the power of the Goddess. While society has constructed roads, even they are believed to have been guided by the Realm. To leave the Path often means certain death. The dangers of the Wild sit waiting for those foolish enough to do so.
Players generate their starting ability scores from the Low Fantasy point buy in the Pathfinder Core Rules. Afterwards they receive 5 Fae Points, or ability bonuses that need to be kept track of. No starting ability can be raised above 20 in this way. These Fae Points represent a character’s connection to the Living Realm. If they ever break a Pact (or formal binding agreement), they lose these points until they attone in the eyes of the Goddess (who in this matter bears a striking resemblance to the GM).
2. Races and Classes
Given the Fae nature of the setting, and the pagan roots of the Goddess, there are no humans, clerics, or paladins in the Legacy of Tears setting. This makes bards and druids far more important, and healing is so scarce as to make the players worry about every injury. Most druids in civilized areas are Urban Druids from the Pathfinder Advanced Players Guide.
3. Critical Hits and Misses
We want the big, dramatic moments that critical hits provide, and the momentum to the game to keep its pace. All critical threats are automatically confirmed. It’s not very realistic or balanced as a game mechanic, but it’s fun. Even if a player needs a 20 to hit, if they do it’s a critical and everybody cheers. Hooray!
Every time a player rolls a 1, their character suffers a -4 penalty on any attacks made on the following round.
4. Craft (Alchemy)
For simplicity and sanity’s sake, the DCs listed for non-magical alchemical items is what is needed to produce one item in one week. The DC +5 is required to produce one item in one day. The DC +10 results in the possible production of 2 items in one day. The material requirements are half the gp listed for each item. However, as these are tested and true formulas, an alchemist is able to carry out other activities while their alchemist lab bubbles away at these creations. They need only truly be there at the beginning and end of the process. However, if a 1 is ever rolled in the Craft attempt, a mishap (usually a fire) occurs that would make an alchemist sincerely wish they’d been there.
Brew Potion sticks to the Core Rules (half gp cost and one potion per day). The alchemist must also be there for the entire process, as the magical properties of the creation require near constant attention.
As there is little in the way of huge piles of coins spilling from monsters’ purses in Legacy of Tears, an alchemist must spend time foraging for rare components or gathering samples and fluids from creatures encountered.
An hour foraging and a Knowledge (Nature) check of 15 earns the alchemist 5gp worth of components. This amount doubles for every +10 to the roll.
Sample values are based on the exotic nature of the creature.
Common creatures (hobgoblins) are worth 2gp each.
Uncommon creatures (cockatrice, hill giant, minotaur) are worth 25gp each
Rare creatures (shambling mound, roper, basilisk) are worth 250gp each
Super Rare creatures (older dragons) are worth 2500gp each