Pierce the Veil, a Pathfinder RPG #Microsetting

A 700-or-so-word #Microsetting for the Pathfinder RPG, by Owen K.C. Stephens. I’m releasing this because the Rogue Genius Games Facebook page hit 700 likes before the end of Nov 1st. If we hit 800 likes by the end of Nov 1st, I’ll release another #Microsetting at least 800 words long!
While the world didn’t end in 2012, it did… Change. The veil between our world and other realms became thin. For most people, this is just a growing realization that things that used to be urban legends – ESP, ghosts, monsters in the sewers, dragons in the lakes, zombies in abandoned towns, and sasquatches in the forests – are real if hard to explain.
But the PCs are among the group of people who fully Pierced the Veil. Known as “Percivals,” for some reason some people not only can see and recognize the new powers in the world, some can even manipulate them.
SWAT teams TRY to deal with otyughs in the sewers and cults of psychics taking over small Midwestern towns, but MOST of them are mundanes (see below), and never quite understand what they are dealing with or have the tools to do so. Small bands of Percivals mostly have to take care of such problems… although small groups of evil Percivals also cause a lot of problems.

*As a game set in 2014-2015, modern technology is available. Advanced firearms are common (and thus simple weapons, though see Modern Weapons, below).
*Magic items and material components can only be bought with gp, which is only gained through adventuring. These are magic-infused coins that only entered the world in 2012. In general, any mundane modern gear a player owns, their character can afford.
*No Item Creation feats can be selected, only gained as class bonus feats. Magic is too new for much of anyone to know how to make items with it yet. Magic items come from other realms, normally with monsters protection and/or using them.
*NPC classes cannot ever gain spells, spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilities. While magic works on them just fine, they cannot use magic items (a +2 flaming short sword is just a short sword, a potion of cure light wounds they USE is just water, but a Percival could apply one to a mundane to gain the normal effect). 99% of everyone are NPC classes, also known as “mundanes.”
*NPC classes/mundanes may never make a Knowledge check to identify any creature, spell, magic effect, or magic item. Such things are just too weird and indistinct for them to nail down details, though everyone knows magic really does exist now.
*PCs are Percivals. They may be of any humanoid PC race (though will always be treated as weird humans by mundanes), but also must also select a Percival Origin (below). They may also always make a class level check to ID creature of the same origin.

Percival Origin: The reason you pierced the veil and others didn’t is your origin. Your origin gives you a smite-evil-like power you can use once per day, but instead of applying to an alignment it applies to specific creature types. If you gain any magic items or abilities that affect only specific alignments or creatures, they automatically apply to the creature types (and only those types) dictated by your Percival origin.
>Elder Lore: In strange eons, even death may die. You may have read a book you shouldn’t have, or your father was a fishman, or an indescribable, unimaginable horror might be living in your basement. In any case, you get a smite against aberrations and monstrous humanoids.
>Asia: Your Percival power is based on some Asian cultural source, such as secret schools of martial arts, being born with the soul of an ancient hero, or having a mystic tattoo. Your smite applies to elementals and fey.
>Fringes: It may seem perfectly normal to you and your entire country, but your source of power seems odd to North Americans and a lot of the world. Be it vodoun, paganism, animal shamanism, or new age weirdness, it’s not something everyone is comfortable with (or believes in, even now), But it does give you a smite against animals, humanoids, and plants.
>Holy Roller: Your Percival power is tied to some Abrahamic religious source, be that baptism by a saint or the divine blood of Kings of France descended from Blessed Mary. Your smite applies to outsiders and undead.
>Peer: Your Percival power draws from some ancient order of knighthood or similar noble group that has ties to Western culture, be that descent from Roland or the Knights of the Round Table, or being the Archetypical Representation of Excalibur. Your smite applies to dragons and magical beasts.

>Modern weapons simple don’t work as well against monsters and Percivals.
>All PC classes and all aberrations, constructs, dragons, elementals, fey, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, plants, outsiders, and undead gain DR against firearms equal to their HD. If a creature has DR against a material or alignment, bullets that meet that condition also bypass the firearm DR.
> All PC classes and all aberrations, constructs, dragons, elementals, fey, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, plants, outsiders, and undead gain a +1 bonus per level to saving throws against non-alchemical, nonmagic items that require a saving throw. This bonus does not apply to saves against diseases and poisons.

*The following classes are available. brawler (ACG), fighter, rogue, swashbuckler.

*The following classes are available, but only as multiclass options. You cannot select such a class until 2nd level, and such classes may never make up more than half your total class levels. Alchemist, cavalier (Peer origin only), cleric (Holy Roller origin only), hunter, investigator, medium (Occult Adventures playtest), mesmerist (Occult Adventures playtest), occultist (Occult Adventures playtest), samurai (Asia origin only), shaman, ninja (Far East origin only), oracle (Fringe origin only), sorcerer, witch, wizard (Elder origin only).


About Owen K.C. Stephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens

Posted on October 31, 2014, in Adventure Design, Adventure Sketch, Anachronistic Adventurers, Game Design, Microsetting, Pathfinder Development and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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