Monthly Archives: September 2016

Strangefinder Modern: Being a Strangefinder

Strangefinder Modern are modern ideas for a strange urban fantasy world that could be played using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Anachronistic Adventures.

Being a Strangefinder

Strangefinders, well, they find strange things. It’s in their title, and everything. So, any Strangefinder PC must have that ability. (Strangemasters, Strangesages, and Sanchos are covered elsewhere. Well, I mean, they may be eventually.)

A Strangefinder can sense if something Strange is going one by examining the direct evidence of a manifestation of Alterniversal frequency overlap. Hearing about it and reading about it aren’t good enough, but seeing footprints,. Interviewing witnesses in person (though not by video), and, of course, being attacked by a manifestation or something caused by a manifestation are good enough.

For each day of secondary direct research (such as interviewing witnesses) a Strangefinder engages in, or each noteworthy piece of primary evidence a Strangefinder finds, the Strangefinder may make a Strange Hunch check. This has a percent chance of telling the Strangefinder is he has found something Strange, and if so what Strange Case it is connected to. The % chance is equal to 70%, +1% per Strangefinder level, +1% per Strange thing connected to the case that has been successfully identified with Strange Augury already, +10% if working with a Sancho.

On a failed check, the Strangefinder just doesn’t know yet. He never gets a false positive. If something isn’t Strangem, but is Weird, the Strangefinder learns that on a successful check, but that’s all he learns. (If there are Weirdfinders out there, they aren’t talking to us.)

As a result, Strangefinders have to go to places with unexplained or freaky occurrences, ask questions, and poke around.

Strange Cases are names a GM gives to a specific Alterniversal manifestation. This name may or may not be a hint about the Strange occurrences. Each source manifestation has a single name, sometimes with sub-titles for those that are only distantly related. For example, if an Alterniversal manifestation is from Alterniverse A, the name for it may start with A. So if gelantinous cubes from Alterniverse A have leaked into the sewers, and they are mutating local underground creatures, the Strange Case name might be “A Thing in the Sewers.”

If something mutated by a gelatinous cube has escaped and began a cult that is drawing new Strange energy into an area that might be a sub-title: “A Thing in the Sewers: Secret of the Unknown Horror.”

Once a Strangefinder knows the Strange Case she is working on, each new successful Strange Augury check allows the Strangefinder to use the Research rules from  Anachronistic Adventures to attempt to discover how to defeat the Strange monsters (if necessary), or gain a clue about the Main Plotline (as determined by the GM). One additional research check can also be earned on each Strange Case by visiting a place like Marlowe House, or (if you can find it… or it finds you) 1428 Oceanic Ave.

As a result, even if they know what they are up against, Strangefinders generally keep going into the places with freaky occurrences, poking around, and asking questions. If a Strange manifestation seems undefeatable and keeps kicking a Strangefinder’s ass, one of the best ways to learn how to defeat it is to keep pissing it off and having it kick your ass.

Strangefinders also often develop Strange Powers. We’ll (maybe) cover those later.

Wizard Training

In the credit where credit is due department;
When I was hired by Wizards of the Coast in 2000 as a game designer, I did not know how to do a pagination. Or an art order. Or an outline. I’d never finished anything longer than a big magazine article, and I managed to get hired on the basis of those. But I had no books under my belt, no college degree, and very little experience in the publishing industry.
And of what I think are obvious reasons, I didn’t blab my first day that I was horribly, terrible under-qualified for the job I was suddenly doing. I SHOULD have, but the idea terrified me.
The person who realized I had no idea how to do the non-writing parts of my writing job? And then just quietly trained me so I could do them?
Steve Miller.
Thanks buddy.
If you’ve enjoyed anything I have written from 2001 onward, Steve gets partial credit.