Three Things I Plan To Use in My PF2 Campaign, “Gatekeepers”

While I try hard not to plan out 20 levels of adventuring in advance when I start a homebrew campaign such as my upcoming Gatekeepers PF2 game, I do like to think about what kinds of things I want to put into a world and use to set up specific kinds of stories and themes.

So, here are three ideas I plan to use in Gatekeepers… at some point.

Caliburn: Masterfully crafted objects from the World Before, about which almost nothing is known. Caliburn are usually durable items made of stone or metal, as they have survived for thousands of years (and perhaps even since before time itself), though very rare examples of Caliburn made of cloth, leather, and even glass are known. Caliburn are always some kind of personal item, such as a comb, broach, ring, or dagger. They are not magical in the classic sense (and do not detect as, or follow the rules of, magic items), but their very age and perfect crafting make them things that bend destiny slightly in favor of the possessor. Every Caliburn gives its possessor one additional Hero Point per day, and more potent ones have similar effects that aid those who carry them in ways that are hard to define.

However, the more potent a Caliburn, the more it inspires envy in others that see it, and the more it places dangerous paths in front of its bearer. Such paths can be resisted, but doing so creates a mental pressure that mortals often handle by turning to their worse natures, engaging more in avarice, gluttony, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath. Caliburn are the stuff of legends, but are also accepted as being very real.

(You can carry more than one Caliburn, but there are… risks… Art by warmtail.)

Gollusks: There are dark forces in the world that are constantly whispering to mortals, but do so in a whisper of concepts so depraved, most living things are truly incapable of hearing them, or comprehending them if they do catch a whisper. But when someone craves something strongly enough, and is willing to do anything to get it, sometimes they hear the fel whispers. If they do, they are given immoral, dreadful advice on how to fulfill their desires through actions that cause harm and misery to others. There is no compulsion, just an opportunity. And if a mortal seizes that opportunity, the whispers become a bit more clear… and the mortal has set foot on a terrible path. Such paths are often not great evils, but petty things — opportunities to hurt those you dislike, or finally win a festival prize, or to sleep in a bigger home than your neighbors. If a mortal embraces these prosaic crimes for their own benefit they transform slowly into Gollusks, still their original ancestry but with various external signs of the evils they have decided to undertake, and benefits of strength and resilience from the dark powers they now serve, but also are driven to claim more and break the cycle of foul returns they blame others for. A Gollusk looks different than they did before their fall, but the change can be anything. Some take on flabby, fat long arms and legs, but have lean, emaciated torsos and necks. Others gain a cold beauty, some long fingers, others a third eye some random place on their body.

Gollusks often seek out other Gollusks as the only entities they don’t feel hidden shame to be near. A Gollusk can reverse the process of their transformation and fate, but doing so requires true repentance and working to undo that harm they have caused.

Fire Mud: A thick, viscous slurry of clay, earth, and liquid heat, fire mud is a red-orange, gives off considerable light and heat, and can be found in regions with links to the elemental planes of earth, fire, and water. This paraelemental substance has useful alchemical properties, and can be used as near-permanent sources of light and warmth. It looks a lot like less-intense lava.


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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

Posted on October 4, 2022, in Appendix O, Game Design, Microsetting, Pathfinder 2nd Ed and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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