The Shattering of Darkmoon Vale
Character traits are abilities that are not tied to your character’s race or class. They can enhance your character’s skills, racial abilities, class abilities, or other statistics, enabling you to further customize him. At its core, a character trait is approximately equal in power to half a feat, so two character traits are roughly equivalent to a bonus feat. Yet a character trait isn’t just another kind of power you can add on to your character—it’s a way to quantify (and encourage) building a character background that fits into your campaign world. Think of character traits as “story seeds” for your background; after you pick your two traits, you’ll have a point of inspiration from which to build your character’s personality and history. Alternatively, if you’ve already got a background in your head or written down for your character, you can view picking his traits as a way to quantify that background, just as picking race and class and ability scores quantifies his other strengths and weaknesses.
Many traits grant a new type of bonus: a “trait” bonus. Trait bonuses do not stack—they’re intended to give player characters a slight edge, not a secret backdoor way to focus all of a character’s traits on one type of bonus and thus gain an unseemly advantage.
Each character in this campaign gains 1 Campaign Trait (from those listed below) and their choice of 2 traits (either from those listed below or from those already posted on the Pathfinder SRD), for a total of 3 traits. When selecting traits, you may not select more than one from the same list of traits (the four basic traits each count as a separate list for this purpose). Certain types of traits may have additional requirements, as detailed in the section above.
Bad Day in Town
You live somewhere in Darkmoon Vale and had to come in to Falcon’s Hollow recently to purchase supplies, sell goods, hire some help, or some other mundane reason. You’d been in town for a couple of days before you heard about the sickness going around, and found yourself beginning to cough. Catching this disease steeled your resolve.
Benefits: You begin play infected with blackscour taint; assume you have only had to make one saving throw so far and failed, thus beginning with 1 point of Constitution damage. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Will saving throws, which increases to +3 as long as you are infected by blackscour taint.
You have been logging in the Darkmoon Wood for a few years now, and whether you were born there or not, Falcon’s Hollow has become as close to home as any place you could name. You frequently come into town for supplies, but this time there is something different. The town has never been what you would describe as friendly, but people are even less outgoing than normal. You have heard some rumors about people getting sick lately, but the coughing is more widespread than you would have expected. Your years as a lumberjack may not help with what is going around, but it has given you a great deal of experience with an axe.
Benefits: You deal an extra 1 point of damage when using any sort of axe.
Infected Family Member
You have always been very hardy, but one or more members of your family have recently fallen ill. You have seen—and heard—a number of other people around town with similar symptoms – hacking coughs that eventually produce blood if not treated. No real cure has been found, but most of the people in town have been turning to Elarius, proprietor of the local Pathfinder Lodge, for poultices and spiced teas they say seem to help.
Benefits: Fortunately, you have always been very healthy; you get a +1 trait bonus to Fortitude saving throws.
Your family tells stories of the great dwarven hero, Druingar Glintaxe. He was an ancestor of yours, and you have traced the route of his final quest along a winding path across Avistan to one an ancient dwarven monestary near the Five Kings Mountains, just north of Darkmoon Wood. You arrived in Falcon’s Hollow, the closest settlement to the mountains, just as some sort of outbreak has taken hold. The journey was long, but you used the time to study about the history and current affairs of the region.
Benefits: You get a +1 trait bonus to all Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), and Knowledge (religion) checks.
You were discovered at an early age by an agent of the Pathfinder Society due to your natural talent with a critical adventuring skill. The local Pathfinder Venture Captain sent you to investigate rumors of ancient Azlanti ruins in Darkmoon Wood.
Benefits: Pick one of the following skills: Disable Device, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Perception, Spellcraft, or Stealth. You gain a +1 trait bonus in that skill, and that skill is always considered a class skill for you.
Scion of the Light
Your family can trace its genealogy back to a notable hero of the Shining Crusade. While not all of your ancestors lived up to the progenitor’s legacy, you show great potential. Your patron, a religious figure with ties to the Crusaders of Lastwall, sent you to Darkmoon Vale after receiving visions of a great evil in service to the Whispering Tyrant taking refuge in the area. You are to do whatever you can to ensure its plans are foiled. To this end, you received a special blessing.
Benefits: : Any time you rest to heal, you recover an additional number of hit points equal to your Constitution bonus. This additional healing is not increased by resting for an entire day, nor with a successful Heal check.
You spent a great deal of your life hunting lycanthropes. You may have lost a loved one to a werewolf attack, or you survived an attack by one yourself, and you have sworn to prevent this from happening to anyone else. To that end, you procured a silvered weapon. You came to Falcon’s Hollow to pick up this weapon from a local smith just as the town seems to be coming down with some sort of plague.
Benefits: Choose one weapon (not a double weapon) with which you are proficient; you start play with a silversheen version of this weapon.
You are a member of one of Magnimar’s wealthiest families…or rather, you used to be. A falling-out left you disowned and disinherited. Now you hope to get away from the city and find fortune enough to shame your former kinsfolk—goals which led you to the Pathfinder
Society. Despite your exile, your name still carries considerable weight in Magnimar. Your last name is probably Derexhi, Kaddren, Mindurian, Niroden, Scarnetti, Valdemar, Vanderale, or Versade.
Benefits: you gain a +1 trait bonus on Diplomacy and Intimidate checks made within the city. Additionally, you start play with a noble’s outfit, a signet ring, and a single additional nonmagical item worth no more than 200 gp.
Though you were raised as a member of one of Magnimar’s various Sczarni gangs, you never fit in with the rest of your settled, metropolitan brethren. The Pathfinder Society in particular recognized your wanderlust and potential as an agent, and on more than one occasion you impressed or bamboozled their agents with your street smarts and finesse. Over the years, you
fell out of favor with the Sczarni, and eventually left to pursue interests outside of simple banditry, though you still remember the lessons your criminal relations taught you.
Benefits: You gain a +2 trait bonus on Bluff checks to pass hidden messages. Also, anytime you deliver a coup de grace, you deal an additional 1d6 points of damage.
Although you’re a relative newcomer to Magnimar, you’re not some naive stranger. You’ve been sent by the Pathfinder Society lodge in your home country to learn more about Varisia by experiencing the frontier firsthand. After arriving, you reported to the Magnimar lodge and placed your expertise at the venture-captain’s disposal. To represent your experience in distant lands, choose a country other than Varisia as your homeland.
Benefits: You gain one of the languages spoken in that country as a bonus
language. Additionally, choose one of the following skills: Handle Animal, Knowledge (geography), Linguistics, or Survival. You gain a +1 trait bonus on checks made with this skill and it is always a class skill for you.
As a child in Magnimar, the city’s ancient monuments inspired you with wonder. Your fascination with these relics has only grown in the years since, encouraging you
to join the ranks of the Pathfinder Society so you can further quench your thirst for knowledge. Though you know little about the actual lore of the monuments, you’ve studied these colossal works extensively, developing an in-depth knowledge of some of the city’s
most famous landmarks.
Benefits: You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (history) checks made in Varisia due to your familiarity with its historical remnants. This bonus increases to +2 if the check relates to the city of Magnimar. Additionally, you gain a +2 trait bonus on any skill check made to receive a boon from one of Magnimar’s magically imbued monuments.
You are a member of the Shoanti or Varisian ethnicity who left your people to learn more about the mysteries of your strange homeland. Your travels have recently brought you to the Pathfinder lodge in Magnimar. Although none of your family members are present, you carry them and your family traditions with you.
Benefits: If you are a Varisian, you gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (geography) checks made relating to Varisia and gain a +1 trait bonus on damage rolls made during the surprise round when you’re wielding a bladed scarf or starknife.
If you are a Shoanti, you gain a +1 trait bonus on Survival checks made while in Varisia and gain a +1 trait bonus on rolls to confirm critical hits made using an earth breaker or a klar.
While the mercantile industries of Magnimar appeal to your keen eye for monetary gain, you know that the boldest route to true fortune lies in hunting down rare relics and selling them to the highest bidder. Becoming a Pathfinder seemed like an obvious decision, allowing you to travel throughout Varisia in your search for wealth, so you signed up right away. You brought with you a sharp eye and keen ability to distinguish fakes from the genuine article.
Benefits: You gain a +1 trait bonus on Appraise checks. Additionally, you gain a +4 bonus on Perception checks made to distinguish statue-like creatures (like caryatid columns and gargoyles) from actual sculptures.
You’ve participated in the mock gladiatorial battles and athletic feats at the Serpent’s Run, Magnimar’s grand hippodrome, but the safe nature of those games leaves you bored. Seeking greater thrills and tests of your abilities, you’ve pledged your arms and skill to the local Pathfinder lodge.
Benefits: Choose a specific type of armor. When wearing armor of that type, you treat its armor check penalty as if it were –1 lower. When fighting with two weapons, the penalty imposed on your primary weapon is reduced by 1. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Intimidate
checks to demoralize opponents.
Roof Racer (Korvosa)
You’ve spent more than your fair share of time among the strange sloping slums that cover the rooftops of much of Old Korvosa.
Benefits: When using the Acrobatics skill to make a long jump, you treat the DC of the skill check as if the distance being jumped were 5 feet shorter than it actually is.
Savage Breaker (Korvosa)
You openly despise the crude Shoanti and their backward ways.
Benefits: You gain a +2 trait bonus on combat maneuver checks made to sunder clubs, earth breakers, klars, hide armor, primitive armor and weapons, and any other equipment the GM deems “barbarian-made.”
Empyreal Cultist (Magnimar)
Your faith in the empyreal lords—a host of good demigods—and your fascination with the legendary Angel of the Arvensoar have you constantly on the hopeful lookout for celestial messengers. Choose an empyreal lord as your patron deity.
Benefits: You gain Celestial as a bonus language and a +1 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks when dealing with good-aligned humanoids.
Underbridge Dweller (Magnimar)
You were raised in the Shadow district of Magnimar beneath the Irespan, a veiled place the light of the sun touches for only 3 hours per day.
Benefits: Your well-founded suspicions grant you a +2 trait bonus on Perception checks in dim light, and Perception is always a class skill for you.
Cypher Resistance (Riddleport)
You have grown up near the Cyphergate, passing under its arch countless times in your lifetime. You can recount the runes from memory, and repeated exposure has imbued you with a faint resistance to runic magic.
Benefits: You gain a +2 trait bonus on saving throws against spells with the word “glyph” or “symbol” in their name.
Winner’s Luck (Riddleport)
Winning at the tables in Riddleport’s gambling houses can be as devastating as losing. Years of dodging the jealous blows of card table patrons have given you a sixth sense for when your luck is about to run out.
Benefits: Whenever you succeed at a Reflex saving throw, you may draw a weapon as an immediate action, or a hidden weapon as a move action.
Whether from working with dwarven merchants or being one yourself, you’ve developed a distinctly dwarven business sense.
Benefits: You receive a +2 trait bonus on Perception checks to notice coins, gems, jewelry, and valuable trade goods. You gain a chance to notice such goods whenever you pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not you are actively looking.
Emissary (Kaer Maga)
Accustomed to the strange residents of Kaer Maga, you have few prejudices.
Benefits: You gain a +2 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks when dealing with aberrations, monstrous humanoids, undead, and creatures with the giant subtype.
Humble Beginnings (Varisian Village)
You didn’t have any intention of becoming an adventurer, but a single, unexpected
confrontation changed everything.
Benefits: Choose one of the following: boot, bucket, frying pan, mug, rolling pin, spade, or stool. You are treated as having the Catch Off-Guard feat when wielding the chosen item. (These items should all be considered improvised melee weapons that deal 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage.)
Local Know-It-All (Varisian Village)
Choose a community that you’ve lived in for at least 5 years.
Benefits: You gain a +2 trait bonus on Knowledge (local) checks related to that community.
Regional Influence (Varisian Village)
Although you live some distance from the city-state your community owes fealty to, you’ve been influenced by its sophisticated urban ways. Determine the city-state of which your home is a holding.
Benefits: You gain a +1 trait bonus on checks with one Profession skill and one of the following benefits.
- Korvosa: Gain Infernal as a bonus language. If you already have this language, gain a +1 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks.
- Magnimar: Gain one random Varisian idol.
- Riddleport: Gain a +1 trait bonus on Swim checks.
Regional Recluse (Varisian Village)
Your home community prides itself on remaining independent from Varisia’s city-states. Choose one of Varisia’s unaffiliated settlements from this list below.
Benefits: You gain a +1 trait bonus on Survival checks and one of the following benefits.
- Arsmeril or Crying Leaf: Gain a +1 trait bonus on Perception checks made at night.
- Ilsurian: Gain proficiency with light shields.
- Sanos Forest or Whistledown: Gain Gnome as a bonus language. If you already have this language, gain a +1 trait bonus on Stealth checks made in forested areas.
- Turtleback Ferry: Gain a +1 bonus to damage on all attacks against creatures of the giant type.
- Urglin: Gain Orc as a bonus language. If you already know this language, gain a +1 trait bonus on Intimidate checks.
Town Gossip (Varisian Village)
Choose a community that you’ve lived in for at least 5 years.
Benefits: You gain a +2 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks while in that community.
Sandpoint Faithful (Sandpoint)
As a faithful adherent of Abadar, Desna, Erastil, Gozreh, Sarenrae, or Shelyn, you regularly attend the Swallowtail Festival to celebrate the first consecration of Sandpoint Cathedral.
Benefits: You gain a silver holy symbol of your chosen deity, and so long as you worship that deity and openly wear his or her symbol, you regain +1 additional hit point every time you receive magical healing.
Varisian Immunity (Korvosa)
Your family is particularly hearty, and has even passed down tales of a Varisian ancestor who sought to cure (or, some loose-lipped relatives say, create) diseases.
Benefits: You gain a +1 trait bonus on saving throws made to resist diseases. Additionally, you are immune to the diseases Vorel’s phage and blood veil. You do not need to be of the Varisian ethnicity to take this trait, but if you’re not, your background should explain how you have a Varisian ancestor.
Shoanti Steed (Shoanti)
Your nomadic culture gives you a profound knowledge of and respect for the horses that roam your homelands.
Benefits: You begin play with a combat trained light horse. While riding this horse bareback, you are treated as though you were riding it with a riding saddle (placing any actual saddle upon the horse negates this benefit). The horse can fend for itself outside of settlements in all but the most hostile environments. If whistled for outside of a community, the horse typically arrives within 1d6 minutes. If your horse is slain, you may receive a new horse by returning to your clan and performing a vigil for its spirit (a rite that costs 100 gp in rare herbs and incense).
Shoanti Tattoo (Shoanti)
Upon reaching adulthood, you received a tribal tattoo, marking you with the symbols of your quah and totem spirits.
Benefits: You gain a +1 trait bonus on saving throws against fear effects. Additionally, you are proficient with earth breakers, klars, and Shoanti bolas.
Harrow Chosen (Varisian)
All your life you’ve been drawn to the mysteries surrounding your family’s harrow deck.
Benefits: You begin play with your family’s heirloom harrow deck. If you use this specific harrow deck as an additional focus component when you cast a divination spell, your caster level is treated as being 2 levels higher. Additionally, twice per week, you can spend 10 minutes consulting this harrow deck on a particular action to gain the effects of the spell augury as a spellcaster of your character level. No one other than you gains these benefits from this harrow deck. If your harrow deck is destroyed, it cannot be replaced. However, by returning to your family, paying 300 gp on materials, and spending 1 week immersed in the songs and stories of your people, you can create a new harrow deck that grants half the benefits of the lost heirloom.
Varisian Tattoo (Varisian)
You bear the elaborate tattoos of your people, marking you as a free son or daughter of the road.
Benefits: You gain a +1 trait bonus on saving throws against charm and compulsion effects. Additionally, you are proficient with bladed scarves and starknives.