Chefmole Second Darkness
You’ll notice right away that Campaign Traits assume
a lot more about your character’s back story than Basic
Traits do, and that those assumptions are mostly about
very recent events in your history rather than formative
childhood events. You have a certain amount of leeway in
adjusting or changing a Campaign Trait’s expected back
story once you’ve selected which Trait is right for you, but
make sure to get Ken’s approval before you run with
a modified back story.
All of the following traits revolve around one of two
current events in the city of Riddleport. The first is the
manifestation of the Blot, a strange and ominous shadow
in the sky that looks like nothing so much as a cloud of
darkness. The Blot captured the interest of Riddleport’s
citizens when it first manifested, but that was months
ago—now, after the strange cloud hasn’t done anything
particularly dramatic for so long, most folk have grown
accustomed to it. Most—but not all; some, such as the
Order of Cyphers, remain concerned by the strange
cloud, and worry that it may be the harbinger of
The other event is a gambling tournament
called “Cheat the Devil and Take His Gold.”
Held at the recently reopened Gold Goblin
Gambling Hall, talk of the tourney has spread
throughout the town of Riddleport and has
even reached some taverns in cities as far
as Magnimar or even Korvosa. Excitement
for the tournament has been building for
a month, and now that the day is finally here,
people from all over are flocking to take part. The
somewhat restrictive entrance fee ironically makes
it not possible for many of Riddleport’s own citizens to
attend, but in the case of each PC who takes a Second
Darkness Campaign Trait, that 1 gp entrance fee has been
paid, either by an interested party or by yourself (this
expense does not come from your starting cash).
1 Fools for Friends: You don’t think of yourself as a gambler. In fact, you rather detest the whole thing. Unfortunately, one or more of your friends (pick one or more of the other players’ characters) doesn’t think so, and you’ve recently learned that friend—or friends—have decided to go to the Gold Goblin’s “Cheat the Devil and Take his Gold” tournament. Which pretty much means you have to go as well, since if no one’s there to watch out for them, they’ll lose all their money and respect. Again. Sometimes it’s hard being the responsible one. Your devotion to your friendships (even when said friends seem, at times, to be trying to test that devotion) is a point of pride to you. Whenever you take the Aid Another action to help an ally, or whenever an ally aids you in this manner, a successful check grants an additional +1 trait bonus to the check for which aid was being rendered. Additionally, as long as one of your friends is within 30 feet, you gain a +1 trait bonus on all saving throws against charm and compulsion effects.
2 Into Enemy Territory: The shadow in the sky is visible from all around Riddleport, not just in town. It’s certainly come to the attention of several druids, rangers, and other rural folk who dwell in the nearby mountains, forests, and swamps—among them, yourself. You’ve consulted with several seers and Harrowers, and may even have performed some simple auguries yourself, and all the signs point the same way—something or someone in Riddleport is connected to the blot, and it means bad news for the region. You’ve avoided the sleazy, dirty town for most of your life, traveling there only when absolutely necessary, and although you don’t relish the prospect of going there now, you see little other choice (especially if one of your superiors is ordering you to go investigate). Fortunately, an eccentric friend of yours (pick another PC) is in town, and you’ve heard this friend will be taking part in some gambling thing at a place called the Gold Goblin. Your friend’s always had better luck interacting with the cityfolk, so you’ve decided to accompany your friend to this gambling tournament and plan on letting him find a safe place for you to stay while you’re in town. Your long life of self-sustenance has toughened you and made you more resistant to hardship, in any event—pick one of the three categories of saving throw. You gain a +1 trait bonus on all saving throws of that type.
3 Looking for Work: Although out of work, you aren’t particularly keen on the prospect of gambling away your last remaining coins simply for a chance at riches. That said, if the Gold Goblin’s fortunes reverse after this big gambling tournament, you’re relatively certain its owner, Saul Vancaskerkin, will be needing to hire on some new staff members. You’ve secured payment for the tournament, and intend on attending mostly to check the place out, to decide if it’s a place you’d want to work at (as a bouncer, bartender, croupier, server, entertainer, spotter, or cook), and hopefully get a chance to catch Saul’s eye and make an impression. You’ve long worked at honing your skills, and are quite accomplished and certain that you have something to offer. Pick one of the following skills: Bluff, Craft (any), Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perform (any), Profession (gambler), or Spot. You gain a +1 trait bonus in that skill, and that skill is always considered a class skill for you.
4 Optimistic Gambler: You’ve always seemed to have trouble keeping money. Worse, you always seem to have debts looming over your head. When you heard about the “Cheat the Devil and Take His Gold” gambling tournament, you felt in your gut that your luck was about to change. You’ve always been optimistic, in fact, and even though right now is one of those rare times where you don’t owe anyone any money (you just paid off a recent loan from local moneylender Lymas Smeed), you know that’ll change soon enough. Better to start amassing money now when you’re at one of those rare windfall times! You’ve set aside a gold coin for the entrance fee, and look forward to making it big—you can feel it in your bones! This time’s gonna be the big one! Your boundless optimism, even in the face of crushing situations, has always bolstered your spirit. Effects that grant you morale bonuses persist 1d4 rounds longer than they normally would as a result.
5 Researching the Blot: You may or may not be seeking membership into Riddleport’s most prestigious magical guild, the Order of Cyphers, but you certainly have heard their call for aid in determining the nature of the strange shadow in the sky above Riddleport. You arrived in town several days ago and had some issues with security and safety at several inns before you finally settled on the Gold Goblin; you’ve been staying there as a guest for several days now, and the owner, Saul Vancaskerkin, seems like a nice guy. He’s even given you a pass to attend the gambling tournament he’s about to throw—you’re not sure how into gambling you’ll be, but perhaps there’ll be some visitors from out of town you can talk to about the strange shadow in the sky. At the very least, you’re hoping someone at the tourney will be into magic—there’s not really enough folk in this town who seem all that interested in magic, you’ve found. Your interest in magic dates back quite far, and as a result, you’ve developed a knack for identifying common magical items at a glance. You can use Spellcraft to identify magic items in the same way you can use Spellcraft to identify a potion. The DC to identify a magic item is equal to 20 + the item’s caster level.
6 Scouting for Fiends: You belong to an organization (most likely a religion) that has definite views on the menace posed by the lower planes. The willfulness with which the city of Korvosa (they even allow a temple of Asmodeus to operate in broad daylight!) tolerates infernal influences is, to you and your organization, the greatest symbol of what’s wrong with civilization today. And now, in Riddleport, there’s news that a gambling tournament is using devils and Hell as an idle decoration. It’s likely that this is just an example of poor taste, but there’s a chance that something sinister may be lurking beneath the goings-on at the Gold Goblin. You have been contacted by your organization (or may have decided on your own) to travel to Riddleport (if you don’t already live there) and attend this tournament under the guise of a patron. Keep an eye on things there, even after the tournament is over; if you can, get a job working for the owner. Demons and devils can be subtle, and it could take weeks or even months to find proof of their involvement. Your near-obsessive hatred of all things fiendish grants you a +1 trait bonus on all attack rolls made against foes you know to be evil outsiders.