The Thrushmoor Terror
These campaign traits tie characters to the Strange Aeons Adventure Path, where the party wakes up in a nightmare— trapped in an asylum and confronted with a terrifying scene. Though the PCs don’t remember their past, these traits provide a feeling of who they are or may have been. Though these just consist of vague feelings and personality elements, they can help the character better integrate with a Strange Aeons campaign.
Driven By Guilt: You awake after your ordeal with a lingering feeling that you have taken part in something outside the normal bounds of your morals. Whether you were corrupted at one point or compelled to perform some forgotten actions, this guilt drives you to fight against those forces in the world that prey upon the good. You see your present condition as a chance to redeem yourself and banish this unsettling emotion.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on saving throws against any spells or spell-like abilities cast by evil creatures. In addition, once per day as a swift action, you can add your Charisma bonus to your attack rolls and deal 1 additional point of damage for each class level you have against evil creatures for 1 round. You must have a good alignment to take this trait (note that this does not stack with a paladin’s smite evil ability since they both grant the same kind of bonuses).
Enduring Stoicism: Even though your pulse is pounding in your ears when you awake in the asylum, you feel strangely nonplussed. You can recognize that the situation you find yourself in is horrific, but you refuse to let that fear control you. It doesn’t feel like it’s worth worrying over too much. You know that when you face unspeakable forces, keeping your cool will keep you alive.
You gain a +2 trait bonus on all saving throws against spells or effects with the fear or emotion descriptors. In addition, you gain a +1 trait bonus on Intimidate checks due to your intimidating presence, as people don’t know what to expect from you.
Foe of the Strange: You awake feeling emboldened after a terrifying nightmare. Instead of being frightened by the bizarre creatures from your nightmares, these experiences have steeled you against these startling alien beings. You know that you fell victim to strange circumstances and loathsome forces, but you refuse to give in to a creeping sense of helplessness. Instead, you vow to fight back against whoever or whatever is responsible for your current situation. The creatures of your nightmares won’t hold fear over your head. You’ll take the fight to them.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on saving throws against extraordinary, spell-like, and supernatural abilities of aberrations (for example, a gibbering mouther’s gibbering or an intellect devourer’s confusion). In addition, whenever you’re confused and roll to determine behavior in a given round, subtract 10 from the result.
Formerly Mind-Swapped: You awake with a strange sensation beyond the frightening experience of extensive memory loss. Full recollections of the experience— like so many others— have been wiped from your mind, but at some point in your past your mind was swapped with that of a yithian, an alien being from beyond time and space. You don’t remember details of your experiences wandering the yithians’ peculiar city in a foreign body— and even worry whether this might be some strange hallucination— but every so often, a flash of insight strikes you as a result of this experience. You know that you can rely on these alien flashbacks during your investigation into your current situation, as it gives you greater perspective into an otherwise confusing world.
Once per day, you can reroll one Knowledge check that you have just failed. In addition, you can attempt untrained Knowledge checks with DCs up to 20 instead of 10.
Methodical Mind: When you awake with nothing but hazy memories, you begin carefully cataloging your thoughts to determine the reasons for your condition and where you might be. This comforts you, and you know deep down that you have always relied on your ordered mind and pragmatic approach to face challenges. You use this focus and sensibility to your advantage as you investigate your current dire situation.
Choose three Knowledge skills. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge checks of these kinds and on concentration checks. In addition, choose one Knowledge skill. When researching, you are considered to have Skill Focus for that Knowledge skill when determining what die you roll to reduce a library’s knowledge points (kp).
Pugnacious: You awake in the asylum with sore muscles and bloody knuckles, as if you were recently in a fight. You even have a vague feeling that you won. You can’t explain it, but you know that you’ve always been easy to set off, and your first instinct when pressed into a corner is to lash out. Stuck in the asylum sets you on edge, and you not only want to figure out what happened to you, you want to free yourself and find whoever did this to you— and make them pay.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on attack rolls when threatened by two or more enemies. In addition, once per day you can gain one of the following effects as an immediate action: You can increase the reach of your melee attacks by 5 feet for 1 round, or you can treat your weapon as one size category larger than it actually is for purposes of determining damage for 1 round.
Ritualistic: You awake with a sense of purpose and a tingle of magical power. Though it’s unsettling that you can’t recall your past, you have a hunch that if you and your companions do everything just right— follow the correct steps and order— the answers will reveal themselves and you will be free of your condition. You get the feeling that you’ve always fallen back on careful planning and time-tested evidence in the past, but a nagging sensation also tells you that you used these skills in less-than-kind ways all too recently.
Choose one 0-level spell. You can cast this spell once per day as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to your character level. The spell-like ability’s save DC is Charisma-based. In addition, you gain a +2 trait bonus on all skill checks when performing occult rituals.
Sensitive Mind: You awake in the asylum horribly aware of dangers lurking nearby. While your memories are hazy and indistinct, everything around you looks vibrant and clear. You have an inkling that you have always been perceptive and can tell a lot about a person even in a quick meeting. This sensitivity can overwhelm you at times, especially in your current situation.
You gain a +1 trait bonus on Appraise, Perception, and Sense Motive checks, and one of these (your choice) is a class skill for you. In addition, once per week you can use the psychometry occult skill unlock even if you are not capable of casting psychic spells or have the Psychic Sensitivity feat.
True Devotion: You wake from your recent ordeal with a sense of shame, as if you had sinned deeply against your morals and beliefs. However, you feel a bit of relief as well, as if your god had granted you a second chance. You not only have a drive to figure out what happened to you, but an urge to fight back against the unspeakable forces of evil. If, during the course of your investigation, you discover that you took part in unsavory activities that would normally be opposed to your faith or alignment, this event no longer has any impact with your standing in the eyes of your god due to your renewed righteous convictions.
Once per day when casting a divine spell, you can attempt to cast the spell without losing the spell from its spell slot or using one of your allotted spells per day. There is a 20% chance that this attempt is successful. In addition, select one domain or inquisition you have. You can use the first granted power of that domain or inquisition one additional time per day. You must have a good alignment and be class capable of casting divine spells in order to select this trait.
Twitchy: Your first thought upon awaking in the asylum isn’t confusion over why you can’t remember anything clearly— it’s a sudden urge to find safety. You feel like everything around you, aside from your companions, might threaten you and you’re always ready to react. You have a hard time staying still, and you’re constantly surveying your surroundings. Maybe you are paranoid, or maybe it’s just an overactive imagination, but whatever it is, you know that keeping these feelings honed will help you stay alive.
You gain a +2 trait bonus on initiative checks and a +1 trait bonus on Reflex saves.