Dark Deeds and Deep Secrets
Welcome to the Dark Deeds in Freeport patronage project!
Dark Deeds in Freeport is a tale of truths and lies—and especially truth’s power, be it cleansing or destructive. Secrets take on lives of their own, and the truth will come out!
Usually, players uncover those secrets, but sometimes it’s just as much fun for their characters to have mysteries of their own. This could as simple as a hidden agenda to an entire dark family history, of fathers and grandfathers dabbling in forbidden lore.
These new character traits help players build these secrets into a PC’s background while providing mechanical bite—and fun consequences when they are finally revealed! Because these traits can have negative consequences, they are somewhat more powerful than normal traits. Players should flesh out the details of their own secret in consultation with the GM. At the GM’s option, pre-existing characters can add one of these Dark Deeds traits that fits them, or they can swap out an existing trait, especially if a traumatic event brings their secret to mind…
Can your character handle the truth? And how will they react when the rest of Freeport learns it as well?
Family Secret: A family member has a dark secret that haunts you as well, for you profited from it—your uncle may be a corrupt official in Finn’s pocket or your brother made a pact with the Esoteric Order of Starry Wisdom. Your skill in navigating your family’s dangers provides you with a +1 trait bonus to Bluff or Sense Motive checks (your choice), and that skill is always a class skill for you.
If your family’s secret ever becomes public, the embarrassed parties may seek revenge. Moreover, your accomplishments will be tarnished, and you will suffer a −1 penalty to all Diplomacy checks. However, those same dangerous connections also grant you a +1 trait bonus to Intimidate checks.
Forbidden Lore: Your youthful curiosity and bad luck—or ill fate—led you to open a door, tome, or artifact of particular evil. The revelation was too much for your waking mind, which recalls only its barest outline. Nevertheless, the memories sometimes seep out, and you gain a +1 trait bonus on any two Knowledge skills (your choice).
If you ever recall event in full, nightmare visions constantly wrack you, hindering your spellcasting. You suffer a −2 penalty to concentration checks. However, it also unlocks the vision’s latent power, and you gain a +1 CL bonus to spells from the school of conjuration, divination, enchantment, or illusion (your choice).
Heinous Crime: You have committed a serious crime—perhaps you gleefully joined the Succession Riots or perhaps you were once an employee of Mister Wednesday. Whether you were the main player or simply trapped in circumstances beyond your control, in the eyes of the law—and of the wronged party—you are responsible. So far, you have kept your role secret. Your caution grants a +1 trait bonus to Perception, and Perception is always a class skill for you.
If your role ever becomes public, the crime’s victim (or their family and friends) will undoubtedly seek vengeance, as will the law. Moreover, your reputation suffers, and you incur a −1 penalty on all Diplomacy checks. However, the renewed danger heightens your alertness, and you gain a +1 trait bonus to initiative checks.
Hidden Enmity: You harbor a deep and abiding hatred for a particular organization, race, or class. Your family may have a long-running feud with orcs, you may blame one of the great merchant families for your dire circumstances, or perhaps you despise the residents of Bloodsalt. You have hidden your hatred well, and you gain a +2 trait bonus to damage rolls against a member of the group.
Once the enmity is known, you can expect payback. You can no longer sway a member of that group using Diplomacy, but you do gain a +2 trait bonus to Intimidate checks against them. Members of the group gain a +1 trait bonus to damage rolls against you.
New Identity: During your unhappy adolescence, you remade yourself with a new identity—perhaps to escape Scurvytown or to hide your family’s dealings with Milton Drac. No one in your new life would approve of your past, and no one from your past life would approve of your new one. So far, your secret has remained hidden thanks to your care and hard work. You receive a +1 trait bonus to Bluff or Disguise (your choice), and that skill is always a class skill for you.
If your secret becomes public knowledge, many friends and contacts lose respect for you, and you suffer a −1 penalty to Diplomacy checks to influence people. However, you can better draw on your old knowledge and contacts, and you gain a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (local) and Diplomacy checks used to gather information.
Traumatic Event: You witnessed—or suffered—a horrific act of violence in your youth, from a serpent man murdering your mother to a demon tormenting your infant self. You survived by burying the memories deep inside; now you barely remember the incident. Your strong subconscious resists all unpleasant impulses, and you gain a +2 trait bonus to resist enchantment (charm or compulsion) effects.
If you ever learn the detailed truth about the incident, you become susceptible to painful flashbacks. The first time you are wounded each day, your memories overwhelm you and you become shaken. You may spend a move action to settle your nerves and remove this condition. However, you have also overcome the worst, and you gain a +2 trait bonus to saves versus fear effects.
Time is running out… Become a patron of Dark Deeds in Freeport soon if you want to leave your own mark on Freeport!
As an extra incentive, new patrons may win a signed copy of the Freeport Companion: Pathfinder RPG Edition provided by author—and patron—Adam Daigle. Sign up now!