Jonathan Author of Robopenguins

Pathfinder Lore Letters

I’ve been making in universe letters and posters as part of a Pathfinder game I’ve been playing. They started out as something my character roleplayed producing, but they’ve become a bit more varied.

Our group is playing the Carrion Crown adventuring path. We’re in the 3rd volume after a year and a half or so. Our group plays the game in a pretty jokey way, and we try to occasionally incorporate these jokes into the settings.

I’m not the most skilled TTRPG player in that I’m not in it to be a super min/maxer, and I’m not a great actor. To find a way to stay engaged with the game, and to remember what was happening between sessions, I wanted to make my character interested in recording the events going on around them.

I ended up choosing the class of Oracle which is sort of a variation on the priest/cleric type of class. Part of the class is that the choose a “Mystery” that they gain insight into, and I chose Lore. Mechanically, this is a pretty weird class, but it fit my goal of having a character that just wants to write down all the weird things that get made up as part of playing the game.

My character’s name is Perrin. He’s a gnome that seeks adventure and stories. Preferably, they should be based on truth, but he’s not that concerned with the details. As long as they “feel” true it’s probably good enough.

The first letter is pretty basic, just a news letter style recording of some of the random jokes from the session:

I made it in GIMP which was a bit of a pain in the but for laying out text.

The next letter was more like an actual newspaper:

Perrin had spent some in game gold on printing supplies which wasn’t totally trivial for a low level character. These were made partially to gather information and gain cooperation from townspeople. I switched to doing the layout with Google Slides then adding filters after the fact in GIMP.

From here on I kind of diverged from the initial idea of making these “in universe”. This one was mostly just having fun trying to invoke the feeling of a grindhouse movie poster for the boss monsters of the dungeon we were exploring.

The next thing I made was a bit lazy. Looking back, I can’t even remember what most of the items on the board refer to. I was trying to keep up with a document per session, so I made this to reference a player who joined us for a single session as a Sherlock Holmes themed orc barbarian. It’s meant to give a nod to the various mysteries we were trying to solve around Ravengro.

Letter 5 was another news letter:

For the sixth installment, I did a Smokey the Bear inspired PSA poster about the dangers of being possessed or set on fire by ghosts:

I was still vaguely trying to keep up the pretense of making these in character, so I also made a version that looked more like it was wood cut:

After this I pretty much gave up on limiting myself to something that could have been made in character. Next I made a couple of monsters based on things mentioned at the table:

After the first volume, I was only able to make these much more sporadically.

I started trying to make a decision diagram about the ethics of a random encounter we stumbled on, but gve up:

As we got further in the mystery I made a mind map of the various parts of the investigation we had uncovered. This was my first use of Stable Diffusion to augment the random stuff I was getting from Google image search.

When it came time to defend the falsely accused beast I used Stable Diffusion + GIMP to make some propaganda posters. Originally, I thought about making them in the style of US election ads, but Maria thought Chinese Communist propaganda was funnier:

I also made a slides to show in court:

During that adventure my character was nearly killed, so I wrote a short letter to my readers:

Dear readers,

I don’t often address you directly, but recent events have forced me to delay my scheduled piece on how to tell a good ghost from a bad ghost .

I was exploded.

I was exploded with such force that it nearly overcame the capacity of divine healing magic to reassemble .

I’m no stranger to death. As I’ve mentioned before in my Lore Letter supplement , I was briefly cast out of my body into a ghostly illusion by the super gross Father Charleton. It turns out being exploded so bad that a cleric had to spend some time finding my pieces is a much different experience.

As my life flashed before my eyes, I saw myself as a gnomeling. One of the other gnomelings named Ninzud had been bullying me since they found out I wasn't excited by gears.

I vowed my revenge and spent the next 3 years organizing a campaign of gossip and rumors to ruin Ninzud's life. In the end he was forced to join a band of traveling accountants to start a new life. Aghast at my own power, I vowed to only use journalism for prosocial reasons.

All this to say that it made me redouble my dedication to you dear readers. All the research and knowledge in the world can't compare to the shared consensus that I hope to contribute to. 

Later in the campaign I was actually killed by the final monster at the conclusion of the volume. I got better, and made a newsletter to report on my death:

We’re almost at the end of the 3rd volume now, and I only managed one additional article. It’s the rules to an Alcoholics Anonymous inspired support group after multiple characters in our party had been possessed/cursed. As part of it, Perrin wrote a letter to one of the other party members he wronged:

Continuing on our adventure, one of the players had a harrowing encounter with the deck of many things. My character made a helpful childrens book warning about some of the dangers: