Campaign traits are tailored to a specific Adventure Path and give your character a built-in reason to begin the first adventure in a new campaign. Campaign traits assume a lot more about your character’s backstory than do normal traits, but they are meant to help serve as inspiration for a player working to create a detailed and interesting history for her character. You have a certain amount of leeway in adjusting a campaign trait’s expected backstory once you’ve selected which trait is right for you; just be sure to get your GM’s approval before you run with a modified history.
All of the following traits revolve around characters with a reason to travel to Sargava on the Jenivere, a trading vessel whose fateful journey south through the Arcadian Ocean launches the Serpent’s Skull Adventure Path. You can take a look at these traits to get a general, spoiler-free idea of the types of foes and challenges your character might encounter over the course of the Adventure Path. Knowing that there are going to be elements of jungle exploration, the discovery of ruined lost cities, secret alliances, ancient magic, and the like should help you build a character that fits more organically into the campaign you’re about to join. Each trait also suggests options for the port in which your character might have boarded the Jenivere, though with the exception of the various “boarded in” traits, players shouldn’t feel like they have to match a trait with a specific port. Please check out the Regions page to find information about a potential port of origin.
- Boarded in Cheliax
- While you aren’t necessarily a native of Cheliax, you boarded the Jenivere at one of that country’s port cities. As the people of Cheliax generally know the Mwangi Expanse as a near legendary land home to strange beasts and exotic treasures, your views of the region have a distinctly romantic tinge, and the desire for fame, wealth, and adventure likely motivate your travels. You begin the campaign with a detailed map of the Mwangi Expanse (this grants +2 competence bonus on all Knowledge [geography] checks made regarding this region) and 200 gp worth of mundane equipment to aid your exploration of the jungle.
- Boarded in Mediogalti
- Your travels have brought you to the Jenivere through the dangerous port of Ilizmagorti, home to both pirates and assassins. Perhaps you’re fleeing a price on your head, perhaps you’ve jumped ship from another vessel, or perhaps you’re merely looking for a new start in a land where the dangers make themselves more obvious. Your familiarity with subtle slayings and toxins grants you a +2 trait bonus on all saves against poison. In addition, you can pick one type of poison listed below to be immune to, having undergone a long and painful process of building up an immunity to its effects: blue whinnis, giant wasp poison, medium spider venom, small centipede poison, or spider vine poison (a poison derived from a toxic plant native to the Mwangi Expanse).
- Boarded in the Mwangi Expanse
- You boarded the Jenivere in the Mwangi Expanse, where you’ve lived or recently traveled through. You harbor no illusions regarding the deadliness of the jungles, the creatures that inhabit it, or the peoples that make their home therein. You gain Polyglot as a bonus language and receive a +1 trait bonus on all Knowledge (nature) checks regarding the jungle.
- Boarded in the Shackles
- Your last home was in the Shackles, a dangerous land of pirates and treachery, but also of fantastic opportunity. A life of weal and woe on the sea and amid the pirate controlled lands has toughened you to a variety of hardships. Pick one of the three categories of saving throws—you gain a +1 trait bonus on all saving throws of that type.
- Boarded in Varisia
- Traveling from lands far to the north, you likely have little experience with the jungle, its denizens, or its strange forces. Just as the lands of Garund are wild and exotic to you, so are you to them. This unusualness manifests in one of two ways. Choose to gain either a +2 trait bonus on all Bluff checks made against inhabitants of the jungle, or treat your spells with the mind-affecting descriptor as being +1 caster level higher when cast against creatures and natives of the jungle.
- You come from a long line of Sargavan colonists, stretching back to Cheliax’s original expansion into the land during the Everwar. While your people’s control of Sargava wanes every day, and Eleder has functioned independently from Cheliax since House Thrune brought diabolism to the political forefront, you nevertheless maintain a hardy Chelish constitution and natural sense of survival. What took you away from home is up to you, but you return to the land of your birth on the Jenivere in the hope of putting Sargava back on the map. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (local) checks relating to Sargavan settlements and politics and a +1 trait bonus on saving throws against disease. Characters with this trait are Sargavan natives and might be returning via any city, but especially from the Chelish ports of Kintargo, Pezzack, or Corentyn.
- Get the Cargo Through
- Sea trade is never safe, even on the highly trafficked waters of the Inner Sea, but the way to Eleder is more perilous still. The ever-present hurricane known as the Eye of Abendego blows hundreds of ships each year off course, into jagged rocks, or directly to the sea f loor. Pirates operating out of the Shackles Isles wait on the other side to take cargo from ships lucky enough to traverse or bypass the storm. Your job is to ensure a precious cargo aboard the Jenivere arrives safely in Eleder—what form this cargo takes and the nature of your relationship to it are up to you and your GM. Your character’s history as a merchant or mercenary has earned her a respectable living, and you begin the campaign with an additional 300 gp in starting wealth. Characters with this trait likely boarded in Magnimar, Corentyn, Ilizmagorti, Port Peril, or Bloodcove.
- Jenivere Crew
- This trip to Eleder is just one of many in a long career as a sailor aboard the Jenivere and other cargo vessels. Whether you joined the crew with the hope of one day captaining your own ship, as the means of paying your way to a foreign port with sweat and blood, or as a slave or indentured servant, you now call the ship home. Pick one of the following skills: Acrobatics, Climb, Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (geography), Swim, or Survival. You gain a +1 trait bonus on that skill, and that skill is always treated as a class skill for you. Characters with this trait have likely been on the Jenivere since it departed Magnimar.
- Mwangi Scholar
- The Mwangi Expanse is one of the richest regions in all of Golarion, and also one of the most mysterious. Despite its history of countless years and its fostering of nameless empires, very little is known of the Mwangi Expanse by outsiders or even natives of the primeval, jungle-covered land. You have long studied the region and its lore, and count yourself among a small handful of genuine experts throughout the Inner Sea. The Jenivere promises to take you to the very subject of your fascination, and you eagerly await firsthand investigation of the deep jungles and cyclopean ruins of Garund’s interior. You gain Polyglot as a bonus language and receive a +1 trait bonus on all Knowledge (history) checks regarding the Mwangi Expanse. Characters with this trait likely boarded the Jenivere in Ilizmagorti or one of the cities of the Shackles or the Mwangi Expanse.
- Not all passengers on seafaring vessels are legal or even known to the captain and crew, and the Jenivere is no exception. Whether too poor to book legal passage on the ship or fearing discovery by customs officials in your home port, you or an ally stowed away on the ship in secret. This may mean that the crew doesn’t know you’re on board, or perhaps they do now but didn’t when the ship set sail. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Stealth checks and Survival checks to find food. Characters with this trait might have boarded the Jenivere at any port, but especially in the cities of the Shackles.