You’re starting the Hell’s Rebels Adventure Path, but what kind of character should you play? What is the best way to make a character that will fit into Kintargo and excel at the encounters to come? The following hints, suggestions, and character options are designed to help you create a character perfectly suited to aiding in the defense of Kintargo and overcoming the challenges the Hell’s Rebels Adventure Path has in store for you and your party. These suggestions are not exhaustive, and there are thousands of viable character concepts that can shine in this campaign. For more discussion of characters in the Hell’s Rebels Adventure Path, visit the message boards at paizo.com and share your experiences with others who are playing through this campaign.
Archetypes and Prestige Classes
Hell’s Rebels is primarily an urban campaign—while there will be some excursions into the surrounding hinterlands and a fair amount of classic dungeon delving, your characters will never be far from the city of Kintargo for long. All classes are suitable for the Adventure Path, but some classes have more useful options. As a campaign that places the PCs in the role of rebels against a lawful evil government, chaotic and good characters will be the most thematically appropriate. Lawful characters can certainly take part, particularly if they seek to see the end of even a small part of Thrune’s control over Cheliax, but characters who sympathize with House Thrune or the church of Asmodeus will find themselves increasingly fighting against Hell’s Rebels’ themes and plots.
As an urban campaign, classes that excel at wilderness themes, such as druids and rangers, should make sure to focus on choices that will allow them to function well out of their usual environments. Likewise, classes such as bards, investigators, and rogues will find themselves fitting into this Adventure Path with great ease.
The following archetypes from various Pathfinder products are all good choices for this Adventure Path.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Combat: Kintargo rebel (rogue).
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Magic: Chelish diva (bard) or hidden priest (cleric).
Pathfinder Player Companion: Advanced Class Origins: Liberty’s blade (warpriest).
Pathfinder Player Companion: Champions of Balance: Negotiator (bard).
Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide: Champion of the faith (warpriest), cleaner (slayer), daring infiltrator (swashbuckler), infiltrator (investigator), mastermind (investigator), mysterious avenger (swashbuckler), or sleuth (investigator).
Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide: Archivist (bard), court bard (bard), detective (bard), investigator (rogue), rake (rogue), spy (rogue), street performer (bard), urban druid (druid), or urban ranger (ranger).
Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide: Community guardian (oracle) or saboteur (alchemist).
Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat: Charlatan (rogue), crusader (cleric), divine strategist (cleric), falconer (ranger), tactician (fighter), or urban barbarian (barbarian).
Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic: Celebrity (bard), demagogue (bard), heretic (inquisitor), infiltrator (inquisitor), or separatist (cleric).
Many prestige classes are appropriate choices for the Hell’s Rebels Adventure Path. Those that require lawful or evil alignments to qualify for tend to be tricky choices (mostly due to the alignment factor), but if you can justify why a lawful or evil character of that prestige class would want to work with a bunch of chaotic good rebels and oppose a lawful evil overlord, then (with your GM’s permission) feel free to try out such a class! Some specific prestige class choices that would have particularly unusual, on-theme, or challenging elements are mentioned below.
Assassin or Red Mantis Assassin (Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide): As long as you avoid a religion that clashes with the theme of the Adventure Path (Asmodeus, Norgorber, Zon-Kuthon, or any of the diabolic demigods), an assassin who throws in with the rebels could offer a unique mindset and skill set that, in grim times such as these, could spell the difference between success and failure. Just keep in mind that an evil-aligned character should not be viewed as an excuse for player-versus-player conflict, or as an opportunity to undermine the enjoyment for the rest of the group by disrupting the unfolding plotline by secretly working against the Silver Ravens.
Bellflower Tiller (Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Paths of Prestige): The Bellflower Network has a long tradition in Cheliax of opposing Thrune and, in particular, opposing the practice of slavery. The network faces hard times ahead in the Hell’s Rebels Adventure Path, but a PC member who takes levels in this prestige class should find the choice well supported in opportunities, themes, and unique options for roleplaying.
Dawnflower Dissident (Paths of Prestige): While the Dawnflower dissident is more common in the east, these rebellious holy warriors have a key role to play in Kintargo as well—and not just because the only shrine to Sarenrae in the city recently suffered a mysterious fire. The class’s ability to hide its true nature will come in handy later on in the Adventure Path.
Hellknight (The Inner Sea World Guide) or Hellknight Signifer (Paths of Prestige): While on the surface this might seem an inappropriate choice for Hell’s Rebels, the development of the rebellion in Kintargo actually does set up opportunities for a Hellknight PC to take part. You should speak to your GM about this option if you wish to play a Hellknight hopeful, as he or she will have advice on what orders would be best to join. In any event, you should avoid focusing your character on the more infernal or diabolic options available for the class.
Master Spy (Advanced Player’s Guide): This prestige class (along with all prestige classes that enhance your abilities for espionage) is an excellent option for a character who wants to focus on infiltration, trickery, and the more subtle aspects of revolting against the government.
Noble Scion (Paths of Prestige): Cheliax has a proud tradition of noble families holding positions of power, and Kintargo is no different. Playing a member of a noble family caught up in the rebellion could bring about unique and memorable opportunities for play.
Pathfinder Chronicler: This (along with all other Pathfinder Society prestige class options) could be an interesting choice, since the Pathfinders have had a difficult time maintaining a presence in Cheliax since Thrune took over. There is no Pathfinder lodge in Kintargo, and the Pathfinders themselves don’t play a role in the Adventure Path, but that could change if you want to take one of these prestige classes and play a character who’s seeking to pave the way to welcome the Society back to Kintargo when and if the city can be freed.
bloodlines and mysTeries
While all bloodlines are good choices, sorcerers who wish to mesh well with the themes of the Hell’s Rebels Adventure Path should consider the following bloodlines: aquatic, arcane, celestial, destined, maestroUM, and martyred (Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of Angels). The infernal bloodline is an excellent choice if you want to play a sorcerer tempted or influenced by the very forces she seeks to oppose in the campaign.
The oracle mysteries with the strongest ties to the themes of the Hell’s Rebels Adventure Path are the ancestorUM, battleAPG, loreAPG, metalUM, and wavesAPG mysteries.
Take note that Hell’s Rebels has strong themes of political intrigue and puts the PCs into the roles of being leaders of a rebel group, the Silver Ravens. As a result, Charisma is a more important ability score in this Adventure Path than most, particularly if you want your character to play a more significant role among the management and leadership of the rebellion. A low-Charisma character will still have his or her place in this campaign—there’s going to be plenty of combat to be had—but make sure you’re aware of the additional role Charisma has to play in this Adventure Path as well. See pages 26–32 for rules on how the rebellion works.
Familiars and animal Companions
The following familiars are commonly found serving spellcasters in Kintargo: bat, blue-ringed octopusUM, cat, donkey ratUM, foxUM, hawk, lizard, otterB3, owl, raccoonB3, rat, raven, thrushUM, and weasel. For improved familiars, carbunclesB3, cassisian angelsB2, celestial hawks, dire rats, faerie dragonsB3, lyrakien azatasB2, pipefoxesB4, pseudodragons, silvanshee agathionsB2, spritesB3, stirges, and voidworm proteansB2 are the best choices. Imp familiars are very poor options.
The following animal companions can all be found in Kintargo or the Archduchy of Ravounel: aurochs, axe beakB3, badgerB2, bear, bird (eagle, hawk, or owl), boar, cat (small), dire bat, dog, dolphin, elkB3, frog, goblin dog, horse, lizard (giant gecko)B3, lizard (monitor lizard), octopus, orca, pony, ramB2, roc, seahorse (giant)B4, shark, snake (constrictor), snake (viper), squid, stagB4, trumpeter swanB4, vulture (giant)B3, weasel (giant)B4, and wolf. For the most part, animal companions do not cause much of a concern in Kintargo, so long as they remain well behaved, although some shops and locations might not allow your lumbering pets inside!
Favored Terrains and Favored enemies
The majority of the action in Hell’s Rebels takes place within the city walls of Kintargo, but there are several excursions to the areas beyond. Urban is without a doubt the single best choice for a favored terrain, but forest, mountain, underground, and water are strong secondary choices.Solid favored enemy choices include aberration, dragon, humanoid (human), monstrous humanoid, outsider (lawful or evil), or undead, but other types of creatures will be encountered sporadically as well.
FeaTs and sKills
Feats that augment or enhance a character’s talent at deception and tact are excellent choices in this Adventure Path, but with ample opportunities for combat and dungeon exploration and several chances to explore wilderness later on, no one particular feat stands out as a singular option.
Skills, on the other hand, are a different story. Hell’s Rebels has a fair amount of focus on espionage, politics, subterfuge, and outright rebellion. As such, certain skills will become quite useful during the Adventure Path. Skills such as Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Intimidate, Linguistics, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth will all come in handy quite often when navigating the treacherous waters of Kintargan politics or attempting secret missions against the oppressive government. Perform will have multiple opportunities to shine as well, for the people of Kintargo adore entertainment never more so than when an oppressive regime has imposed martial law. Numerous knowledge skills will help as well, particularly Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility), and Knowledge (religion).
In addition, in Hell’s Rebels, you’ll have opportunities to perform some unusual things with skills, as summarized below.
Concealing Religion: Often, your religion can get you into trouble in Kintargo, particularly if you worship a recently outlawed faith such as that of Calistria, Cayden Cailean, Desna, Milani, or Sarenrae. Yet many characters (particularly divine spellcasters) need their religious gear and symbols close at hand to function. You can hide your religion while keeping your symbols handy by making either a Bluff, Disguise, or Sleight of Hand check when someone from whom you wish to keep this secret interacts with you—the result of your skill check sets the Perception or Sense Motive DC to notice your faith. (Generally, the GM will make the call as to which of these two skills the NPC will use to try to see through your deception.)
Examining and Creating Documents: At times during this Adventure Path, you’ll need to examine old documents, complex contracts, and other written works. Some of these documents are simply archaic and written strangely, but others contain hidden messages or obfuscated truths. Doing so generally requires both knowledge in the language in which the document is written and a successful Linguistics check against a set DC known by your GM. In addition, you can use Linguistics checks to create secret messages, much in the same way you use Bluff to verbally pass a hidden message to another. Someone who doesn’t know the code must make a successful Linguistics check to decipher your message (DC = the Linguistics check result you achieved in creating the message in the first place).
Hiding Bodies: Now and then, you’ll need to hide a body, either because you’re trying to maintain a stealthy cover or because the discovery of a corpse might attract the wrong sort of attention. In most cases, when you hide a body, you attempt a Stealth check; the result is the DC of the Perception check at which someone must succeed to spot the body. If instead you simply want to make a body appear to be sleeping or meditating or simply sitting in a chair while appearing to listen to a musical performance, you instead attempt a Disguise check to set the Perception check DC. Hiding or disguising a body takes 1 minute of work—or 20 minutes of work if you wish to take 20. You must not be observed by anyone you hope to trick in this way while hiding a body.
Hell’s Rebels has a lot of roleplaying opportunities and numerous political machinations for you to navigate. Fortunately, most people you’ll be encountering speak the Common tongue. Infernal would be a good choice to learn if your character plans on spying on the enemy or wishes to be able to read clues left behind by Thrune agents. Elven, Halfling, Shadowtongue, and Strix are relatively commonly heard languages in the region as well.
Hell’s Rebels begins in the city of Kintargo and assumes the PCs have a strong tie to this location; as such, PCs who come from or have lived for some time in Kintargo make the most sense. If you come from elsewhere, you should work to come up with a reason your character would come to Kintargo and would want to stay in the city. Fortunately, Kintargo is quite cosmopolitan, and the city openly welcomes travelers from throughout the Inner Sea region and beyond.