Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Display your Ident-card citizen!!!

I have been sorely lacking in my posts as of late… It’s not because of a lack of things to do. I have been working on many CAD models and making molds for the 15mm scale Crusader. Casting up a Leviathan to convert to a fixed posed model. Busy, busy, busy….
I still have Three Leviathan Crusaders and one Mortis left. If you want one, it may be a good time to pick one up; I will likely be discontinuing the fully poseable Leviathans for a more static pose version. If I continue to produce the fully poseable version, it will likely see a price increase for that option.

Here is a sneak peak of the upcoming 32mm Stormtroopers for the Eisenkern faction. You can find the Kriegsmarine drop trooper in an earlier post.


Here is a Wehrmacht storm trooper with the Kriegsmarine legs.

And just for a bit of fun….

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Back to Work...

Purple Duck Goings On...

- Legendary Shields is being edited.
- Purple Mountain - Level 1 is going through playtesting.
- JL Coburn has sent over the first of the new Lands of the GOW entries.
- Michael Scotta has art orders for Purple Mountain, The Rook and Monsters Unleashed V.3
- Stefen and Axel are working on Horrors of the GOW - Part 2
- David is working on Legendary Weapons: Unusual and Exotic
- Tom is working on the Rook and a Skill Project.

I'm back to work at my day job so for a little while, until I get into the rhythm of work, it will be primarily my job to co-ordinate between people, get things ordered that need ordering, paying freelancers and doing layout.

This weekend, I plan to do some writing. It might be some scribbling on Purple Mountain - Level 2 or Otyughnomicon 3 or Horrors of the GOW - Part 2 or I might even dig up 4saken. Plus I need to begin layout on that secret thing I'm not telling Stefen about until it is awesome and ready to go.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

In the Works...

Today I spent some time adding more material to the Grand OGL Wiki. When I finished that I wrote up 15 specific magical armors and sent them over to Headless Hydra Games for publication. I have contributed to their 15 Specific Weapons lines so it seem like a natural fit to send them Axel's way instead of publishing them myself.

Scorpion Knight
Stefen is going through the process of proofing and tearing apart Purple Mountain - Level 1 this week. Which is good because I'm hoping that it could be out very early September. This weekend, my group is getting together for a playtest of the dungeon to check its in and outs. It looks like it will be a full group of five players, so I will not need to run a DNPC which is great because I think that interferes with playtesting.

Stefen was working on some archetypes for the second issue of Horrors of the GOW which should come out in October. JL Coburn has come on board to write more of the Lands of the GOW 1-pagers which is excellent because if anything the first four should have taught us that I should not be in charge of writing setting material.

It has been a very productive summer for me. Monday, I start back at my day job but I plan to keep doing this blog and writing Purple Duck Games stuff on a regular basis because I enjoy it so much. Okay, I'm going back to the meditative practice of adding more OGC to the Grand OGL Wiki.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Investigative Archetypes

For the second issue of Horrors of the GOW. Stefen and I are looking at doing something more low-magic, high investigation for a feel. Here is one of the archetypes that Stefen has written. Feel free to tear it apart, that is always part of the process.

Clergyman (Cleric)
Class Skills: Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The clergyman is proficient with all simple weapons but not with armor or shields.
Divine Focus (Su): The clergyman begins play with a holy symbol that lends him great resources of inner will and divine power during times of strife. Once per day he may use the object to cast any one divine spell he can cast without using a spell slot. As long as he bears the holy symbol he gains a +2 morale bonus to saves against fear and a +2 morale bonus to concentration checks. If the holy symbol is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 24 hours in a special ritual which takes 8 hours to complete.
Forbidden Knowledge (Su): The clergyman, while a devout follower of his own faith, understands there are other sources of power forbidden by the church. His research has led to him to such discoveries. He replaces the powers and spells of one of his domains with the Dark Tapestry or Stars subdomain. Once this choice is made it can not be changed.
Get Back! (Su): The clergyman may wield his holy symbol as a weapon against undead. He may place the symbol against the form of an undead creature as a melee touch attack. A successful hit deals 1d6 points of positive energy per two cleric levels. A Will save halves the damage (DC 10 + ½ cleric level + Charisma modifier). At 11th level this acts as disruption against evil undead. The clergyman may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Wisdom modifier.
Power over Undead (Su): The clergyman receives Command Undead or Turn Undead as a bonus feat. He can channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + Wisdom modifier, but only to use the selected feat. The clergyman can take other feats to add to this ability, such as Extra Channel and Improved Channel, but not feats that alter this ability, such as Elemental Channel and Alignment Channel. The DC to save against these feats is equal to 10 + 1/2 cleric level + Charisma modifier. This replaces channel energy.
Ritual Caster (Ex): The clergyman possesses the patience and knowledge to better work incantations. He gains a +2 competence bonus on all skill checks when performing an incantation.

Monday, 22 August 2011

GM Merit Badges...

I have nothing interesting to say today. Purple Mountain - Level 1 is in editing. I've received a couple of entries for our pregen contest but most importantly I read Stuart Robertson's article on GM Merit Badges. If you haven't read this today you really should take the time to do so.

I sent my players the link and two have responded:

Patrick has said I would qualify for: Death, Dice, Drama, and Tactics.
Thomas has said I would qualify for: By-The-Book, Dice, Map

I'm pleased with those assessments as well as can use them as a guide post for things I can work on. I have not rated myself, because I think the valuation of my players toward my style is more important.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Reviews Coming In...

Monsters Unleashed V.2 [PFRPG]$1.50
Publisher: Purple Duck Games

by Sean Holland [Featured Reviewer]Date Added: 08/21/2011 21:03:39

Monsters Unleashed, Volume 2, is more monsters rescued from obscurity by the fine people at Purple Duck Games. If you need some interesting monsters at a bargain price, take a look.

Monsters Unleashed, Vol 2 is a 16-page PDF (12-pages if you remove the OGL pages) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Mark Gedak and Stefen Styrsky and published by Purple Duck Games. This is part of Purple Duck Games’ Monsters Unleashed Subscription.

The layout is a traditional book design, primarily two-column and easy enough to read. The monsters follow standard Pathfinder template. The art is black and white with each creature having its own illustration. A sheet of creature tokens is included on the last page.

The Challenge Ratings of the monsters unleashed here range from three to 22 (!) mostly good direct combat creatures, including the Fenris Wolf (the CR 22), yes, that Fenris Wolf. Indeed, the Clay Warriors even come in three varieties. Each creature descriptions suggests some good adventure hooks for each of the creatures. All of the creatures each has its own table of what you can find out about it on a successful knowledge check.

Additionally, there is a named and leveled version of one of the monsters, a companion creature for the named monster and a new spell.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.


[4 of 5 Stars!]

Otyughnomicon: Northern Waste Otyugh [PFRPG]$1.50 $1.00
Publisher: Purple Duck Games

by Shane O'Connor [Featured Reviewer]Date Added: 08/20/2011 18:11:59

It’s never been said (insofar as I’m aware) but I’m of the opinion that the otyugh was created either to fill an ecological niche in the game world (as to what cleans up the poo of dungeon-dwelling monsters) or as a nasty surprise when the PCs actually stop to go to the bathroom. Either way, they seemed like a monster that was fairly one-dimensional for what they offered. Mark Gedak and Stefen Styrsky, however, are determined to prove otherwise with their Otyughnomicon series of releases. In this case, we look at the Northern Waste Otyugh.

This book is a short one, being eight pages long (albeit with a six-page OGL listing, thoughtfully included as a separate file). Despite its brevity, full nested bookmarks are present, and copy-and-paste is enabled. There’s only one illustration here, a black and white picture of an icy otyugh, but the pages have a light tentacle in the background, and there are tokens of said otyugh (and, somewhat oddly, a polar bear).

After a quick introduction, the book tackles a topic that’s clearly dear to the authors’ hearts – should the otyugh be an aberration, or a magical beast? The rules say the former, while the authors clearly think the latter. As such, the first sample otyugh for the template (see below) is reproduced twice, once as an aberration otyugh, and once as a magical beast otyugh – all further otyughs in the book are magical beasts.

In all honesty, I don’t necessarily disagree with the reasoning given in this book, but I think that there’s something of a missed opportunity here. If you’re writing your own version of something you disagree with, you should introduce it in-game as something new! Perhaps the magical beast otyughs are a new breed that are edging out their aberration forefathers (in that case, you could even call them…neo-otyughs).

Following this is the new Northern Waste Creature template. It’s a fairly simplistic template (though not a simple template, in Pathfinder parliance), and does a good job of making a creature into an arctic counterpart, though I question the decision not to add the cold subtype.

After the two sample otyughs (and a new variant disease, frost fever, to offset the usual filth fever), we then get a sample tribe of northern waste otyughs – only the two leaders are outlined, as most of the tribe are typical specimens, whereas the leaders have class levels. I wish some attempt, no matter how small, had been made to give us some flavor text about these individuals, as they’re presented only as stat blocks. Another missed opportunity.

Six new icy-themed spells are provided then, though the majority of these seem to be cold variants of existing spells (e.g. hibernate instead of sleep, ice shape instead of stone shape, etc.). I don’t necessarily dislike spells that are variants of other spells, and these did a fairly good job differentiating themselves. But it was the next section that was magical.

The authors note that one of their fans made, on their facebook page, a comment about the sex lives of otyughs. Would that that fan had remained silent, and we’d have been spared the thought of what sort of union would produce the otyugh sorcerer bloodline. The bloodline is just as disgusting as its parentage, and I foresee some truly nauseating villains using it (as well as some gross PCs). Several new spells are presented as part of the bloodline spells, and these were much more inspiring. Spells to curse the land (with disease, undead, etc.), make a creature a disease carrier, or even cause an epidemic, are very much in the theme of the otyugh.

Overall, this is a good book if you’re a fan of the otyugh, but it could have been more. What’s here is solid work, but a little more polish could have made it great. Who are these northern waste otyugh leaders? What makes aberration otyughs different from magical beast otyughs? Still, these oversights don’t diminish what’s here, which are some great options for icy otyughs and those of otyugh ancestry. Pick this book up, and let these otyughs give your PCs all sorts of crap to deal with!


[4 of 5 Stars!]

Saturday, 20 August 2011

All open orders have been filled!

I have 5 Leviathan Crusaders and 1 Leviathan Mortis on hand.

I also have available as accessories: 1 Scythe, 1 Sword, 1 Right hand Vulkan, 1 Left Hand Vulkan, 1 Right hand Mauler, 1 Left Hand Mauler.

Just wanted to say thank you to all my customers, the feedback has been great and I hope you all enjoy your kits.

All the best!

Friday, 19 August 2011

New Spell: Hot Potato!

Hot Potato
School Conjuration (creation); Level bard2, druid2, wizard2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (sulfur match)
Range short (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect one explosive tuber
Save special (see below); Spell Resistance none

Upon casting this spell, you call into existence a flaming, explosive tuber that you can immediately throw at another living creature within range as a ranged touch attack (if he misses the tuber explodes as described below). The target of the tuber may make a Reflex save to catch the tuber and take 1d4 points of fire damage. If the save fails the target drops the tuber and it explodes for 5d4 points of fire damage within a 15 ft. radius. 

A character who has caught the tuber must, on their standard action, throw the tuber to another creature within range that has not touch the tuber. If he fails to hit a target, there are no targets left, or he doesn't throw it, then the tuber explodes as above. The tuber can be magically passed around and around the battlefield until no living creatures remain to catch it.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the first year anniversary of Purple Duck Games.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank:
- all of our customers for their support.
- all of the artists we have worked with this year
- all the writers
- all the other publishers that have helped us

No shilling today. It is a day to celebrate what has been accomplished.

GDC Europe Sum-up

Me, Marc and Jens got back from GDC Europe yesterday so thought I should write a small summary of the trip.

First of, some thoughts on the lecture:

My talk was scheduled the first day and was the first time I have ever had this type of lecture so I was quite nervous. This meant I had a bit of trouble relaxing and enjoying the other talks before mine. Also, the night before I had had the final practice round for the lecture, making my dreams that night filled with nothing but fragmented sentences from my script, which of course tainted the next day too. My head contained little but the lecture.

My first plan had been to learn the entire lecture and not use any notes, but during practice I always managed to miss something and felt having some kind of notes was more secure. As the lecture slides was pretty much void of text and the actual images often not very descriptive to what I said, I had to keep everything in my head. In the end, I am happy I made the decision of having notes as I did get lost a few times, but could quickly get back by a glance. Hopefully nobody noticed anything.

When it was finally time for the talk I was really worried if any of the videos would work, as there had been numerous problems when testing at home. Fortunately all videos showed perfectly!

Overall, I think it all went quite well and the audience seem to enjoy it too. There are summaries of the lecture at Gamasutra and Gamespot, and I will see if I can get the script up too later on.

I was also involved in a panel with some other people. My five minute presentation was pretty much an extended version of an old blogpost.

Once my lecture was done I could finally relax and enjoy the various lectures a bit more. As always there is a great mixture in quality and content. My favorites were probably a lecture about RPG mechanics, a talk on horror by the developer of the upcoming Silent Hill Downpour (even though I disagreed with plenty) and a talk about performance capture (by one of the founders of Ninja Theory).

Apart from the GDC stuff, we also attended something called the NotGames Fest. It was an exhibit that showcased a bunch of games that did not have a big focus on "fun game mechanics", and Amnesia was one of these. It was all much more nicely setup than I thought it would be. Visitors had to enter a atmospherically lit, cave-like room built up from cardboard. It was quite moody and fitted the exhibit perfectly. I really liked how it contrasted the normal, ear-deafening, sensory overloading exhibits videogames are normally shown in and had a very calm and serene feel to it instead. I hope that there will be more game exhibitions like this!

At the evening the exhibit also had a BBQ featuring hot-dogs in round buns, which was felt a strange (but still tasted good). Jens told me this some German tradition. Anybody know anything more about this strange way of hot-dog consumption?

Also like to note that two guys form the Italian company Santa Ragione gave us a free copy of their horror board game "Escape from the Aliens in outer space". We tried it while waiting for our plane to take off and even though we were probably a bit too few it was really nice. Will definitively play it again.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Evil Thought #417

Legendary Races: Rakshasa is now out for sale. Currently it is available at Rpgnow and hopefully it will get unstuck from the pipe at Paizo.

It looks like Monsters Unleashed V.2 could be out before the weekend. This issue will have clay warriors, quickgrass, knollman, corpse orgies and Fenris Wolf.

For my evil thought of the day, I draw your attention to the pugwampi to the right. So my idea, certain to make it into level 2 or 3 of Purple Mountain is for a new magic item called a pugwampi's foot.

Similar to a rabbit's foot except it exudes an aura of unluck. So that 10 ft. wide pit filled with spikes, it doesn't look that bad to jump over. <Player attempts> oh, sorry, you need to roll that check twice and take the lower roll.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Battle For Venga Islands is over.

I pulled BFVI.

The reason is that the game relies on having multiple people online in order to get the full experience of the game.  For the first few weeks, this worked, and worked really well.  But as sales tailed off, and fewer people were buying and playing the game, it just didn't seem fair for new players to spend their hard-earned $1 and show up to an empty wasteland.

I'm not sure if I'm the only person in history to pull their game, but I figured I wasn't going to make any more money from it, and it was more important to preserve what little reputation I have.  Or at least not generate a new reputation as a scammer.

I have the framework in place for a new game, but no motivation.  Maybe that will pick up soon, but I'm just taking it easy for a while (my Team Fortress 2 bug has flared up again, which isn't helping any!)

The Work of Rakshasa

Vetula by Jennifer Taylor

When a rakshasa tortures and kills a sentient humanoid, the dead creature’s spirit sometimes reanimates as a vetala, a vampire-like being bent on the destruction of life. After a grisly and painful death, the vetala’s spirit continues on, spurred by anger at its undeserved fate.

The vetala can not stand direct sunlight. During the day it haunts underground tombs and catacombs to wait for the night. However, a vetala possessing the body of a dead humanoid can move about in daylight while inhabiting the corpse. These vetala are often thought to be zombies, but an observant person can recognize their true nature if they notice the creature’s backwards hands.

Unlike ghosts a vetala is not bound to a specific site, though the creature does tend to haunt a area until it runs out of victims.
(Legendary Races: Rakshasa coming soon...).

Monday, 15 August 2011

Back with News

Legendary Races: Rakshasa
by Stefen Styrsky
First up, we now exist at the store as well as at Rpgnow. I believe I will be setting things up at as well so whatever your Rpg Shopping venue you will be able to find us. So far I only have the Legendary Treasure series up for sale on Paizo but I will be uploading the rest over the next several days.

Secondly, a book that Stefen has been working on for a while is finally done. All the art is in and the layout is finished. Heck, it even has a fancy purple minimalist cover. I expect it will be released tomorrow and I don't want to spoil the surprise so I'm not going to mention its name right now.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Nearing the end of fulfilling the preorders

All customers for batch one through three have been shipped. I hope to close out batch four customers in the coming week, along with all orders that came in after the preorders.

Thank you all, for your patients!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Horror Tip: Hide

I just saw this little horror game gem called "Hide". It is a very simple game with very simple graphics. Basically the game is all about finding five signs scattered across a map while avoiding being found. I think it is a great example in how not showing something properly makes the imagination go wild. The extremely sparse (yet workable) graphics and the atmospheric soundscape forces you to immerse your self and imagine your worse fear.

The game only takes a few minutes to play, so I suggest you all give it a go. And do not forget those headphones!

Friday, 12 August 2011

GDC Europe

Just wanted to inform everybody that I will be holding a lecture and be part of a

panel at GDC Europe next week.

The lecture is called "Evoking Emotions and Achieving Success by Breaking All the Rules" and will be about some of the design in Amnesia and also touch upon a lot of subjects discussed in this blog.

The panel has the name "Beyond Fun: Perspectives on Video Games as Expressive Experiences", which will include 4 other swell guys and gals. In it I will have a lil rant called "Games or Toys".

Both of these will take place on Monday and be one after another. Hopefully I can put something or link to video after the convention is over.

Will anybody here be attending?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Progress Report...

Legendary Races: Rakshasa
Stefen turned in revisions to Legendary Races: Rakshasa today. We need some art to come in and then it is off to layout for this product. I'm expecting it to be a bit bigger than the other two Legendary Races.
- Needs: Art, Layout, Double Checks, Triple Checks

Monsters Unleashed: Volume 2 & 3
Text is done for these. I'm waiting on the art from Michael Scotta. I'm very pleased to have him on this project and am willing to wait for what he comes up with.
- Needs: Art, Layout, Double Checks, Triple Checks

Purple Mountain - Level 1
I'm 60% done writing the encounters for level one of the Purple Mountain. I am hopeful that this will be released before the end of August. The dungeon map is done by Kristian Richards of Crooked Staff Publishing. How much art do I need within the module. I'm expecting it to be about 20-30 pages.
- Immediate needs - Finish writing

Legendary Armor and Shields - in the hands of a freelancer.
Legendary Weapons III - in the hands of a freelancer.
Otyughnomicon - on hold until I break even on otyughnomicon #2

I'm not a 100% sure what Stefen's next project is. He mentioned something about writing level 7 of Purple Mountain but I'm not certain if he was serious or not. Perhaps he is outline Horrors of the GOW 2 for October release.

Sale Reminder: Tomorrow is the last day of our "Not Going to Gen Con" 50% off sale although by this point it is more of a "Didn't Get To Go To Gen Con" 50% off sale but you get the idea.

Wanted: I want to include five or six pregenerated 1st level characters for Purple Mountain. Each character should use one of the Paizo classes (RPG through Ultimate Combat) but can use OGC from other sources as long as you can provide me with the S15 information and OGC declarations.

The character must be full-stated and contain a short paragraph of background for the characters. They also need to include one new trait that we can publish in the Purple Mountain.

Inclusion in the Purple Mountain release, free copies of all the Purple Mountain levels that we publish and $10 additional dollars worth of Purple Duck Products of your choosing.

Deadline: August 22nd, 2010
Email Entries to: with the subject line "Purple Mountain Contest"

- Please reshare.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Template - Mystical Creature

Mystical Creatures
Mystical creatures are creature born or empowered with the powers of a sorcerer. Arcane magic flows through their veins and

Creating a Mystical Creature
"Mystical creatures" is an inherited or acquired template that can be applied to any creature with a Cha score of 6 or more. A mystical creature uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

CR: As base creature +1
Type: If the creature's type is animal or vermin, it changes to magical beast. Do not recalculate HD, BAB and saves.
Armor Class: Natural armor improves by +2.
Defenses: Gains resistance 5 to one energy type; DR 5/magic (if HD 11 or less) or 10/magic (if HD 12 or more).
Special Attacks: A mystical creature gains the following:
  Bloodline: Each mystical creature has a source of magic in its heritage that grants additional skills and bloodline powers. The mystical creature must select one sorcerer bloodline and gain the class skill, bloodline arcana, and bloodline powers at appropriate Hit Dice.They do not gain the bonus feat and spells that sorcerers gain.
  Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): A mystical creature with an Cha score of 8 or highter has a cumulative number of spell-like abilities by its HD. Unless otherwise noted, an ability is usable 1/day. CL equals to the creature's HD (or the CL of the base creature's spell-like abilities, whichever is higher). All spells are drawn from the wizard spell list.

HD           Spell-Like Abilities
1-3           one 1st level spell (3/day)
4-5           one 2nd level spell, one additional 1st level spell (3/day)
6-7           one 3rd level spell, one additional 2nd level spell
8-9           one 4th level spell, one additional 3rd level spell
10-11       one 5th level spell, one additional 4th level spell, 1st level spell-like abilities are at-will
12-13       one 6th level spell, one additional 5th level spell
14-15       one 7th level spell, one additional 6th level spell, 2nd level spell-like abilites are 3/day
16-17       one 8th level spell, one additional 7th level spell
18+         one 9th level spell, one additional 8th level spell

Abilites: A half-fiend gains a +4 Con, +2 Int (or minimum of 10), +6 Cha.

Skills: Animals and vermin that become mystical creatures gain skill points per racial HD as magical beasts

Languages: All mystical creatures speak Draconic.
Mystical Giant Mantis [aka Flaming Devil Mantis] (CR 4, 1,200 XP)
N Large magical beast (augmented vermin)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13
AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+1 Dex, +7 natural, -1 size)
hp 38 (4d8+20)
Fort +9, Ref +2, Will +3
DR 5/magic; Resist fire 5
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft., fly 40 ft. (poor)
Melee 2 claws +5 (1d6+3 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks lunge, mandibles, sudden strike
Bloodline Abilities (CL 4th, concentration +7)
- resistant touch (6/day), ethereal jaunt (3 rounds)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th, concentration +7)
1/day - bull's strength
3/day - true strike, burning hands (DC 14)
Bloodline divine
Abl Str 16, Dex 13, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 17
Base Atk +3; CMB +7 (+11 grapple); CMD 18 (22 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Casting, Improved Initiative
Skills Climb +11, Fly +4, Perception +13, Stealth +1 (+13 in forests); Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Stealth (+12 in forests)

Languages Draconic
[Special Abilities]

Lunge (Ex) A giant mantis's limbs are capable of reaching much farther than normal for a creature of its size. As a full-attack action, it can make a single attack with its claws at double its normal reach. When a giant mantis attacks with a claw in this manner, it gains a +4 bonus on its attack roll. A giant mantis cannot make attacks of opportunity with its lunge.
Mandibles (Ex) A giant mantis that grabs a foe can make a bite attack against that foe as a secondary attack. The mantis's bite is a +0 attack that inflicts 1d6+1 points of damage on a hit.
Sudden Strike (Ex) A giant mantis is particularly adept at moving quickly when its foes are surprised. During a surprise round, a giant mantis may act as if it had a full round to act, rather than just one standard action.

Design Choice: A mystical creature should be a creature of wonder and should not have a fixed list of spell-like abilities nor should it be as versatile as a true sorcerer.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Inner Sea Magic - Sample Character

I'm really enjoying the Inner Sea Magic book from Paizo. It seem to me the clear design trend by Paizo is toward Archetypes over Prestige Classes whenever possible. I have been working on Purple Mountain and having other design discussions with Stefen but I thought I should take a break to play a bit with this book. So here is a 1st level sorcerer that could be used as a pregen for Purple Mountain.

Zinnaonna Chorster 
Female human tattooed sorcerer 1
CG Medium humanoid (human)
Deity Goddess of Cats
Homeland The Plains of Fortune
Init +2; Senses Perception -1
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex)
hp 7 (1d6+1)
Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +1

Speed 30 ft.
Melee heavy mace +0 (1d8)
Ranged sling +2 (1d4); 10 bullets
Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +4)
  4/day - enlarge person, feather fall
  At-will - depilatory, detect magic, light, message, ray of frost
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +4)
  3/day - mage

Bloodline feline
Abl Str 10, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 17
Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Scribe Scroll, Eschew Materials, Arcane Tattoo (transmutation); Familiar Bonus Alertness (within arms reach).
Traits Plains Wanderer (+1 Perform (Dance), class skill); Stargazer (+1 Knowledge (geography), Survival)
Skills Spellcraft +5, Knowledge (geography) +3, Perform (dance) +8, Stealth +5, Survival +0, Use Magic Device +7; Familiar Bonus +3 Stealth
Languages Common, Elven
SQ cantrips, favored class (sorcerer), skilled, familiar tattoo (cat)
Gear As above plus backpack, entertainer's outfit, 1 flask of antitoxin, belt pouch (5 gp)

Zinnaonna was a travelling entertainer when she received her first tattoo. Something about that first trace of ink on her skin awoke strange new magics within her. Finding power in the art that covers her body, Zinnaonna has embraced the art form and her new magic. She has taken to adventuring to learn more about the tattoo magic and locate other sources of power.

Bast, Cat Familiar
N Tiny animal
Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +5
AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +1 natural, +2 size)
hp 3 (1d8-1)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +3

Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +4 (1d2–4), bite +4 (1d3–4)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Str 3, Dex 15, Con 8, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 6 (10 vs. trip)
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +6, Perception +5, Stealth +14; Racial Modifiers +4 Climb, +4 Stealth
SQ improved evasion, share spells, empathic link

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Variant Aasimar Heritages

Most aasimar possess a fixed variety of ability scores to reflect their fiendish heritages, regardless of the actual source of their divine traits. GMs might grant their aasimar NPCs or players variant ability modifiers based on their divine ancestries. At the GM’s choice, such heritages might be determined deliberately or randomly.

1d10      Heritage               Adjustments
1-2         Agathion              +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence: The scions of the beast-aspected agathions demonstrate great strength of body and will, but are not known for their organization and planning.
3-4         Angels                  +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom:  The children of angels are known for their natural magnetism and supernatural hardiness, but they are quick to act without contemplating their actions.
5-6         Archons               +2 Strength, +2 Charisma, -2 Dexterity: Archon-blooded children often carry on the defense of the world against the forces of evil with strengthened bodies and personalities, their rigid devotion to their cause makes them physically less flexible as well.
7-8         Azata                     +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, -2 Dexterity: Gatherers of tales and singers of stories, the children of azata are clever and manipulative, but they lack the grace of some other aasimar.
9-10       Djinni                    +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Intelligence: Grace and style are trait or those aasimar who have a hint of air genie blood. They tend to rely on their natural agility and charm over intellect.

Admittedly, the Tiefling Heritage variant published by Paizo had 10 options, but there are not a lot of “good” outsider races and djinni is really stretching the definition of aasimar, though I might have been able to use rakshasa because they are reference to good rakshasa in mythology.

Are there more good outsider races to provide aasimar parentage that I'm missing that I need to add to my collection?

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Admittedly, Paizo will probably update this in Bestiary 3

But Stefen and I thought we could update the Rakshasa Maharajah from one of the early adventure paths and include it in Legendary Races: Rakshasa as bonus content (until the official update is out).

What do you think, is it too powerful like this?

Floating serenely with legs crossed over one another, this exquisitely attired being casually examines the curved, long-handled blade in its hands. The face staring contemplatively ahead bears beautiful human features, but from the creature’s neck emerge several fearsome animal heads, each considering a different direction.
RAKSHASA MAHARAJAH                             CR 18
XP 153,600
LE Medium outsider (native)
Init +11, extra initiative [+7 Dex, +4 Improved Init]Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft., true seeingPerception +42
AC 33, touch 17, flat-footed 26 (+7 Dex, +16 naturall)
hp 312 (25d10+175)
Fort +17 [+8 Bad, +7 Con, +2 GF]Ref +21 [+14 Good, +7 Dex]Will +22 [+14 Good, +6 Wis, +2 IW]
DR 20 good and piercing; SR 33
Speed 40 ft., fly 30 ft. (good)
Melee +3 falchion of shock +35/+30/+25/+20/+15 [+25 Base, +7 Dex, +3 enhancement] (2d4+10 plus 1d6 electricity)
Special Attacks detect thoughts
Spell-like Abilities (CL 20th):
Constant—true seeing
1/day—dominate monster (DC 24)
Spells Known (CL 15th):
7th (5/day)—delayed blast fireball (DC 26), mass hold person (DC 26)
6th (7/day)—flesh to stone (DC 25), greater dispel magic, mass bull’s strength
5th (7/day)—dominate person (DC 24), seeming (DC 24), teleport
4th (7/day)—dimension door, greater invisibility (DC 23), lesser globe of invulnerability, solid fog
3rd (8/day)—fireball (2; DC 22), slow (DC 22), vampiric touch (DC 22)
2nd (8/day)—darkness, misdirection (DC 21), resist energy, see invisibility, touch of idiocy (DC 21)
1st (8/day)—identify, mage armor, magic missile, obscuring mist, ray of enfeeblement (DC 20)
0 (6/day)—arcane mark, daze (DC 19), detect magic, flare (DC 19), mage hand, message, prestidigitation, read magic, touch of fatigue (DC 19)
Str 21, Dex 24, Con 24, Int 25, Wis 23, Cha 29
Base Atk +25 [Fast]CMB +30 [+25 Base, +5 Str, size]CMD 47 [10 +25 Base, +5 Str, +7 Dex]
Feats [25-HD Outsider: 1 feat, 0 bonus] Alertness, Combat Casting, Fly-by Attack, Great Fortitude, Hover, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Maximize Spell, Quicken Spell, Weapon Finesse, Widen Spell,
Skills [1-HD Outsider with +0 Int: (6+7) x 25 = 325 points] Appraise + [25 ranks, +3 C, +7 Int], Bluff +# [25 ranks, +3 C, +9 Cha], Diplomacy [25 ranks, +3C, +9 Cha], Disguise +[25 ranks, +3, +9 Cha], Fly + [25 ranks, +7 Dex, +2 manv], Intimidate [25 ranks, +3C +9 Cha], Knowledge (arcana) +# [25 ranks, +7 Int], Knowledge (nobility) +# [25 ranks, +7 Int], Knowledge (planes) +# [25 ranks, +3 C, +7 Int], Perception +# [25 ranks, +3 C, +6 Wis, +4 Alertness, +4 racial], Sense Motive +38 [25 ranks, +3 C, +6 Wis. +4 Alertness], Stealth + [25 ranks, +3 C, +7 Dex], Survival [25 ranks, +3C +6 Wis]Racial Modifiers +4 Perception
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Infernal, Rakshasa, Undercommon
SQ change shape (any humanoid, alter self)
Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure double (+3 falchion of shock, other treasure)
All-Around Vision (Ex) A rakshasa maharajah’s many heads allow it to look in any direction, providing a +4 racial bonus on Perception. A maharajah rakshasa cannot be flanked.
Detect Thoughts (Su) A rakshasa maharajah can continuously use detect thoughts as the spell (caster level 15th;  DC 31 Will negates). It can suppress or resume this ability as a free action. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Extra Initiative (Su) At the beginning of an encounter, the rakshasa maharajah rolls twice for initiative. The rakshasa acts normally on the higher of the two initiative counts each round; on the lower initiative count, the rakshasa maharajah may take a single standard action.
Spells Rakshasa maharajahs cast spells as 15th-level sorcerers.  The save DCs are Charisma based.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Fielio's Jar of Pickles

I love cursed items and I love silly items. Forgive me.

Fielo's Jar of Pickles
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 10th
Slot none;  Weight 2 lbs.
On the counter of Fielio's bar there is a jar. This large glass container is filled with a brine and succulent dill pickles. The top of the jar is sealed with a metallic lid and inscribed with magical runes. When actively pursued by her drunk patrons with an offer of their manly gifts she tells them that she is saving herself for the man who can open her pickle jar. Designed to discourage male suitors, this jar of pickles cannot be opened by any male creature. However, when a male creature attempts to open the jar they are subjected to a powerful geas that compels them to search out the opener of all things, an artifact thought to be hidden within the trove of an ancient red dragon. Accompanying this geas is the suggestion (Will DC 13) to leave immediately and not return without the opener of all things.
Magic Items chime of opening

Monday, 1 August 2011

Work, Reviews, Research

This week I'm going to be working on a number of things. I've sketched out the combatants and traps for the first level of Purple Mountain. I sent a couple of archetypes Stefen's way for the Legendary Races: Rakshasa and a working on a couple side projects.

On the Review Front it looks like the owners of Nearly Enough Dice Podcast left a review of The Collected Bard Spell Lists at the Rpgnow sites.

Their review is here

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Other Product Ideas
Is there any need for 1st level pregens sourcebook? Pregens for the levels set of the Adventure Paths?
If we made such a book, what would you like in it?