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Traveller: Using Monsters

Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium (MGT 1e)

I want to take a break from our usual Monster Wednesday for a moment and discuss the reasons to use monsters in Traveller. In games of fantasy like D&D and Pathfinder, using monsters is fairly obvious. In cases like lions and owlbears, it is a case of survival, a man vs nature story. For orcs and goblins, they are a stand in for uncivilized humans in a non-magical world. When it comes to zombies, dragons, and devils, they represent an aspect of humanity and our fears rather than an individual human. But what about science fiction in general and Traveller in specific. How should you use them? In my opinion, Star Wars is the best place to look for how to use sci-fi monsters well.

1) Essential Part of Native Life

While the sand people would be NPC aliens, the elephants covered in rugs that they rode we’re an essential part of their life. Remember that just because you have high tech people living on a planet doesn’t mean the natives are integrated and can use the technology. Some will still use animals as a significant part of their daily life, whether for transportation, protection, or a food source. No one says that that animal has to be docile.

Suggestion: When dealing with primative life, give them some kind of animal to make their life easier.

2) Dangerous Fauna

“Nuke them from orbit; it’s the only way to be sure.” When you are colonizing a whole planet, you’ll want to eliminate the local dangerous fauna. However, if you are not a sizable government with sizable resources, you’re not going to do the job well. Take the Rebellion for example. They only had enough resources to establish a small base on Hoth. They couldn’t waste resources to eliminate all the snow creatures like the kind that got Luke. In fact, if you watch the outtakes, you’d see that one even made its way into the rebel base. Random encounter, right there.

Suggestion: Have some kind of monster spring up as random violence when you are not in a hub of civilization.

3) Cheap Short Range Vehicles

If you’ve looked in the Vehicle Handbook, you’d know that high tech vehicles are expensive. So if you are not going far, ride something there. They come so much less, especially if you are just taking them from the wild instead of buying them. Just because riding an animal is low tech doesn’t mean that the saddle has to be from another century. Not to mention, if you are in an extreme environment, like Hoth, they will probably be better adapted to the climate than your vehicles. Additionally, different cultures use animals in different ways. Some might ceremonial roles or as symbols of their people. As a final bonus, they are meat and warmth if you are stuck in a bad situation, even if you thought they smelled bad on the outside.

Suggestion: To emphasize different cultural or economic conditions, have a high tech popilation ride animals.

4) Pets

Having a pet adds flavor to a character. Dr Evil and his hairless cat. Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Jabba and the rancor. What does it say about Jabba that he kept a rancor? That he liked watching people being eaten right in front of him. That he wants to be feared. That he likes associating himself with powerful creatures. That he is over compensating. Probably all of the above.

Suggestion: Give a dangerous person a dangerous pet.

5) Entertainment

The Last Jedi had animal racing that the wealthy were betting on. Animal racing is a common use and can be used in your game. Animals fighting each other can also be used. Imagine how much damage the fighting animals can cause if they escape.

Suggestion: Add some flavor to a location by using animals as entertainment.

Get yourself a whole some quality monsters for your Traveller game today with the Creatures of Distant Worlds. Download this book and anything else at the JBE Shop using the “holiday2017” coupon code to get 30% off today. You can also download it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and the Open Gaming Store.

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Any Traveller NPC On The Fly

D66 Compendium 2

When I am prepping a Traveller game to run at home or a convention, I will always take the time to stat up an NPC and come up with a full backstory. This way, I always have consistent skills, the right number of dice for weapons damage and the exact equipment the character should have. This should be part of any good GM’s prep before running a game. Yet when the players catch me off guard and I have to have a Traveller character on the fly, I don’t bother looking in any books. I just remember these simple rules:

1) Pick a Theme

This may seem obvious, but it must be stated upfront: have a theme for the NPC. If I don’t, I quickly have NPCs that are good at everything. To combat this, I pick a theme and I stick to that theme for the character. It can be as simple as “doctor” or as complex as “down on their luck stock trader who took up painting.” Either way, their theme is pretty simple as it only needs to get me through the game session so I can stat them out fully (should the NPC survive that long). That theme dictates what skills, characteristics, and other bonuses the person should and should not have.

2) Bonus Tree from Competent to Incompetent

In much the same way that the difficulty goes up or down depending on how difficult any particular challenge is, I keep a ladder in my head of what bonus to add to any roll. Here’s what I use:

Bonus When To Use How Many Skills
+4 Exceptional Max 1
+2 Professional 1-3
+1 Above Average 2-4
+0 Average 3-6
–1 Below Average 4-8
–3 Never Exposed Before All the Rest

Take the Doctor for a second. For an exceptional brain surgeon, I’d give them a +4 Medic, but for your average family doctor, their Medic would be +2. Related skills like Science (biology) and Admin would be +2. If the subject of art came up like if the doctor was talking to the stock trader, I could assume the doctor took an art history class in college for fun so is not a complete noob at it and would get a –1.

The down on their luck stock trader, well that person is down on their luck because they are not all that skilled at it to begin with. So I would give them a +1 in Broker, Carouse, and Gambler, +0 in Admin, Art, Persuade, and Streetwise.

Even then, I wouldn’t write these numbers down. This is just what I’d assume based based on the theme. If, by the end of the session, it looked like the NPC would return, I would write down those stats after the game while it was still fresh in my mind so I had it for next time.

3) Weapons and Armor

While I can fudge weapons and armor in a pinch, I pretty much keep these stats on a sheet close by.

User Armor Bonus Weapon Damage
Military +15 5D+3 Zero-G or 4D, AP 5, Auto 3
Police +10 3D Stun, Zero G or 3D, AP 3, Auto 2
Survivalist +8 3D, Auto 3
Paranoid +3 3D-3 or 2D Melee, Stun
Stealth +1 2D Body
Unprepared/Civilian +0 1D unarmed

Like I said, I keep this with me. Even if I remember what the police officer’s weapons and armor is, that doesn’t mean that the players will strip them of it after knocking the person out and then they are left with being an unprepared/civilian entry. This little preparation makes running a game quick and easy for when (not if) the players run the game off the rails.

If you really want to be prepared for any name you could possibly need, get yourself the d66 Compendium and its sequel, the D66 Compendium 2. Both are available at in Print and PDF at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow. Order your copy today.

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5 Questions Every Paladin Should Be Able to Answer

I have seen quite a few paladins in my time—both at the table and in fiction, and my favorite is O-Chul from the Order of the Stick Comics. He is what a paladin should be in my opinion, fighting for justice without overdoing it. Paladins have a stereotype of being “lawful stupid.” Frequently they appear so full of themselves and their station that they make everything about them.

A paladin should put their deity above everything incuding their own pride. They shouldn’t be glory seeking zealots but seeking to glorify their deity through their every action. Their should be someone with rock hard faith in the rightness of their cause, not the rightness in themselves. If anything, they should doubt themselves, questioning whether or not their every action is the right one to exemplify the rightness of their deity and their cause. Here are 5 Questions to help you role play a paladin better. Previously we shared with you 5 Questions to help you play a fighter, cleric, monk, bard, and rogue better.

1) What Caused Your Strong Devotion to your Deity?

Following a deity is one thing. You worship, follow a few tenants, and go about your daily life. Being devoted is another. A devoted person will take time out of their day to contemplate how to best incorporate their deity’s tenants into their actions and will wonder if they are devoted enough. Being a paladin is far, far more devoted than that. You are so devoted that you are willing to go into dangerous places risking your own live to do your deity’s work and are willing to kill while doing so. Being that devoted should be sobering. One does not do that “because it seemed like a good idea at the time,” at least, not for long. The person had to have had a life changing event to inspire that level of devotion. So what was it? Were you rescued from certain death or worse by a servant of that deity (or the deity him/her/itself/themselves)? Perhaps you were in a bad place in your life and the church helped you leave that life behind. Did you lose a family member to monsters or strung out on demonic narcotics and a paladin of this deity was the only thing that kept you alive? What bad place were you in and how does this deity help change that in you?

2) What is Your Purpose?

For many religious people that find faith because of some great change, they feel they now have a purpose to their lives that they lacked before. What is that purpose? “Spreading the word of the deity,” is far too easy and generic of an answer. It would be specific and would relate directly to your old life before you began worshiping the deity. It is this purpose that propels you to wake up every morning, even when you are questioning your devotion to your deity. You remember what your life was like before and are determined at all costs to not return. You swore an oath and follow a strict code of conduct that keeps you on that purpose. That purpose can suddenly change your perspective in any situation. If you were addicted to drugs, you would be particularly merciful to someone you were after the moment you found out they are hooked on those same narcotics and even more wrathful if the person you are after sells those bits of false pleasure. If you purpose is to hunt down demons so no one else’s family need die and you were hunting down a nest of demon worshippers, you would only show mercy to those that were doing their bidding out of fear, not out of a desire for power. What drives you?

3) What About Yourself Do You Not Like?

You swore an oath and follow a strict code of conduct because you were in a bad place and do not want to return. The thing is, deep down you blame yourself for being in that bad place in the first place. If you didn’t blame yourself, you could have fought your way out of that situation and became a fighter or learned to see the right opportunity to escape it and became a rogue. Instead, you couldn’t adapt, couldn’t figure a way out, and needed rescued. Situations like this can make a person turn their anger at the situation inward and see the fault with themselves, making them not like some aspect of themselves.

Yet there is the purpose that let’s the person ignore that inner struggle, silencing it for a time while focusing on the work. As such those unresolved feelings fester inside and can make the paladin stumble. This is exactly why paladins have the ex-paladin sections in their class description, about breaking their oaths. Everyday for a paladin should be a constant struggle between the good person they want to be and the darkness that lurks inside. What is that darkness for you?

4) How did those you know respond to your change?

People don’t like change. You have changed yet your old friends and family have not. They are still in the same place they were before. Some people can handle that you are a different person now; others cannot. Some relationships should end, like those that helped you to get to your bad place. Others were unaware of how bad that place you were in truly was and do not understand what that change means to you. So when you start trying to help them in ways they do not want helped, it is not uncommon for people to abandon the changed person. Name three relationships that changed for your character. The first should be someone that helped get you to that bad place. The person can be evil but does not have to be. The second should be someone you were close to before but you are now estranged from. The third should be someone you casually knew before but are now close to after your change. All three of these people should be people your GM can use as NPCs to cause internal conflict, making the story more personal.

5) Why Do You Stay With Your Fellow Adventurers?

Let’s be honest, adventurers can be a rather unpredictable lot. They steal, fail to show proper respect for “worthy” deities or those that serve them, and can commit all manner of sacrilege, not because they are evil (necessarily) but because they are ill-informed of what they are doing. Is this why you stay with them? To help them see how they could be better? Or do you see the person you use to be before you went to your bad place and are trying to help them find a way to avoid the same fate? Is this simply a relationship of convenience, where they happen to be fighting the same evil you are? Or do you genuinely care for them and as a good and faithful friend you are sticking with them?

Corrakwak is a tengu paladin (sometimes preferring the term inquisitor) of the goddess Amanozako, bent on making sure that all are treated fairly. He despises those that go back on their word having once been left for dead by those that use to be his close friend. As such, Carrakwak has trouble making close friends now, but has learned to trust his fellow adventurers enough to know they will not cheat him. Now he fights for truth and justice with a vengeance.

Carrakwak is featured on the cover of the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium for Pathfinder, the Book of Heroic Races Player Races 1 for 5e and Book of Heroic Races Age of Races 2 for 13th Age. Download these today at the JBE Shop with the “holiday2017” coupon code until January 31st for your game to choice to get 30% off your order.

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Traveller: Ice Goliaths

Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium (MGT 1e)

Quite literally, the first writing I did for Traveller was making monsters. I wanted to make a small monster book useful to all Traveller GMs. That book helped Jon Brazer Enterprises become what it is today. While its beginnings are humble it is still a great monster books. Today, I would like to share with you an update to one of the monsters from that book: ice goliaths. Previously I shared the giant ant and the paskrin.

Ice Goliaths

These creatures of snow white fur blend into the landscape around them. Standing between three and four meters tall, ice goliaths appear vaguely humanoid but possess razor sharp claws and fangs. Additionally, they sport skin flaps under their arms which affords them greater jumping control and the ability to glide from cliffs or high trees.

Combat Tactics

Ice goliaths roam their territory and guard it from other predators. Searching their lands for signs of intruders, they watch from the tops of mountains, great trees, or any other high point in their territory. They prefer to jump on top of their competitors, knocking them down. When facing multiple targets, they hurl rocks from high above their foes, weakening them before a full frontal assault.

Stealth proves key to their hunting techniques. When they discover signs of intruders, they quietly work their way ahead and wait until the intruder walks within striking distance. Occasionally, ice goliaths knock over trees or cause rock slides to make a passage uninviting, diverting the intruders down a path of the ice goliath’s choosing. Once headed down the chosen path, the ice goliath uses the terrain to their advantage, trapping their prey inside.

Animal Hits Speed
Ice Goliath 33 8 m, Jump 6 m
Skills Athletics (strength) 2, Melee (bite, claws) 1, Recon 2, Stealth 1, Survival 1
Attacks Bite (2D), Claws (2D+1)
Traits Armour (+1), Camouflaged (snowy environments), Large (+1)
Behaviour Carnivore, Killer

Order your print copy and download Creatures of Distant Worlds today at JonBrazer.com and see what makes this book so great! You can also find it at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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5e/Pathfinder: 3 Steps to Start GMing

Deadly Delves: Along Came A Spider (PFRPG)

Being the game master is a rough business. There’s a ton of rules, you never know where the players are going to go, and no one knows how things are going to turn out. Despite this, there is a yearning inside you to be the one that is not just a player in the story but the one telling the story. So here are our hints and tricks to help get you started in this new year as the game master.

1) Know that Everything Will Be Alright

More than anything else I can tell you, knowing that everything will be alright is the most critical step to being a game master. You are not running a giant multinational corporation; you’re just setting the getting in front of your friends for one evening and telling a story. You can do that, and you’ll be fine afterwards.

Put it another way: what is the worst that could happen? Will your friends stop being friends if the game goes poorly? Absolutely not. Will you completely flop, proving to the world that you are not fit to play a character, let along be the GM? Definitely not. Will you start a spiral of suckatude so great that it will form a trans-dimensional vortex that pulls in all matter from the universe, collapsing all of space and time around us? No. Even Bob in Accounting didn’t do that his first time GMing (no offense to anyone named Bob that works in accounting).

So what will most likely happen? Well you do great at some aspects and others will need improvement, just like everyone else. Ask your gamers afterwards to tell you what you did good and what needs improved. They’ll tell you. The parts that need improved, try harder next time. You can do this.

2) Ask Someone Else to be Your Rules Arbitrator

It can be really intimidating to have to know all the rules for every corner case, because you know there’s one gamer at the table that will try to find some loophole to do something crazy. That is where a rules arbitrator comes in. Ask a player you trust at the table to be the one says, “I’m sorry, Mike, but that is not allowed,” so you don’t have to make that call. This way, you can focus on the story.

Now there’s the critical part of that, make a note on that rule question and after the game ask the rules arbitrator to show you exactly where that rule is and explain to you exactly what it means. Then read that rules and all the rules around it since you probably missed them as well. This will help you be a better GM.

3) Use a Pre-Published Adventure

This is exactly why adventures are written: to help new or busy GMs with the story they want to tell. For your first game or two, run them as is, so you can see how it goes. As time goes on, vary up the adventures some: vary up a few monsters, add an NPC to connect it to one of the characters’ backstory, change the reason they are going on this adventure. Make the adventure your own.

The place to start is with short adventures, not a long campaign book or a full adventure path. First find out if you like GMing. Once you get the bug and want to do it more and more, then look at those longer campaigns.

You can find our collection of adventures right here at JonBrazer.com. I recommend starting with Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider, available for both Pathfinder and Fifth Edition. It is a great 1st-level adventure to start off with involving a bunch of spiders taking over a town. If you like it, you can follow it up with Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven, also available for Pathfinder and Fifth Edition. You can get these adventures today for 30% off their regular price with the “holiday2017” coupon code. Download these today, and run your first game. Take your first steps into a whole new world.

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Happy Festivus and Merry Whatever

With the holidays upon us, get yourself something that you really want. Download the JBE book you have been wanting now through January 31, 2018 for 30% off your entire order at JonBrazer.com with the “holiday2017” coupon code.

From all of us at Jon Brazer Enterprises, have a safe and happy holiday.

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State of the Enterprise 2017

Good day everyone and welcome to the State of the Enterprise 2017.

Before I begin on I want to take a moment to thank everyone that helped make JBE the success it this year and in all the years proceeding. I want to thank my wife who does not want to be talked about much online who supports me in all I do. Thank you to my two editors Kevin and Richard and the many authors and artist whom make all the wonderful products you enjoy. Thank you to all the people at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the OpenGamingStore for selling and promoting our books, helping us to get our books into your hands. Thank you to Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Mongoose, and Pelgrane Press for letting us make gaming material for your games. Thank you to everyone that told your friends how awesome our books are. Lastly, thank you to our fans like you for all your support over the years and for sharing our passion. All this we do is for you and for the love of the game; thank you for being apart of that love.

Book of Heroic Races: Advanced CompendiumSo how have things gone for the past year and where are they going next year? First up, our accomplishments: we finally have a schedule that works for us. We have been releasing 1 product every month since Fall of 2016. This year proved that we can hold that schedule. Some are rather thick like the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium. Some were rather thin like the Book of Magic: 10 Warlock Invocations. Yet we still made it. Why is this a big deal? Because being regular and on time is huge part in showing those that are skeptical that we are reliable and approach our work seriously. Previously we tried releasing 1 product every two weeks, and we simply could not sustain that. Some months we did succeed in releasing 2 products. Those were frequently followed up by months without a single product. Just take a look at the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium. That book was supposed to take 1 year to get all the individual PDFs released. It took 2 years. While the quality of that book was well worth the additional time, it did show that we bit off more than we could chew. We learned from it and the next project like this we do, we will allocate our time better. Hooray for lessons learned!

Another major development with JBE is the creation of our own webstore. I decided it was long past time to invest in the website and gave it an upgrade, including a way to sell our books, both in print and PDF online. If you haven’t downloaded from us directly yet, I invite you to do so with the coupon code “holiday2017” to get 30% off. The coupon code expires on 31 January 2018. So be sure to do that today.

All in all, I have to say that it was a good year for the company. The worst thing that happened to us is that my computer died on me. Even though I had all the data backed up online, temporarily switching to an older system tends to impede workflow. A new computer has been ordered (Acer Aspire Tower with an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, Nvidia 1070, and 16 Gigs of RAM, for all you technophiles out there), but I do not have an estimate on its delivery date yet. With Christmas a week away, I would not be surprised if it arrived next year, but I can hope. My Skyrim and Witcher III games are about to get an upgrade. As we all know, however, even this can’t hold a candle to the graphics in our imaginations.

Traveller

Foreven Worlds: Rusted Fang StationTraveller remains our favorite science fiction game. It is quick and simple, allowing the GM to focus on the story rather than a bunch of mechanics. That really was what led to the creation of Foreven Worlds: Rusted Fang Station. This was meant for Traveller referees to have a location they could use and incorporate into their own games. Its a small station, meaning the players can take their time to get to know everyone aboard from commander to the maintenance staff. It is a place for legitimate business people can make deals that are on the edge of the law. We really liked this little piece and feedback on it has been great. Expect to see more locations like this in the future. I started working on the next one recently, a Zhodani domed city. “But how can the Zhodani be interesting with all their people mind altered into thinking everything is puppies and unicorns?” That is the exact question we are setting out to answer, and we hope to give you a new perspective on them. Look for that in 2018.

At the time of writing this blogpost the rewrite of the Prelude to War Adventure Path part 3 should be arriving at our door soon. Between edits, artwork, and layout, we are hoping to have it out in the summer. That is one thing we learned for future Adventure Paths: have all the adventures in hand and edited before the first is published. This way, we can release the issues one after the other in rapid succession with only the monthly break in between.

In years past, when I was bored or frustrated and infront of a computer, I would create a Pathfinder monster. In the last few months, I realized that that habit has been replaced by the creation of a Traveller vehicle. As a result, I have a nice little database of Traveller vehicle stats. Sure they all need a description and artwork, but one piece of a nice Traveller vehicle book is well on its way to being made. While such a book is not on the schedule at this point in time, I would not be surprised if it were not created at some point during 2018. Keep your eyes pealed.

13th Age

My feelings on 13th Age can best be summed up as the Little Game System that Could. It is not our best selling system, but it holds it’s own, and we are happy with it. I always expect Pathfinder and Fifth Edition to dominate sales because they have such a large player base, but because their base is so large they attract an overwhelming number of publishers, giving players more choices than they know what to do with. Smaller games like 13th Age and Traveller have far fewer publishers catering to the players of that game. So it is easier to get a player or GM’s attention.

Our first release for the year was a conversion of Pathfinder races to 13th Age, Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races 2. Giving players more choices in the races they play is something we have done for some time and are glad to do the same for this game. We may do another set of converted races (or even some new ones) next year, but I forsee us focusing on more products like our second release—13 Fighter Talent and Maneuvers. This short supplement is designed with one class in mind and expands players options, allowing a player to customize their character to the player’s unique vision. Supplements for the Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue classes are planned throughout the coming year.

Fifth Edition

In a number of ways, what happened with Pathfinder happened with 5e but on a much more accelerated pace. Two years ago when I released Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1, it quickly became a smash hit and one of our best selling products that year, if not our best selling product that year. It’s sequel, Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 2 released earlier this year, did not sell at the same pace. The reason for this is simple: increased competition. When Pathfinder was released the number of companies supporting it we’re few, but as time passed that number grew. The same has happened to Fifth Edition, but on a much quicker scale.

The solution to this situation is simple: distinguish yourself in a way your competitors cannot, essentially putting yourself in a market of one. We do have plans to do exactly this but they will not be ready in 2018. We are taking a long view with 5e and will be working to make something amazing for it, something you are going to want to grab the moment it is released and hug it and squeeze it and call it “George.” For next year we have a number of adventures and magic item supplements that GM’s will be sure to want to get their hands on. Who knows, we might even make some more monsters. We’ll see. Expect great things from us in 5e’s future.

Pathfinder

For obvious reasons, our best selling product of 2017 was the Big Book of Everything. Have everything bundled up for 90% off and it goes like hot cakes. It does, however, mark the beginning of the end of our Pathfinder support. We are still releasing high level adventures well into next year (and possibly beyond) because GM’s need the help and there are far too few adventures that go up that high. For them, we are glad to help. You can count on us next year.

The first two will be coming out rather quickly. Deadly Delves: 9 Lives for Petane was supposed to be out this month, but my computer dying required me to push it back a month. This 12th-level adventure written by Christen N Sowards of Lost Spheres Publishing has the players trying to figure out which body is the right one to bring back from the dead, and the stakes get worse as time goes on. Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream by Landon Winkler is a 16th-level adventure where the players are asked by a group of psychopomps to travel into the demiplane formed by a dead dragon. Both of these adventures are challenging and fun to boot. If you like running high level games, be sure to check these adventures out.

We do have one other product coming out next year that is not an adventure—the Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness. When we started designing what would become the Book of Heroic Races Advanced Compendium, we specifically excluded Occult Adventures and Ultimate Intrigue, despite both fans and authors asking to include material from them. We decided against it since we did not want tengu, catfolk, and other early released races excluded merely because of timing. Now that the Advanced Compendium is complete, we have the time and do right by all of the race and create rules for all these races with the classes found in these books plus Ultimate Wilderness, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Sword and Wizardry

With all the good news we have to report, there has to be some bad. Unfortunately, it is with Swords and Wizardry. We decided to convert over an adventure—Book of Heroic Races: Reign of Ruin—to this old school system to test the waters. I set a very low threshold of sales it would have to meet for us to continue to support it. Two months and a 4-Star review from Endzeitgeist later, and it did not make it a third of the way there. Should it get there we’ll talk about more releases, but for the time being all of our old school plans are on hold.

That is all the plans we are able to talk about at this point. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ and subscribe to our newsletter to stay current of more previews of upcoming and current products from us and see our regular blog posts through the week. Remember to use coupon code “holiday2017” to get 30% off at the JBE Shop.

Dale McCoy, Jr
Jon Brazer Enterprises

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5e: Bloodboar

Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods (5e)

I consider myself primarily a monster maker. Some specialize in new class options, adventures, magic items, or whatever. Me, I can just take a look at some piece of artwork and can just see all the ways it can tear a human to shreds, eat it alive, take over its mind, or a number of other bizarre desires it may have. This is why I write monster: it just comes to me. This also is why I share monsters every Wednesday with you. Previous 5e monsters I shared on this website include the draugr and the snapping skulls trap.

Today, I bring you a bloodboar. This relation of a pig is as large as a hill giant and as deadly as an ogre. They have a deadly charge and are downright terrifying. This is a monster worthy for the players to fight against. Pit your players against this monster today.

Bloodboar

Large beast, unaligned
Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 37 (5d10 + 10)
Speed 50 ft.
Str 16 (+3) Dex 11 (+0) Con 14 (+2)
Int 2 (–4) Wis 9 (–1) Cha 5 (–3)


Senses passive Perception 9
Languages
Challenge 2 (450 XP)


Charge. If the bloodboar moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a tusk attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 3 (1d6) slashing damage. If the target is standing on the ground, it must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
Relentless (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). If the boar takes 7 damage or less that would reduce it to 0 hit points, it is reduced to 1 hit point instead.
Actions


Tusk. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft.; one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) slashing damage. If the target is a living creature, it must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or have its speed reduced by half until the bloodboar’s next turn.
Battlesqueal (1/Day). A bloodboar can let out a loud squeal, calling all nearby boars to attack. All boars that can hear the bloodboar’s squeal gain advantage on their next attack.

The bloodboar is one of the many monsters in the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods. Download this book today at JonBrazer.com. You can also find it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

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Traveller: Defense Walker

Foreven Worlds: Alespron Subsector (Traveller)

Previous vehicle we shared (Zargrav X-72, Zaspa T-68 Skyhopper, Cyberpuma, and Hypercycle) were not combat vehicles. Today that changes. This military walker is created by the Confederation of Worlds (Die Weltbund). Warpride and other Confederation worlds use this defensive walker to repel invaders. They travel so slow that they need airlifted to the region they are needed. Once there, they can take serious punishment from its opposition and deal incredible damage to everything in their path.

Defense Walker

TL 10
Skill Drive (walker)
Agility +2
Speed (Cruise) Very Slow (Idle)
Range (Cruise) 300 (450)
Crew 1
Passengers 0
Cargo
Hull 60
Shipping 10 tons
Cost Cr. 2,285,825

Armour

Front 39
Rear 39
Sides 39

Details

Autopilot (skill level) +1
Communications (range) 50,000 km
Navigation (Navigation DM) +2
Sensors (Electronics [Sensors] DM) +1, 500 km
Camouflage (Recon DM) –2, 0.5 km
Stealth (Electronics [sensors] DM) –2

Weapons

Weapons Range Damage Magazine Mag Cost Traits
Gatling Lasers (2) 4 km 6D Auto 4

Traits/Equipment

Autopilot (Improved), Camouflage (Improved), Communications (Improved, Encrypted, Increased Range), Controls (Enhanced), Ejection Seat, Navigation (Improved), Sensors (Improved, Increased Range), Stealth (Improved)

The Defense Walker is produced by the Confederation of Worlds. Warpride is in the CoW and is one of the detailed worlds in Foreven Worlds: Alespron Subsector. Download this subsector at JonBrazer.com. You can also find it at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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5 Questions Every Rogue Should Be Able to Answer

Comparing a fighter with a rogue is a healthy exercise and helpful when trying to understand how these characters are fundamentally different. When in a fight, a fighter walks up to the thing and beats it down until it is dead while a rogue will look for the creature’s weak point and strike there. When trying to get something from a cave where a monster lies sleeping, a fighter will most likely wake it up with the clanging of its armor and then have to kill it before getting the treasure while a rogue will quietly sneak past it and just take it. When trying to talk their way into a room past a guard, a fighter will try to intimidate the guard into letting them pass while a rogue may intimidate but will more likely turn on the charm and convince the guard that they should already be in there. The common thread in all of them is that a rogue relies on looking for the opportunity, and that is where the heart of your character should lie.

To help you flesh out your character, we have 5 questions for you that you, as the player of the rogue should be able to answer through your character’s eyes. If you prefer to play a fighter, cleric, monk, or bard, we have 5 questions for them as well. So lets begin.

1) Why Did You Start Seeing the Opportunity in Every Situation?

Being a rogue doesn’t mean that you look for an opportunity; it means that you just see the opportunity in every situation. You were not born seeing the opportunity. This is a survival mechanism; you were made. So something had to happen over and over again, and you compensated by looking for ways to fight back. This happened so often that it comes to you as easily as breathing. So what was it? Did you grow up an orphan on the street and had to hide in order to avoid the bigger kids? Are you the scion of a noble and were constantly tricked by someone jealous of your station? Was one of your parents an abusive drunk that would beat you until you could find ways to keep the drunk from attacking before the beatings began? In short, something in your life was not pleasant for a long time and this is how you survived. What was it?

2) How Did You Escape that Bad Situation?

You’re an adventurer and are no longer in that bad situation. The story of how you got out of there is one that will hold considerable meaning to you as it will be your goto backup plan the moment the chips are down. Did you run away from your problem? This will probably mean that if the battle turns badly, you may well abandon your friends to get away. It will also mean that you take feats and other class choices that let you move faster and get away without taking attacks from your enemies. Did you finally confront that abusive parent and say, “No more!” If that were the case, you’d probably make character choices that let you attack before anyone else, striking hard with that first blow, ending the fight right away. It also means you would rush into battle faster than the fighter. Did you outsmart your jealous rival, tricking them as you were? This means you will rely on far less conventional tactics than most characters. Maybe you will use a net, whip, or other weapon that incurs some type of penalty onto your enemy. Your method of escape is a proven method of survival in your mind. What is it?

3) When Did You Fight Your Instincts and Trust Someone?

Trust is a difficult thing when you have been treated in some fashion that turns you into a rogue. However, those that do not trust lead very lonely lives. Sooner or later you have to take a chance and trust someone. Come up with three examples. Two of them should be good friends, even if you have moved on and have not talked to them in a long time. The third should be someone that let you down. It could be out and out betrayal, but it could also be something as ordinary as simple human failing. Remembering those that you trust is what keeps you trying to trust again. Feeling that pain of being let down should always temper that trust, keeping you from getting too close.

4) What Actions Will Make You Trust Again?

As mentioned previously, you don’t trust easily. To a rogue, actions speak louder than words. You have heard words over and over again and no longer trust them. “I won’t get drunk and hit again,” “I only want to help you, “I won’t tell anyone your secret.” It doesn’t matter. You’ve heard all the lies. So what does someone have to do to make you trust them? Is it someone that makes sure you get a fair share of the gold? Someone that stands up to a bully? Honesty no matter how much it hurts? What is it that will let you put your guard down to someone?

5) How Does Staying With Your Fellow Adventurers Benefit You?

While you will not sell out your fellow adventurers, you can walk away from them at any time. So why do you stick with them? There must be something in it for you? Money is the obvious answer. Going on adventures makes you rich. Yet you could find another group of adventurers. Why do you stick with this particular group? Do you trust one of them (or *gasp* all of them)? Are you doing it as a favor for someone that you want a favor from? Did someone you trust ask you? Or are you with them only for the moment and could leave when you get paid? Why are you still in this group?

Edward grew up a noble but renounced his birthright because of all the political games he had to play. He did run away, stealing to survive from that day forward. It was the Princess Yolanda that made him trust again. So when the King caught Edward and Yolanda together and he talked with them, Edward trusted the King as well. Now he adventures to prove himself worthy of the Princess’ hand and the King’s approval, trying to amend his past crimes.

Edward stands tall on the cover of Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven. Download this adventure for Pathfinder and Fifth Edition. Download these and all of our books today using coupon code “holiday2017” to get 30% off this and everything else at the JBE Shop now through January 31, 2018.

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Pathfinder: Aberrant Fruitcake

Ah, what a wonderful time of year it is. Holiday music is being promoted to us on our devices. Our family is bugging us to come over. So today, I thought I would top that off with everyone’s favorite holiday food: a fruitcake. This year, why not show the holidays how much you love these parts of it by sticking a sword right through it. It is so therapeutic to be able to do that from time to time.

Aberrant Fruitcake CR 5

XP 1,600
NE Medium aberration
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +8


Defense


AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 45 (7d8+14)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +6
DR 5/magic; Immune aging effects, negative energy damage


Offense


Speed 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +8 (1d4+3 plus grab), bite +8 (1d6+3)
Special Attacks pounce, sticky


Statistics

Str 16, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +5; CMB +8 (+10 drag, +12 grapple); CMD 20 (22 vs. drag, 24 vs. overrun, trip)
Feats Improved Drag, Power Attack (–2/+4), Toughness, Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +7, Perception +7, Stealth +7
Languages Undercommon (can’t speak)
SQ entropic preservation


Ecology


Environment cold forests and underground (Plane of Shadows)
Organization solitary or pack (2–5)
Treasure none


Special Abilities


Entropic Preservation (Su) An aberrant fruitcake is immune to all types of aging effects, whether natural or magical.
Sticky (Ex) A weapon that strikes an aberrant fruitcake is stuck fast by a strange adhesive unless the wielder succeeds on a DC 14 Strength check. An application of strong spirits thrown on the aberrant fruitcake reduces the DC of the Strength check to 10 for 1 round. An application of universal solvent will automatically dissolve the sticky fluid. An aberrant fruitcake can dissolve its adhesive at will. The DC is Constitution-based.

Download the Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide today at JonBrazer.com. Use the coupon code “holiday2017” and get 30% off this and everything else at the JBE Shop from now through January 31, 2018. Download today.

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13th Age Compatible: Unleash Fighter Talents and Maneuvers On Your Game

Fight With Your Own Style

Rush into battle! Take the impossible blow! Dare your enemies to face you! Fighters are the point of any adventuring group’s spear, and their fighting styles are as unique as they are. Now you can go beyond the core book and show off new fighting talents and maneuvers to define your character.

13 Fighter Talents and Maneuvers is the first in our 13 Class Options series for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game. Inside this 9-page PDF, you will find:

  • 4 New Fighter Talents, including First To Arms to claim the highest initiative and Taunt to draw the ire of an enemy
  • 5 Heroic Fighter Maneuvers, including options to daze an enemy upon a miss or deal ongoing damage
  • 2 Champion Fighter Maneuvers, including the ability to pin your enemy to a wall
  • 2 Epic Fighter Maneuvers, such as the ability to rain arrows down upon your enemies

Fight on your own terms and in your own way in the 13th Age.

Download 13 Fighter Talents and Maneuvers today at the JBE Shop. You can also find it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and the OpenGamingStore.