PF 1e: Necromancer’s Hammer

Book of Magic: Spell Codex 3

One of my favorite characters I ever played was Lyle, a halfling necromancer that hates undead. He excelled at taking down ability scores and using many unconventional spells to great effect. This would have been a spell he would have loved to use.

Necromancer’s hammer was originally in the Inner Sea Magic Player Companion and was named for a major necromancer in the setting. That is just one of the 26 books with all the spells within incorporated into the Book of Magic: Spell Codex 3. A total of 166 spells from various sources all in one place.

Download the Book of Magic: Spell Codex 3 at DriveThruRPG and coming soon to the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.

Necromancer’s Hammer

School necromancy; Level arcanist/sorcerer/wizard 4, spiritualist 4, witch 4

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, M (a leather glove coated in dried embalming herbs)

Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)

Effect sphere of undead remains composed of 3 or more destroyed undead

Duration 1 round/level

Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

When you cast this spell, you draw the remains of nearby destroyed undead together and fuse them into a mass of flesh and bone you can then hurl at any foes within range. Three corpses within range of the spell are required for the spell to function. Necromancer’s hammer can be directed to attack one foe within range per round as a move action. It uses your caster level as its base attack bonus, modified by your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier (whichever is highest). On a hit, the corpse hammer deals 1d6 points of damage per three caster levels (to a maximum of 6d6 points of damage).

Necromancer’s hammer also has secondary effects based on the nature of the three bodies you use to create it. If the majority used to create necromancer’s hammer (at least two) were skeletal, the jagged bits of bone cause the corpse hammer to deal slashing damage and increase necromancer’s hammer’s critical threat range to 19–20. On the other hand, if the majority were fleshy (at least two), the increased mass causes necromancer’s hammer to deal bludgeoning damage and increases its critical hit damage to ×3.

Undead that have been destroyed by positive energy or a similar effect that does not leave a corpse, like a disintegrate spell, cannot be used to form a necromancer’s hammer.

PF 1e: Spell Codex 3

Book of Magic: Spell Codex 3

The Collected Knowledge of a Hundred Spellcasters

Bringing together all the spells from over two dozen companion sources, the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 3 has something for everyone. These spells have been updated for clarity and expanded to cover classes introduced after their original publication. Gathered together for the first time, these spells will give your character the edge you’ve been looking for.

Within these 96 pages, the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 3 contains:

  • Nearly 170 spells for all 26 spellcasting classes. From wizard to bloodrager, cleric to paladin, psychic to medium, you’ll find spells for your character here.
  • New short descriptions, making it easy for you to discover and find that perfect spell.
  • Artwork to make this feel like a true spellcaster’s tome.
  • Two fully bookmarked PDFs include a spell-tome-inspired design and printer-friendly version.

With this essential compendium, your character will be prepared for the road ahead.

Download the Book of Magic: Spell Codex 3 at DriveThruRPG and coming soon to the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.

What Should JBE Publish For?

YOUR OPINIONS PLEASE.

I know JBE doesn’t do much these days but we’re still working on new projects, if slower than before. And the whole OGL mess may work itself out. However, I am starting to think of worst case scenarios. Specifically what system should I switch to if needed. The top 3 contenders on my opinion at the moment are:

  • Savage Worlds
  • Cypher System
  • Apocalypse World/Blade in the Dark type games.

What do you think? Do you know and enjoy any of these? Do you have any other suggestions? Share your thoughts. We want to hear them.

An Open Letter to Wizards of the Coast Concerning the Leaked OGL 1.1

Dear Wizards of the Coast,

As small publishers and individual creators who create considerable content under the OGL 1.0a, we the undersigned call upon you to reverse course in regards to the leaked, alleged text of OGL 1.1. As the leader of the tabletop roleplaying game industry, your direction guides us all. We believe that this new version of the OGL will hurt both us and, by extension, you, and we ask that you hear our concerns.

The OGL has created a symbiotic relationship between small publishers and yourself. Thanks to the environment fostered by the OGL, many new and inexperienced authors, editors, artists, and other creative persons start out in the industry working for small publishers before going on to work for larger publishers, with a lucky few moving on to work for you. For over twenty years, Wizards of the Coast has benefitted from the OGL by being able to hire professionals—both freelance and full-time staff—who got their start working for small publishers. For this transfer of talent to continue, the relationship between Wizards of the Coast and other publishers both large and small, must remain beneficial both to us and to you, rather than a one-sided deal in which the powerful lord their might over other players in the industry.

We celebrate what you have accomplished with the Dungeon Masters Guild, which provides mutual benefits both for small creators, who get to work with your rich intellectual property, and for you, who in turn can consider the use of their content and, of course, share in their revenue. Meanwhile, the Open Gaming License allows for system-level congruency, creating a more user-friendly experience than what can be functionally done through existing copyright law, while granting creators more freedom in what they produce in exchange for not working with your Product Identity. Both of these separately help to create a symbiotic relationship between you and small publishers according to the needs of individual publishers that provides you with a growing pool of hireable talent and better access to content to enrich your own products.

However, we do not find the terms of the leaked version of the OGL 1.1 tolerable. We cannot agree to it, and we fully believe that you would not agree to such terms were you in our position. The proposed terms threaten to break the symbiotic relationship between you and us fostered by the OGL 1.0a and platforms like the Dungeon Masters Guild by restricting the freedom small publishers have to work within the industry according to the needs of their business. Even those who agree to the proposed license would live in fear of having potentially years’ worth of work upended by a sudden change in the terms of the agreement, as opposed to the environment of stability provided by the perpetual license of the original OGL. Many small publishers would thus be better served working with other systems with more agreeable licenses or creating systems of their own, which would diminish the pool of talent created by the symbiotic relationship otherwise fostered by the OGL 1.0a.

Furthermore, because your proposed changes to the OGL require waiver of a publisher’s right to sue over your decisions regarding OGL 1.1, small publishers in particular who agree to the new license would be forced to operate under fear of a lawsuit from you without the possibility of raising legitimate grievances with you in court, something already inherently difficult for small publishers due to a lack of resources. This again discourages publishers smaller than yourself from accepting the new license, as the risks inherent in doing so far outweigh any potential benefits to our businesses.

The civil court system is the reason why the United States lacks blood feuds of tribalistic camps. By asking us to give up even the possibility of resolving grievances through that system no matter how long the odds, you are instead requiring us to resolve our grievances in the court of public opinion, encouraging tribalism and division in the gaming community.

Not only is this antithetical to a symbiotic relationship, but it is also un-American. It splits the adventuring party the OGL has cultivated for over twenty years.

We ask that you reconsider the license. We are more than happy to discuss the license in order to reach terms amicable to both small publishers and you—hopefully, terms that will encourage our continued symbiotic relationship.

Sincerely,

Dale C. McCoy, Jr, President of Jon Brazer Enterprises, LLC

Jason Nelson, CEO of Legendary Games

Christen N. Sowards, Lost Spheres Publishing

Omer Golan-Joel, Owner, Stellagama Publishing

Keith Davies, Owner, Echelon Game Design

John Watts, President/Owner, Independence Games

Jeff M. Hopper, President/Owner, Studio Cat

John Reyst, Owner, Open Gaming Network & d20pfsrd.com Publishing

Steven Trustrum, Misfit Studios

Paul Elliott, Owner, Zozer Games

Jonathan M. Thompson, Owner/President, Battlefield Press International, LLC

Erik Evjen, Owner, IGRE Publishing

Kevin Glusing, Lead RPG Designer/Partner – Samurai Sheepdog

David Flor, President, Darklight Interactive

David Silver, CEO, Silver Games LLC

Adam Meyers, Owner, Drop Dead Studios LLC

Rob Hoffman, President, Valor Infinity Studios, LLC.

Anthony Hunter, Owner of Sleeping Griffon Productions

JP Chapleau, Owner, First Ones Entertainment (FOE)

Michael McNeill, owner, Production Platform 3 Toys

Pedro Barrenechea, rules developer, Paradigm Concepts LLC

Michael Brown, Freelance writer/designer

Michael Johnson, Freelance writer and designer

Bill Bodden, Freelance writer/designer

Robert N. Emerson, Freelance Designer and Developer

Robert W. Thomson, Freelance Writer/Designer and Owner/GM of Marching Order, LLC

George E. Williams, IV aka Loki, Freelance Writer/Designer

Michael ‘Azmyth’ Azzolino – Freelance writer/designer | Professional Game Master

Alyssa Faden, Cartographer

PF 1e: 20 New Arcanists Just Waiting for your Game

Book of Beasts: Arcanist Codex
Cover image by Enmanuel Lema Martinez

Full Eldritch Might at the Power of Your Fingertips

Looking for your next big bad? Does the evil overlord need a spellcaster advisor to carry out their bidding? How about a ready-made spellcaster to fight alongside the characters? The Book of Beasts: Arcanist Codex has the solutions you need, arming Game Masters of the First Edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game with the following:

  • 20 ready-made arcanist characters, one for each level of play
  • Tactical combat recommendations for every character, helping you to quickly and effectively run the NPC in a fight
  • Personalities and details to give you ideas on how to use the characters both in combat and in roleplaying interactions

Populate Your Campaign With the Exact Character You Need!

Download today at DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.

PF 1e: Short-Circuited Android

Book of Beasts: Arcanist Codex
Cover image by Enmanuel Lema Martinez

Last month, we shared with you the Appreciate Spellcaster, the first preview of the upcoming Book of Beasts: Arcanist Codex. Now we are sharing with you the next preview for that book.

Like other entries in the Character Codex Subscription, ten of the races come from the core rulebook and ten others come from other Paizo-published books. This one is from the latter group. An android makes a strong arcanist. With a bonus to Intelligence and Dexterity, two of the most used ability scores get a boost. Just check out the character below to see this NPC.

Be sure to subscribe to the Book of Beasts: Character Codex to get the Arcanist Codex as soon as it is finished, before it is available to everyone else. Subscribe today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Short-Circuited Android CR 4

XP 1,200
Android B5 arcanist 5
CE Medium humanoid (android)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +6


Defense


AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 30 (5d6+10)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +4; +4 vs. mind-affecting, paralysis, poison, and stun
Defensive Abilities constructed; Immune disease, emotion, exhaustion, fatigue, fear, sleep


Offense


Speed 30 ft.
Melee touch +2 touch (as per spell)
Ranged ray +5 touch (as per spell)
Special Attacks arcane reservoir (5/8), arcanist exploits (metamagic knowledge, metamixing, potent magic), consume spells
Arcanist Spells Prepared (CL 5th; concentration +9)
2nd (4/day)—disfiguring touch UM (DC 16), ghoul touch (DC 16), sonic scream ACG (DC 16)
1st (5/day)—mage armor, ray of enfeeblement (DC 15), shocking grasp, touch of gracelessness APG (DC 15)
0 (at will)—bleed (DC 14), detect magic, disrupt undead, mage hand, ray of frost, touch of fatigue (DC 14)


Tactics


Before Combat The arcanist casts mage armor at the start of the day.
During Combat The arcanist spends their arcane reservoir to add Reach Spell to touch spells and increase the DC of spells.
Base Statistics Without mage armor, the arcanist has the following statistics: AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex)


Statistics


Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 8, Cha 12
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Combat Casting, Expanded Preparation ACG, Reach Spell APG, Weapon Focus (ray)
Skills Knowledge (arcana, planes, religion) +12, Perception +6, Spellcraft +12, Stealth +7; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, –4 Sense Motive
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Dark Folk, Undercommon
SQ emotionless, exceptional senses, nanite surge
Combat Gear anatomy doll UE, potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of heroism, potion of lesser restoration; Other Gear cloak of resistance +1, spell component pouch, spellbook which includes all 0-level spells and all prepared spells plus 2nd—detect thoughts, 1st—burning hands, repair undead, shield, summon minor monster, true strike, vanish, wave shield, 95 gp

D&D 5e: Unleash New Weapons on Your Spelljammer Game

Spelljammer: Ship Weapon Upgrades (5e)
Spelljammer: Ship Weapon Upgrades (5e)

Upgrade Your Ship Weapons

Not every ship should have stock weapons. Crews that have been sailing wildspace long enough should have better, more powerful weapons. Give your players exciting new ship weapons by going beyond the basics with Spelljammer: Ship Weapon Upgrades.

Inside this 5-page PDF, you will find:

  • Six new weapons to bring to bear against your enemies
  • Three new ballista bolts to change up your tactics
  • Three new mangonel shots to spread mayhem on enemy ships.

Fire something creative and unload upon your enemies!

Download Spelljammer: Ship Weapon Upgrades today at the DMs Guild.

3 Suggestions to Not Do Another Orphan

Orphans are such a common part of our inspiring fiction for role playing games that having the people that raised your character present throughout one’s childhood and still alive is almost a rarity. Spiderman, Batman, Superman, the Skywalker twins, Harry Potter, Frodo, the list goes on and on. I have seen this over and over again in roleplaying games. Heck, my wife once played in a Star Wars game where everyone was an orphan in some form or another. If you want to try a similar type of character yet a different take on the idea, we’ve got three suggestions for you.

1) Losing a Child

This is a scenario so terrible that there is no word for one who suffers such a loss in the English language. For the former-parent, trying to recover from the loss of a child can drive one to wander and take out their unresolved issues on those harming others. Obviously, this means your character is older, but older gamers can more easily identify with the loss of a child than a young person losing a parent.

2) Divorce/Divorcing Parents

Instead of losing someone to death, how about the lost of the life that is known. Whether your character is getting divorced or their parents are splitting up, this still represents a significant change in the character’s life that they may not want to be around to see what happens. This has the added bonus of the living family still playing a part in the overall campaign.

3) Fulfilling an Oath for a Lost Loved One

This one being a more serious blog post, I thought I’d end in a positive note. And no, I don’t mean swearing vengeance upon those that killed one’s family. I mean sometimes like, delivering a loved one’s ashes to the top of a particular mountain or carrying a message of forgiveness to someone the person is estranged from. Is your character tasked with being the bearer of an ancient gift to bring peace between different groups, now that the cause of the fighting is now gone? This combines loss with a mission.

Check out all of our character options for your D&D, Pathfinder, and other games at DriveThruRPG, Amazon, and the Open Gaming Store.

One D&D: Decoupling Races from Abilities

Dwarves are better at Wisdom, making them better at spotting danger and solid clerics. Halflings are better at Charisma, making them better sorcerers.

In the first One D&D playtest doc, races possessed no ability score bonuses or penalties. At the end of the day, I like it and hate it for the exact same reason. But before I begin, let me just say again that the term “race” needs to go away. It is an imprecise term that is problematic for some players. There is no good reason to keep it. Change “race” to something else.

Back to races not having ability score bonuses or penalties. At the end of the day, not having these two tied together means more character options. If you want to play a gnome wrestler, you can. Want I play an orc wizard, you bet. Bard dwarf specializing in dance? You got it. More character options are generally a good thing.

Here’s the downside: characters start to feel the same, fast. That gnome is as strong as a human. An elf is as strong as a human. That orc is as smart as an elf or a human or a dwarf, or tiefling, and so on. At that point, you might as well drop a bunch of “racial abilities” in a bunch of pages and let people make up their own. And that is more or less what happened with the half races.

Races should have an impact. We all get how races give us normal vision or darkvision. The same is true with some other abilities. But that should include some ability score bumps. Racial ability score bonuses help reinforce the flavor of the race.

My proposal: races should receive a single static bonus (except humans which get to choose theirs), and backgrounds should have a single bonus. This means the net result is still two bonuses while helping to reinforce the identity of the various races.

See all of JBE’s 5e products at DriveThruRPG today.

EDIT: I’m currently playing in a 1e game and forgot that 5e lacks racial penalties. I changed the article to remove any mention of racial penalties.

Spelljammer 5e: Kobold Flame Cannon

Spelljammer: Ship Weapon Upgrades (5e)
Spelljammer: Ship Weapon Upgrades (5e)

We are JBE have decided to try our hand at the DMs Guild. Specifically, I’m writing for Spelljammer because I’m enjoying the game I’m in right now. Sure, I’ve thought of giving the DMs Guild a try before, but I could never find the right product idea. For Spelljammer, we had a great idea.

Our first title will be a short test product: Spelljammer: Ship Weapon Upgrades. This book has a number of ship weapons you can replace your standard ballista and mangonel with. While it is nowhere stated that kobolds are in Spelljammer, I have a hard time believing those wonderful, honorable, scaly engineers haven’t made it there. So this is the weapon they’d create for their ships. Either that or they’d just sell them.

We hope you enjoy this first preview. Check out all our 5e products at DriveThruRPG.

Kobold Flame Cannon (Crew: 4)

When kobolds went to the wildspace, they wanted to take dragon fire with them. So they created flame cannons. Unfortunately, those cannons tend to explode.

Armor Class: 13
Hit Points: 20
Cost: 30 gp (kobold flame cannon), 1 gp (tarball)
It takes 2 actions to load a kobold flame cannon, 1 action to aim it, and 1 action to fire it.
Flaming tarball. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 40/160 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d10) bludgeoning damage and 7 (2d6) fire damage. On a critical hit, the fire damage is persistent. On a critical failure, the cannon explodes, dealing 7 (2d6) fire damage to the weapon’s operating crew that fail a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw.