PF 1e: Panlong

Earlier this week, we shared the PF 2e version of the Panlong. Today we are sharing with you the 1e version. We hope you enjoy it.

Download all our Pathfinder 1e titles today at DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.

Panlong CR 12

XP 19,200
CN Gargantuan Outsider (elemental, extraplanar, water)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +24


Defenses


AC 25, touch 11, flat-footed 20 (+5 Dex, +14 natural, –4 size)
hp 136 (16d10+48); regeneration 20 (fire or not touching water)
Fort +13, Ref +15, Will +10
Immune cold, elemental traits


Offense


Speed 10 ft., swim 50 ft.; swimming glide
Melee 2 water slams +20 (2d6+8/19–20 plus 2d6 cold)
Special Attacks breath weapon (40-ft. cone, DC 21, 7d6 cold)


Statistics


Str 26, Dex 20, Con 17, Int 8, Wis 21, Cha 7
Base Atk +16; CMB +28; CMD 43 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Improved Critical (water slam), Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack (–5/+10), Tiring Critical
Skills Acrobatics +24, Escape Artist +24, Perception +24, Stealth +12 (+24 when underwater), Swim +35; Racial Modifiers +12 Stealth with underwater
Languages Aquan


Ecology


Environment any (Plane of Water)
Organization solitary, pair
Treasure none


Special Abilities


Swimming Glide (Ex) When swimming underwater, the panlong ignored difficult terrain and gain a +1 dodge bonus to avoid attacks of opportunity.

3 Things to Remember During the One D&D Playtest

As one who has seen many edition changes and been a veteran of a few edition wars, I have seen much, argued with many, and witnessed the result of all that effort. So in an effort to have a much smoother transition this time around, I have three things that everyone should keep in mind going forward.

1) Those That Disagree With You Are Not Your Enemy

I cannot stress this one enough. Anyone that disagrees with you is not your enemy. Treat them like you would another gamer at your table. Be nice to them. Show them the same respect that you would like to be treated with. Their opinions are formed from a culmination of their experiences, just like yours are. If someone wants something different out of D&D than you do, that’s ok. They are entitled to their opinion. Maybe the final result will be something closer to what you want; maybe it will be closer to what they want. Heck, maybe the designers will go with something totally different. We don’t know. But treating someone as the enemy can have rather hurtful consequences on real people. All concerning a pretend world. Keep that in mind when discussing the playtest on the internet.

This goes double for the way you treat employees of game companies, such as Wizards of the Coast. These are people that make an awesome game. The last thing any of us should want to do is to stifle their creativity by treating them poorly. In a world where doxxing, Gamergate, and far worse are realities, this needs to be said and kept in mind by everyone. Treat everyone like you treat your fellow gamers at your table.

2) The Playtest Version Will Be Different Than the Final Version

The playtest version is going to introduce some new and exciting concepts to the game. Some of these will absolutely work as is or need slightly tweaked before they are added to the game. Others will be great ideas that just don’t have the right feel. This is a normal and natural part of the playtest process. Express your opinions in the various surveys and online forums without hurtful language or treating anyone poorly. Again, others are not your enemy. If enough people agree with your point of view, changes will be made. The playtest version you have in front of you may be changed in a month. So keep a longer-term viewpoint in mind.

3) You Probably Won’t Like Every Change

The final version will be a mix of excellent and frustrating. Unfortunately, no two people will agree on what is excellent and what is frustrating. Myself, I feel that 5e spellcasters have too few spells. Others will argue they have an excessive number of spells. Some want more choices in their subclasses. Others want subclasses eliminated. However, I am confident that the final result will be fun for many, many people. If you find that you are not one of those people that enjoy the new edition, you still have all your 5e books, and you can keep playing that edition.

See all of JBE’s supplements at DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Amazon.

PF 2e: Panlong

I really can’t help myself from making monsters, especially when it comes to the amazing art of Gary Dupuis. Take today’s monster, for example. Putting yourself in the shoes of the person in the foreground, you can’t help but feel tiny in comparison. We hope that this monster works in your game.

Download all our Pathfinder 2e titles today at DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.

Panlong Creature 12

Rare CN Gargantuan Elemental Cold Water
Perception +19; darkvision, water sense
Languages Aquan
Skills Acrobatics +25, Athletics +22 (Swim +28); Stealth +20
Str +7, Dex +8, Con +5, Int –1, Wis +4, Cha –2
Water Sense The panlong has imprecise tremorsense to detect the vibrations of creatures touching the same body of water within 120 feet.


AC 32; Fort +22, Ref +27, Will +16
HP 218, regeneration 30 (fire or not touching water); Immunities bleed, cold, paralyzed, poison, sleep
Water Redirect R Trigger A ranged attack on the panlong is hit by an attack, the panlong can see the attacker, and a +2 circumstance bonus to AC would turn the critical hit into a hit or a hit into a miss. Effect The watery body of the panlong flows out of the way, granting a +2 circumstance bonus to its Armor Class against the triggering attack. This turns the triggering critical hit into a hit, or the triggering hit into a miss.


Speed 10 feet, swim 50 feet; gliding swim
Melee 1 water claws +24 (agile, cold, magical reach 10 feet), Damage 2d8+7 bludgeoning plus 1d8+5 cold
Crushing Wave 3 (cold, primal); The panlong crashes down on all targets in an adjacent 20-foot-by-20-foot area, dealing 5d8 cold damage (DC 29 basic Fortitude save). Creatures that fail the saving throw are also knocked prone and slowed 2.
Gliding Swim When swimming underwater, the panlong ignores difficult terrain and gain a +2 circumstance bonus to avoid attacks of opportunity.
Hydroblast 2 (cold, primal); The panlong sprays a blast of freezing cold water that deals 13d6 cold damage in a 50-foot cone (DC 29 basic Fortitude save). Creatures that fail the saving throw are also slowed 1 until the start of their next turn. It can’t use hydroblast again for 1d4 rounds.

One DnD: What Does Compatible Mean?

Image by Dionisis Milonas

Lately, we’ve been talking about One D&D and analyzing both what is inside and what it means for the whole of the gaming community. Previously, I shared my first impressions, discussed the races, and talked about why I believe the OGL will be going away after the new edition launches. Today we’re talking about One D&D’s promise of compatibility and what it might look like.

When someone says a gaming product is compatible with another, my default assumption is that you can use that product with something else without a hiccup. This is the flavor of compatibility another publisher strives for when making products for another’s game, such as my own company. This kind of compatibility is best for a single edition of a game. All parts are designed to work together with a minimum of issues. If customers experience issues with a “compatible product” they start to associate the company that produced the product with negative feelings, which never helps sales. A seamless product is what I call 100% compatibility.

All of those assumptions go out the window when you are talking about a different edition from the same company. When you are talking about a new edition, your biggest competition is your own past products. Wizards has to show that the new edition is superior while being familiar. That is a very delicate tightrope to walk. Here, being slightly different—or 90% compatible, as I think of it—has real advantages for the company producing the game. By being highly recognizable, using the same basic game engine with some tweaks, means that customers are familiar with it so there is less of a sense of having to learn a whole new game. This means the hurdle of selling a different game to the same customers is easier to pass. But by saying that the more problematic areas of the game have been smoothed over demonstrates its superiority. These are the hurdles the new edition has to meet.

From this level of compatibility, you can expect to use monster books and adventures with little difficulty. Some of the skills may be changed, expanded, or consolidated, or some numbers are tweeked. Maybe a Con skill of Endurance will be added. Maybe Nature will be changed to Primal. Maybe Athletics and Acrobatics will be consolidated. Maybe the proficiency bonus will be changed from +2 through +6 to +1 through +5. Who knows. Either way, you know that you can just look at the book and still use it, even if you have to make some minor changes. As such, selling the new edition becomes a matter of convenience more than anything else. It uses all the new skills and the new numbers without an issue. This is the level of compatibility of D&D 3.0 and 3.5.

At an 80% compatibility level, you start to add new systems to the game. Maybe the game adds a way for all characters (not just those with certain class abilities) to just pick up some sand and throw it in the monster’s eyes to blind them for a round or to use a flying kick to knock someone prone. Here, you can still look at the monster stat blocks and use it, but you are going to be missing some key details. The differences will be noticible. Also, this is where customers start to have a valid argument that the new edition is not as compatible as they were promised while still being very familiar. This is the level of compatibility of D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder 1e.

Anything below 80% compatibility is what I call “flavor compatible.” Here, you can use the plot of the adventure or the description of the location but not much else. This is the level of compatibility between D&D 1e and 3e and 4e; from a system point of view, they are not compatible at all. However, you can still use the same adventures, as long as you have the current monster book and take the time to change over the traps and anything other bit of system used.

Where do I expect Wizards to go with 6e? Well, I believe Wizards learned their mistake with 4e to not remake a popular system from the ground up, and the first playtest document is largely similar to the current edition. So I would expect to see something between 80-90% compatibility during the playtest and something very close to 90% compatible as a final version. It is far easier to decide some change went too far and pull it back than it is to determine that you did not go far enough.

So do not worry about the change in edition. I expect it will be a good process with a solid final version when it is done.

See all of JBE’s supplements at DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Amazon.

5e: Baby Space Whale

So I’m enjoying the new campaign setting. I want to jam some spells sometime. I love these old campaign settings. They do not get nearly enough love. I’m looking forward to scaping the planes next year as well. But I digress.

So I created a baby space whale. I mean why have the adult space whales and not the baby ones. So anyways, I hope you enjoy them.

Check out all our 5e products at DriveThruRPG.

Baby Space Whales

Huge celestial, unaligned
Armor Class 10 (natural armor)
Hit Points 133 (14d12 + 42)
Speed  0 ft., fly 50 ft.


STR 22 (+6) DEX 8 (–1) CON 16 (+3)
INT 5 (–3) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 6 (–2) 


Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2


Spaceborn. Baby space whales do not eat, drink, or breathe.


Actions

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d6 + 6) bludgeoning damage.
Flaring Light (Recharge 6). The baby space whale emits light from its head. All creatures within 60 feet must succeed a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or have disadvantage to all attack rolls or skill checks until the end of the baby space whale’s next turn. A successful save means the creature is immune to this ability for 24 hours.

3 Things You Can Do to Help Your Favorite Small Publisher

When it comes to being a small publisher, you love every single one of your fans. They are devoted people who love what you make, and their words of encouragement mean the world to you. Some people want to go a step further and help their favorite small publisher thrive. They always want to know what they can do to help keep the publisher going. I never feel that a social media post is a good place to really talk about it. So I decided to write a blog post on the topic. Here are 3 things you can do to help your favorite small publisher. And these are true whether JBE is one of your favorite small publishers or it is someone else. I guarantee you that no matter what small publisher they are, they will appreciate you doing these.

1) Tell Your Friends

Far and away, the best thing you can do to help is to talk about us to your friends. One conversation with your friends where you say that this spell from this book or this character option from this PDF from “one of my favorite publishers” means so much more than all the advertising dollars and Facebook posts in the world. Your words to your friends are really invaluable. I really can’t stress this one enough. It really does make a huge difference.

2) Social Media

The algorithms on social media promote engaged posts. So if you see your favorite publisher post something, like it, heart it, give it an upvote, etc. If it is Facebook, don’t just like it; give it a heart, a wow, or one of the other likes. These tell the algorithms that this post is better than a basic like and will help it go further. And definitely comment. Comments help social media posts go much further. If there’s a new product or a sale, share the post to your own page and tag your friends who might also like it.

3) Join Their Mailing List

DriveThruRPG’s Mailing List

Whether you are joining the mailing list of the company itself (like you can do right here for JBE) or letting them send you emails through DriveThruRPG. Our DriveThruRPG email list is the best way to stay connected with the company if you want to stay informed about new products or sales of current products. In contrast, the company mailing list is the best way to keep current about anything the company is doing in general. Signing up for either will help the publisher engage with you.

Another thing that really helps us is if you buy our products. Order or download our products at DriveThruRPG, Amazon, the Open Gaming Store, or Paizo.

One DnD: OGL Going Away in 6e

Last week, I posted my initial reaction to the One D&D Announcement. In it, I said that I believe that the OGL is going away. I’ve gotten a few questions on why I believe that to be the case. So instead of repeating them over and over again, I’m sharing them here. But first, some history.

Why Was the OGL a Success?

The Open Gaming License (or OGL) was created as a way for fans and businesses to be able to create their own products that can be used with D&D 3e without fear of being sued over. That fear was legitimate since TSR did exactly that. Because of that, gamers saw 3e as their edition, one where they could create their own material and share it with the world. Not only that, the OGL opened a great pathway for publishers to create their own material that gamers could buy. This material frequently filled niches that Wizards felt were not profitable enough to explore themselves. Want an all-animal race setting? There’s an OGL product for that. Want a super-high-level adventure? There’s an OGL product for that. Want your game to be more like a superhero comic book? There’s an OGL product for that.

Wizards benefited from this. The OGL increased core book sales because the core book was still required to play the game, no matter how far from a standard D&D game they ventured. Many of their past and current designers cut their teeth by creating OGL products. It was a great proving ground for creators.

Why Do I Believe the OGL Will Go Away in D&D 6e?

Wizards never liked the Open Gaming License, even in the 3rd edition era when they introduced it. It was work for them that never directly made them money. All the reasons I mentioned above about benefits to Wizards, none of those arguments have a direct dollar sign next to it saying, “the OGL brought us this much money.” So there is no business reason to maintain it.

Additionally, Wizards felt they had no control over it. The Book of Erotic Fantasy soured what little goodwill they still had towards it; their game was associated with something they felt was not up to “community standards.” Sure the d20 logo was pulled from that book, but it was still a blemish the OGL never recovered from in their minds.

Wizards tried replacing the OGL with the GSL (or Game System License) in the 4e days, which turned out disastrous. The license was obviously inferior, more restrictive, and felt mean-spirited like they knew they had to put out some license, and this was all they were willing to do. 4e was not your edition; it was theirs. They had taken their ball and went home. 4e was given a black eye for abandoning a license that was far more restrictive and could end at any time. In fact, that license did end with a forum post on a website not owned by Wizards.

So after 5e was released, Wizards released an OGL version at the same time as launching the DMs Guild. The DMs Guild made D&D a fan’s edition again. It offers a way to write in-setting content—something the OGL never had—in exchange for more control over what was being produced. Most importantly, however, it added a very definite line in Wizards’ budget saying that this license directly made them so much money. And it has been exceptionally profitable for them.

Take Monster Manual Expanded III, for example. That book regularly costs $35. For the sake of argument, say Wizard’s cut is 20% (I don’t know if it is exactly this, but it is in the ballpark). That means Wizards makes $7/book. It has sold over 5000 copies. So they probably netted $35,000 off a book they spent absolutely nothing to create or promote. And that is one book. I should note that that number may very well be lower due to sales and similar, but it could be higher since we have no idea how many beyond 5,000 copies were sold to date.

The OGL has never had that. No OGL book directly made Wizards any money. Not only that, the majority of the hit 5e products are DMs Guild instead of OGL products. I mean, why look for an OGL product to use in your Forgotten Realms game when you can just get a DMs Guild product already in the FR? On top of that, DMs Guild products have a stronger sense of legitimacy than OGL products ever possessed.

So if Wizards maintains the DMs Guild for 6e and just says, “The OGL is coming,” and it never materializes, it is not something that the fan base will reject the new edition over.

Check out our OGL 5e products at DriveThruRPG.

PF2: Corrupted Spider

I mentioned in the PF 1e version of the Corrupted Spider that I have not made monsters in quite some time. So that is something I’m going to try to do for a while: make PF 1e and 2e versions of the same monster. This monster is obviously based on the hunting spider, but I increased the challenge rating and themed it to be more demonic. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Download all our PF 2e products at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Corrupted Spider Creature 4

Uncommon CE Large Fiend
Perception +11; darkvision, web sense
Skills Acrobatics +10, Athletics +12 (+15 to Climb), Stealth +10 (+12 in web)
Str +5, Dex +6, Con +4, Int –5, Wis +3, Cha –4
Web Sense The corrupted spider has imprecise tremorsense to detect the vibrations of creatures touching its web.


AC 20; Fort +11, Ref +14, Will +8
HP 60; Weaknesses cold iron 5, good 5
Spring Upon Prey [Reaction] (attack); Requirement Initiative has not yet been rolled. Trigger A creature touches the corrupted spider’s web while the spider is on it. Effect The corrupted spider automatically notices the creature and Strides, Climbs, or Descends on a Web before it rolls initiative.


Speed 25 feet, climb 25 feet
Melee 1 bite +12 (agile, evil, finesse, poison), Damage 2d6+5 piercing plus corrupted spider venom
Ranged 1 web +12 (range increment 30 feet), Effect web trap
Corrupted Spider Venom (poison); Saving Throw Fortitude DC 20; Maximum Duration 6 rounds; Stage 1 1d6 poison and flat-footed (1 round); Stage 2 2d6 poison, enfeebled 1, and flat-footed (1 round); Stage 3 2d6 poison, enfeebled 2, and flat-footed (1 round).
Descend on a Web 1 (move) The corrupted spider moves straight down up to 40 feet, suspended by a web line. It can hang from the web or drop off. The distance it Descends on a Web doesn’t count for falling damage. A creature that successfully Strikes the web (AC 22, Hardness 4, 6 HP) severs it, causing the spider to fall.
Web Trap A creature hit by the corrupted spider’s web attack is immobilized and stuck to the nearest surface until it Escapes (DC 22).

The overwhelming majority of creatures that find their way to the Abyss end up either ripped apart by demons or other denizens for pure enjoyment. Those that not only survive but thrive in this environment for generation after generation end up changed by it, becoming one of the horrors of this dreadful place. Vermin are most often the creatures that undergo this change with spiders being the undisputed masters of being foul creatures that survive this change. 

While they are no smarter than their mundane counterparts, corrupted spiders are larger, stronger, and more deadly than those found on the Material Plane. Even worse, they gained some of the protections that the creatures native to this plane possess. Generations of these creatures feasting upon demons will impart their natural biology upon them. They still remember their taste for humanoid flesh and will ensnare such prey at their first opportunity.

One D&D: Talking Races

I talked a bit last week about my Initial Reaction to One D&D. Today, I’d like to start talking about the specifics. But before I do that, I would like to address the reaction to the name “One D&D.” I seriously doubt that this will be the final name for the new edition. In fact, I fully believe that when the final version launches two years from now that it will be called Dungeons and Dragons 6th Edition, even if the 6e part is downplayed. The reason for that being is that 10 years ago, when 5e was being developed, it was called D&DNext, calling it the “Next Iteration of Dungeons and Dragons,” and yet they still called it D&D 5e when it was all done. So I expect them to follow the same pattern this time around.

Anyways, onto racial specifics. Let me start by saying that I am really freaking glad that they FINALLY included orcs as a core book playable race. This is a long time coming and is long overdue. For those who don’t know, orcs, as described by a certain fantasy author, were modelled on racist wartime propaganda caricatures of the Japanese. Specifically that they are antithetical to civilization and possessed no redeeming qualities. Let me be abundantly clear that myself and everyone in my company are steadfastly against such a view; such bigotry does not belong in the world. Early editions of the game reflected this view, making orcs a race that could be slaughtered without feeling bad about it. That view has changed over time. More modern editions of the game describe them as possessing “love, compassion, and empathy,” making them more than capable of choosing their own path in life. Orcs are a noble race of warriors and poets, hunters and gatherers, defenders of the wild lands, and protectors of traditions. Their inclusion as core playable races is something that should have been done a long time ago, and I am glad to see it done.

The other new core book race is ardling. These are obviously supposed to be the counterpart of tiefling. Again, I am glad to see their inclusion. I never liked the inclusion of tiefling without some descendent-of-good-creatures peer. However, I’m kind of “meh” that that is all. I mean there are so many other possibilities that could be included. Why not include a catfolk race or fey race or a construct race or a turtle-people race? These are far more interesting than elves and dwarves will ever be to me.

And while I am at it, I am disappointed to see that they are still using the term “race.” Other games have moved on from it, acknowledging that it is a charged term. Breaking a tradition is never easy, but using this term is one that should be broken. Wizards really should change the term race to something else. “Heritage” is used by Pathfinder. “Kin” is used by 13th Age. Pick one and run with it.

See all of JBE’s supplements at DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Amazon.

PF 1e: Corrupted Spider

Long-time JBE fans will know that I consider myself to be, first and foremost, a monster creator. Give me a piece of artwork of something new and unusual, and I’ll make you something to terrify your players with. I haven’t created a monster in quite some time. Life and other distractions got in the way and I just haven’t done that in a while.

Well, it is time to change that. Especially considering that Fat Goblin Games just ran a sale on their artwork, and I snatched up quite a bit by Jeffrey Koch. My creative juices are flowing, and I am excited. I know this first one isn’t awe-inspiringly new, but it is a first creation while I’m dusting off the old gears. I hope you enjoy it in your game.

DriveThruRPG has a sale of Pathfinder products going on now. Grab JBE’s Pathfinder titles while they are up to 40% off.

Corrupted Spider CR 4

XP 1,200
CE Large outsider (augmented vermin)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +6

Defenses

AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +4 natural, –1 size)
hp 42 (5d10+15)
Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +3
Defensive Abilities 5/cold iron or good; Immune mind-affecting effects

Offense

Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +6 (2d6+2 plus poison)
Special Attacks web (+8 ranged, DC 15, hp 5)

Statistics

Str 15, Dex 19, Con 16, Int —, Wis 14, Cha 2
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 22 (34 vs. trip)
Skills Climb +18, Perception +6 (+10 in webs), Stealth +4 (+8 in webs); Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Stealth (+8 in webs), +16 Climb

Ecology

Environment any Abyss
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (3–8)
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities

Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d3 Strength damage; cure 1 save. 

The overwhelming majority of creatures that find their way to the Abyss end up either ripped apart by demons or other denizens for pure enjoyment. Those that not only survive but thrive in this environment for generation after generation end up changed by it, becoming one of the horrors of this dreadful place. Vermin are most often the creatures that undergo this change with spiders being the undisputed masters of being foul creatures that survive this change. 

The overwhelming majority of creatures that find their way to the Abyss end up either ripped apart by demons or other denizens for pure enjoyment. Those that not only survive but thrive in this environment for generation after generation end up changed by it, becoming one of the horrors of this dreadful place. Vermin are most often the creatures that undergo this change with spiders being the undisputed masters of being foul creatures that survive this change. 

While they are no smarter than their mundane counterparts, corrupted spiders are larger, stronger, and more deadly than those found on the Material Plane. Even worse, they gained some of the protections that the creatures native to this plane possess. Generations of these creatures feasting upon demons will impart their natural biology upon them. They still remember their taste for humanoid flesh and will ensnare such prey at their first opportunity.