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Fort Strange

Officially known as Fort Vanderwalten, many refer to it as Fort Strange because of the numbers of non-humans and less common demi-humans present here. When Kortrill Nightfeather was appointed captain of this frontier fort and military governor over the sparsely-populated region until a noble can be entrusted with this land, she took with her many other non-humans with her—both military and civilian alike. In her new position, she made sure that all under her care have been treated equally and prejudicial actions are prosecuted. It did not take long for word of her commendable action to spread and non-humans that want to live in peace to start flocking to live here. Today, Blacktooth Blacksmith and Glittering Foundry—owned by the orc Gathic Blacktooth and hobgoblin Miktar Deathblade, respectively—may be rivals but their rivalry plays out with them pushing the other to make better blades and other wares, instead of slaughtering each other’s families as many humans would expect of their their kind.

Fort Strange is home to many hagborn, catfolk, gnomes, everborn, tengu, lizardfolk, and even a few umbral kobolds. The majority of them came since Captain Nightfeather took command of the post. Previously, the region was inhabited mostly by humans and elves. Those that stayed when a tengu was appointed commander have been far more receptive of their new neighbors. A small yet vocal minority, however, have been voicing their opposition to so many “weird” creatures living among them. While the military-police force protecting this region have made it clear that voicing such concerns will be tolerated, that is the limit; any hostile actions against another law-abiding citizen will be met with swift justice. A number of attacks against non-humans has baffled investigators considering the military forces are not set up to handle such investigations and Lieutenant Gronk Bloodaxe is looking to hire adventurers to assist in this investigation.

The majority of the humans in this region are serfs, living in the work-farms adjacent to the fort. Their owners—mostly human—are not happy with the current regional government. Normally they hate each other and actively plot against one another, but they are united in their prejudice. If they could be turned against one another, their petitioning to speed up the appointment of a noble (preferably one of human ancestry) would fall apart.

Fort Strange

LG large town
Government military overlord
Population 3,500 (1,000 humans; 400 elves; 350 catfolk, 250 hagborn, 1,500 other)

Notable NPCs


Captain Kortrill Nightfeather, military governor (LG female tengu fighter 9 [13A: 4])
Lieutenant Gronk Bloodaxe, head of special operations (LN male orc fighter 4 [13A: 2])
Faixgrop, Crafter’s Guildmaster (LN female umbral kobold rogue 3 [13A: 2])
Darren Rimeheart, Farm owner and serf master (NE male human bard 6 [13A: 3])

If you want to see more locations like this detailed, please let us know in the comments below.

To find out more about the races mentioned here see the Book of Heroic Races collection for Pathfinder, Fifth Edition, and 13th Age here at the JBE Shop. You can also find out titles at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.

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5 Questions Every Sorcerer Should Be Able to Answer

Sorcerers can be a bit of a problematic topic, depending on what edition of the game you play. If I remember correctly, they came into existence because a sizable chunk of the Player’s Handbook was for wizards only so they created another class that used the exact same spell list. So there are some originalists that do not feel they should exist. I’m more of a modernist in that sense where I accept the class as they are and go from there.

The basic concept of the class itself is that you can just do magical abilities. No matter the reason why, you can just wave your hands, utter what would otherwise sound like nonsense and BOOM magic happens. Frankly it sounds like that if the magic didn’t happen, you’d be locked up for insanity. But here you are, making with the magic. So yeah!

If you want to play a sorcerer, here are five questions that will help you get into your character. See our 5 Questions for bards, clerics, druids, fighters, monks, paladins, rogues, and wizards here.

1) How Did Your Magic First Manifest?

One day you were an average person. The next you were making sparks shoot out of your fingers or you levitated something or you made someone suddenly agree with you. Wait a second, how do you know that that last one wasn’t just a really persuasive argument? Simple, you tried it again without waving your arms or putting that same amount of force to your voice and it didn’t work. It is only when you did that exact same sequence over and over again that you realized that you were making magic. The same is true with the other spells you cast. You tried to make fire happen without waving your hands or suddenly gain the ability of perceiving magical auras by speaking different words but they simply don’t happen.

This brings us to a first if several non-obvious truths about the sorcerer class: sorcerers have to work hard at their magic. Being a wizard requires years if study while sorcerers just make the magic happen so it is easy to think that being a sorcerer is easy. That’s simply not true. There is no guidebook to being a sorcerer. Wizards literally have a book that says this is how you make magic; sorcerers have to reinvent the wheel for every new spell they want to cast. That requires lots of work and patience.

2) When Was The Last Time You Lost Control of Your Magic?

Like I said, being a sorcerer just happens. You did something and unexpectedly magic just happens. So was anyone hurt when you did that? How about the second time that happened? Third? How many times were you told to keep your magical powers under control after you broke something without meaning to? In your anger did you burn someone without meaning to? Is this why you left home and became an adventurer, because you feel you are a danger to those you care about decided to not return until you could control your new-found powers better?

3) Did You Always Choose to Use Your Magical Abilities for Good?

Frankly, I hope the answer to this one is “No.” It is far more of an interesting answer to decide to choose good instead of always being good. Say you left home in a hurry because you had burned someone, not bringing much in the way if food or supplies. You are now a homeless person. So if you manage to outrun the stories about yourself, you’re going to be hungry. So you walk into a tavern and and charm your way into a free meal and a night’s rest from the tavern owner. So when the tavern owner comes to their senses and brings their spouse comes to collect what you owe, you try again and fail and get run out of another town. Sooner or later (maybe after spending a few nights in jail for your actions, maybe after you saw someone in need and you helped and someone looked upon you favorably for the first time since you developed your powers), you realize that you have to clean up your act and can use your abilities to earn your keep instead of stealing it from others.

This brings us to the next non-obvious truth about sorcerers: it’s easy to go bad. Instead of choosing to clean up your act, suppose you always decided to stay selfish. Sure you did the occasional good deed so you could tell yourself you’re a good person, but much of the time you are motivated by your own wants and desires, ignoring the pain you cause others. That way is easier, even quicker. That is a seductive thought, one that your sorcerer should be able to understand, no matter which way they choose.

4) What Spell Is Inside of You That You Can’t Seem to Cast?

Much like Rincewind with a powerful spell inside of him that doesn’t want to come out, you should also have a powerful spell inside of you that doesn’t want to come out yet. You know it is inside of you, but you can’t seem to get it to come out yet. Maybe you don’t even have a name for it yet, but you can feel it inside if you, deep in your soul. Do you hold it back until you can control it? Perhaps you try to bring it out, but it simply will not come out yet. Is it asleep inside if you and you are not sure you want to wake it yet? This is why I like to make my sorcerers with a theme. You know you have a raging inferno inside if you and you try to tap into it and instead you only get burning hands. You try again and you get scorching ray. Then fireball and so in until you can fully tap into that power deep inside if you that you know is there.

This brings us to our last non-obvious truth about sorcerers: it should be confusing as hell. Why does flapping my arms and saying nonsense make magic happen when it doesn’t for someone else? Why can I now call forth this one spell when I couldn’t yesterday? How come I could make this magic spell before but I simply can’t now? There should be very little about your abilities that actually makes sense. That would make some seek stability. Which brings us to our last question:

5) What Do Your Fellow Adventurers Offer You?

Why are you with this group of adventurers instead some other group? The simple answer is that they offer you something that others cannot: stability and acceptance. Your powers can be viewed as weird or downright scary by those that do not understand them. For you to stay with your fellow adventurers, they must have accepted you for who you are. Maybe they express that acceptance while teasing you, but they will stand by your side if anyone is mean or attacks you. This group may very well be the most stable relationships you have had since you developed your powers. So the question then becomes, what will you do to defend them when they need you?

Greyrend, our signature sorcerer, left her clan of lycanthropes and other skinwalkers when she was only 12. She could only manifest her magical powers when she was angry and she did not have much control of her powers at first, making her an outcast. She tried to live among humans in her human form, but growing up among wolf-people didn’t imbue her with the greatest amount of social skills. While she can unleash destructive power, she prefers to focus on ways to enhance her natural fighting abilities and to adjust the minds of those that oppose her, making it feel like she has some acceptance, even if it is only for a little while. Since joining up with her fellow adventurers, she has had to change other people’s minds far less. They are helping her interact with others when she is less than socially graceful and teaching her how to get along better with others.

Greyrend is featured on the cover of the adventure Deadly Delves: The Chaosfire Incursion for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Download this adventure today and check out all our Pathfinder, D&D 5e,13th Age, and Traveller titles today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

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13th Age: Happy Friday the 13th Age Sale

Deadly Delves Reign of Ruin (13th Age)

Happy Friday the 13th! May your black cat cross the path of a broken mirror walking under a ladder that threw salt over its shoulder. And to help you with your luck, there’s a Friday the 13th Age Sale going on right now at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, and the Open Gaming Store.

Grab these 13th Age deals today while this Friday the 13th Sale lasts. It is for this weekend only so download today.

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13th Age: Slow Spell

Previously, we’ve shared two low-level spells from the recently released 13 Wizard Cantrips and Spells: web and mirror image. Today we are sharing with you a 7th level spell, perfect for high level characters—the slow spell. This classic spell makes it harder for enemies to attack. With this spell, it is impossible for an enemy to both move an attack, tipping the balance of power into the players’ favor. Check out this new spell now.

Slow

Ranged spell
Daily
Target: One nearby enemy
Attack: Intelligence + Level vs. MD
Hit: On the target’s next turn, it can only take either a standard action or a move action, but not both.
In addition, at the start of each of the target’s turns this battle, if the escalation die is odd, roll a d20 and add the escalation die; on a 16+, this effect persists for that turn.
Miss: You regain this spell during your next quick rest.
9th level spell The roll to repeat the effect is now 11+ instead of 16+.

Download 13 Wizard Cantrips and Spells today for your 13th Age game today at JonBrazer.com. You can also download it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and the Open Gaming Store.

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Cast The Spells You Want in the 13th Age

Ancient Spells Are Yours To Wield

Harness the fury of storms and stone! Snare, confound, and spy on your foes! Bend gravity and light to your whim! Wizards develop their starting spells into intricate dweomers that define their adventuring careers and leave enemies cowering beneath the yoke of their arcane might as their power reaches its apex. Now you can go beyond the core book and expand your character’s knowledge of both fundamental and esoteric spellcraft.

13 Wizard Cantrips and Spells is the latest in our 13 Class Options series for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game. Inside this 12-page PDF, you will find:

  • 2 New 1st Level Spells to create illusionary doubles of yourself and shrink or enlarge objects
  • 2 New 3rd Level Spells to conjure up webs to keep enemies in their places or recklessly throw snowballs at your enemies
  • 3 New 5th Level Spells to make it rain down acid, harness the strength of a titan, or shrink or enlarge your friends and enemies for fun and profit
  • 2 New 7th Level Spells to send your enemies hurling skywards or slow down enemy attacks
  • 1 New 9th Level Spell to protect yourself with a rainbow of defenses
  • 2 New Utility Spells that let you see far away or create walls of stone
  • 1 New Cantrip designed to quench campfires or other small flames

Bend Reality to Your Will in the 13th Age.

Download 13 Wizard Cantrips and Spells today for your 13th Age game today at JonBrazer.com. You can also download it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and the Open Gaming Store.

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13th Age: Web Your Enemies and Dance Like a Spider

Tomorrow sees the much anticipated release of 13 Wizard Canitrips and Spells—the second in our series of 13 Class Options for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game—and we couldn’t be more excited. Last week we showed off the mirror image spell, a classic spell with a 13th Age twist. This week we are sharing with you another classic spell updated with 13th Age that is also one of my favorites. Like last week, this spell has a nice twist to it.

Web

Close-quarters spell
Daily
Target: One or more nearby enemies (see below)
Special: You can choose more than one target for this spell, but you take a –2 penalty when attacking two targets, a –3 penalty for three targets, and so on.
Attack: Intelligence + Level vs. PD
Hit: The target is dazed for a number of rounds equal to the escalation die; a normal save (11+) ends the condition. On an attack roll of natural 16+, the target is also stuck until the end of your next turn.
Natural Even Miss: The target is dazed until the end of its next turn.
5th level spell On any miss, the target is dazed until the end of its next turn.
7th level spell On an attack roll of natural 12+, the target is also stuck until the end of your next turn.
9th level spell You can target far-away enemies with this spell, and you suffer no penalty for targeting up to 3 enemies (targeting 4 or more enemies incurs all penalties as normal, however).
Adventurer Feat: The dazed effect ends only on a hard save (16+).
Champion Feat: You summon a swarm of spiders into the webbing, which deal 4d10 poison damage to anyone stuck in the web at the start of their turn.

Download 13 Wizard Cantrips and Spells today for your 13th Age game today at JonBrazer.com. You can also download it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and the Open Gaming Store.

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What Kind of Monster Artwork Do You Prefer?

Earlier this week, we showed off a monster that a druid or wizard can summon with the conjure minor elemental spell. I really like that monster, but there’s something I have been wondering about with the artwork: the style. It is a beautiful color image. The problem is is that I don’t have a massive library of color images. I have a much larger library of black and white image. So as I continue to work on monster books for Fifth Edition, 13th Age, Pathfinder 2e (possibly), and other systems, I want to stay consistent as much as possible throughout the entire project. So that leads me to ask, what do you prefer?

Adding a parchment background to a black and white image is quite easy and rather fun. Not only that, it gives the image a distinctive feeling of being from an ancient tome that time forgot, in keeping with the fantasy theme. However, I do love looking at the color images in monster books. So I am asking you to help me make up my mind.

Tell me what kind of image would you like to see in a monster book from us. Vote in the poll below and as always, elaborate in the comments below.

[poll id=”4″]

See our monster books we have published so far for Pathfinder and Fifth Edition at the JBE Shop.

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13th Age: Make More of You with Magic

Everyone at loves us some 13th Age. Richard Moore, our resident 13th Age expert, has committed more than once that there are some classic spell options missing from 13th Age and that is one we set out to correct when we started the 13 Class Options series.

This is not the first in the series. We started off the first with 13 Fighter Talents and Maneuvers. We are so glad that 13th Age fans love that supplement so much. If you have not checked that one out yet, download it today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and the Open Gaming Store.

Today we bring you a preview to what you can expect in the new supplement and I think the perfect place to start is a spell that I saw in my very first game of Dungeon and Dragons, approximately 30 years ago: mirror image. For those of you unfamiliar with this classic spell, it produces illusionary duplicates of yourself so there’s a chance that whomever is attacking you will hit one of the fake you’s instead. Naturally, we gave it a 13th Age twist, allowing it to not only get more powerful as you go up in level but also has some cool new tricks when you spend a feat on it.

Read the spell below and see all it has.

Mirror Image

Close-quarters spell

Daily

Target: You

Effect: This spell creates 1d2 illusory doubles of yourself which remain close to you in a nearby group. On a natural odd hit from an enemy, one of the doubles took the hit instead of you—it winks out and disappears.

3rd level spell Create 1d2 + 1 doubles

5th level spell Create 1d3 + 1 doubles

7th level spell Whenever you suffer a crit, a double automatically takes the hit.

9th level spell Add half of the current escalation die value to the number of doubles you create.

Adventurer Feat: This spell recharges on 16+ after battle if you have one illusory double left, or 11+ if you have two or more left.

Champion Feat: Your doubles may engage with nearby enemies. They can only make basic melee opportunity attacks identical to yours, which deal psychic damage.

Epic Feat: Your doubles explode in a dazzling display when struck, dealing psychic damage equal to your Intelligence modifier + your level + the current escalation die value.

Download 13 Wizard Cantrips and Spells today for your 13th Age game today at JonBrazer.com. You can also download it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and the Open Gaming Store.

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5 Questions Every Druid Should Be Able to Answer

The clerics of the natural world, druids believe in the divinity of nature and the elemental forces. They draw their magical power directly from these forces. This gives them power to tap into incredible raw power that they can channel for the greater good (the greater good) for the Wild places.

Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium

Join us each Friday as we delve into the classes one at a time, helping you to get in touch with your character. Previously we had similar questions for fighters, clerics, monks, bards, rogues, paladins, and wizard.

Before I continue, we have been having trouble with our Facebook account and have been unable to share our posts in groups for quite a while. So we are asking you to help us. Please share this post (any any other post of ours you find entertaining) to your Facebook profile, any Facebook groups you belong to that would find this post helpful, as well as any other social media platform (Twitter, Google+, Reddit, etc) that you frequent. This will help us during this period. Thank you in advance.

1) Where Does Your Deep Connection with Nature Come From?

You’re not just some random person wandering around a forest. You are a priest and defender of the wild. You can feel the pain of the trees as an axeman cuts it down. You experience the pain of animals hunted for their skins. You cannot bare the enslavement of wheat plants in rows for food instead of being allowed to grow wild and allowed to live a full life, free of civilized taint. Where do you get it? Do you worship one of the elemental lords? Were you blessed by a fae queen? Do you have a shard of the planet’s spirit in your soul? Where does your connection come from?

2) What is Your Spirit Animal?

This one is weird since it sounds like a game term, but it isn’t. A spirit animal, as I mean it, is the soul of a beast that is inside a person, like when a person and their pet have pretty much the same personality. A druid, possessing a deep connection to nature, would be deeply connected it there spirit animal and they would let it show in their mannerisms, their attitude, and their whole person. So what animal spirit do you possess? Consider making that the creature you change shape into, when you gain that ability.

3) How Do You Behave in Urban Environs?

The short answer to this one should be, “Not well.” Remember, you are the priest of nature, and when you are in a city, you are witnessing trees and stones forced into unnatural shapes to make buildings. This could make you angry and want to yell at carpenters and stone cutters. Before your eyes, you see horses forced to wear bridals and harnesses and being made to work for their supper instead if being free spirits. This could make you want to free the horses when the the stable master’s back is turned. Or you could instead see nature as undefeated in the city, forcing people to give a wide berth around a weed that is growing in the middle of a street or giving the rats some food. What is your personal style of behaving “weird” by city folk standards?

4) Why Would You Side With Humans Over Fey?

You may be a priest of nature, but you are still human (or a dwarf or elf or whatever). No one ever sees what their side is doing is completely right, unless you are brainwashed. Reasonable people can disagree. So what would make you say that the side of nature has gone too far and want to protect some humans? Would it be some fey resorting to murder instead of playing the pranks that most fey resort to. Is it fine to kill a dwarf that cuts down a tree? Is it ok to kill an elf if you eat it (since that is nature’s way)? Is disrupting human commerce as far as you will go to protect your furry friends? How far will you go?

5) How Do You Share Your Love of Nature to Fellow Adventures?

Obviously you are working with your fellow adventurers towards the greater good (the greater good) of protecting nature, even if that is not their goal. Yet if they do not respect the wild places, it is doubtful that you will stay with them for long. How do you share with them your passion for protecting the untamed wilderness? Do you make shelter for them each night so they do not have to endure the elements during the night? Do you call and have a deer come to you so your party can eat and not have to hunt? Do you wake up each morning surrounded by bunnies and song birds and ask the others to hold them as a way to start their day off on a positive note? How do you spread the joy of nature?

Kanoa is our signature druid, although some call him an oracle of the sea. His kind, being one of the gillmen, live underwater and are distant relatives of humans. He sleeps with the fishes and walks with an octopuses. While he has no problem with shipping, he does mind it when ports and harbors dump their garbage in the sea, and he makes his displeasure well known to the council chambers of local cities. His eternal fight for the sea is never done.

Find the racial stats on the gillmen race and other nature-friendly races in the Book of Heroic Races Compendium and Advanced Compendium for Pathfinder, Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1 as well as Player Races 2 for Fifth Edition, and Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races 1 and Age of Races 2 for 13th Age.

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5 Questions Every Wizard Should Be Able to Answer

Wizards are the geeks of the fantasy realm. They spend quite some time in books, prefer to spend time in a library instead of with other people, and they are frequently imagined as wearing glasses. They are the studious ones, the one that went to a university and can bend the universe with a gesture of their hand, words of power on their tongue, the right magical material within their grasp and an investment of power from their mind. The road to become a wizard or wizardess is far from easy and many burn out along the way. You are one of the lucky ones that was able to achieve such a lofty goal without losing your mind or worse.

Experiences that you had while learning to harness such power will shape your outlook on the world, and these questions will help you define that outlook. Previously we had similar questions for fighters, clerics, monks, bards, rogues, and paladins.

1) Why Did You Start Learning Wizardry?

Did your parents scrimp and save in order to send you to wizarding school? Did you exemplify some basic talent and a traveling wizard took you on as their apprentice? Are you from a rich family and going to wizarding school was always in your future whether you wanted it or not? Were you a blacksmith that wanted to learn to enchant your swords because enchanted swords sell so much better? Did you simply decide that that is what you wanted to do with your life? Did you follow someone you were in love with? There are all kinds of answers to this question and yours should be both unique and interesting.

2) How Did You Learn to Wield Arcane Power?

The two most obvious answers to this questions are at an arcane college/university or as an apprentice to a great wizard. Other less common answers include self taught, a tutor as part of your upbringing in a great wizarding family, and other similar examples. The important distinction in this answer is that you are taught from another source as opposed to a sorcerer where the magic was always inside them.

Describe what your schooling was like. Did you learn illusion magic quickly so you could make an image of yourself taking notes while you cut class? Did you have to perform hundreds of menial tasks for your teacher in exchange for them teaching you the basics? Did you take up mud artistry in addition to leaning transmutation magic so you can change your clay statue into stone?

What where your classmates like? In a sizable school you’d have dozens, hundreds of peers. As an apprentice, you’d have only two or three. Do you have close friends or bitter rivals? Come up with a memory involving classmates that happened during your schooling years that you remember fondly and another one that still causes you pain.

3) Why Did You Leave?

If you start off as a 1st level wizard, you are far from accomplished. Sure you can cast cantrips all day and a few 1st level spells, but there is so much you cannot do yet. First year Hogwarts students could levitate a troll’s club. While a first level wizard could levitate the feather with a cantrip, the club is out of the question. Nor can you locate your lost keys, unlock a door because you lost your keys, nor walk on the walls to get to the open second floor window which you wouldn’t have to do if you could find those dang keys. Like I said, you’re barely competent as a wizard, yet you left your studies behind. Why did you do that?

4) How Do Others Perceive You?

As I said above, wizard are the nerds of the fantasy world, and nerds are not known for their popularity. So how do others see you? Does your family get you and what you are doing, or do they just not understand what you study and why you do it? Do the people that you grew up with respect you or fear you? At the same time, do you hold a grudge against those that picked on you when you were young and now seek revenge now that you wield immense power? Do you make friends easily, or do people risk getting blasted by magic just to punch your face within ten minutes of meeting you?

5) What Have You Learned From Your Fellow Adventurers?

The thing about wizards is that they never stop trying to learn. Every moment is an opportunity to learn something new. So what is it you learned from your fellow adventurers? Do you learn to always expect an ambush from the ranger or how to secure your belongings from the rogue? Did the monk teach you that meditating can help focus your mind? Or rather is it that your fellow adventurers inspired you to learn something new? Did you learn to make someone large to help make the fighter more deadly in combat? Did the bard teach you the value of enchanting someone?

Luis is our signature halfling wizard. He learned wizardry from his tribal mage because he was one of the clever people in his tribe and wanted to learn arcane secrets. When the tribe was taken over by a priest that wanted to return to the old ways, he and the others well schooled were thrown out of the tribe. Being a halfling, he was able to make friends faster than other wizards. From his fellow adventures, he learned to accept himself for who he is since he no longer had to hide his intellect to appease religious extremists.

Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin features Luis blasting a black dragon with ice. Help us bring you more great role playing game posts by downloading Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin for Fifth Edition, Pathfinder, 13th Age, and Swords and Wizardry. Use the “holiday2017” coupon code to get 30% off your order today.