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PAX Unplugged: The Best Convention I’m Not Sure I Will Return To

This past weekend I was at PAX Unplugged, and I am glad I got to go. I got to play in my very first Call of Cthulhu game. I had fun with a new character in D&D. I met a gamer I had previously only interacted with online. I even met a fellow Captain Hammer. They even had a diversity lounge with some really cool people. And of course, I snagged some awesome stuff in the dealer’s hall. It was really great.

https://www.facebook.com/ThatJayJustice/

Will I be back next year? I don’t know. Why? Short answer: poor organization. I was there most of Friday (arriving around 1 pm instead of the 10am open), and I didn’t get to play in a single game. Zero. None. And it wasn’t for lack of trying. I checked in at the D&D AL desk and they were full for the next 6 hours. Other games, no open spots on the wait list. I stood in a few lines to get any game I could only to have the available games fill up before I got to the front.

Why didn’t I sign up online beforehand? There wasn’t any. No, I’m not kidding. They did not do any kind of official online preregistration before the convention started. Need proof to believe me?

That is the “queue room” 20 minutes before we we’re allowed to sign up for role playing games Saturday morning. Note, this doesn’t include minis gamers or board gamers. I got in that line 2 hours beforehand, and I was not the first. I got into three games that day. Considering the number of games available, most of the people in that room didn’t get to sign up for games in advance.

This brings me to my second complaint: there just weren’t enough games. When I asked an “enforcer” (their name for one of the super polite staffers and/or volunteers), they said they underestimated the popularity of the games. There really needed to be double the space for RPGs. I can’t speak to board gamers or minis gamers as to whether they had enough space for their games since I didn’t check them out all weekend.

At the end of the day, these are rookie mistakes, and they can certainly be forgiven even if one could have simply Googled “how to run a tabletop convention” and get solutions to these issues. The Pathfinder/Starfinder Society crew saw PAX Unplugged’s setup and decided to use Warhorn on their own to schedule their games; I did not hear of similar issues from them. The Google link above has Tabletop.Events on it’s first page. Both of these services allow for people to sign up for games beforehand and would have solved the above mentioned issues. They both do their job extremely well, and I cannot recommend them enough to anyone running a convention, no matter what size. Had they used either of these (or one of their own creation), they could have discovered how popular RPGs (and other types of games) was going to be and shift resources accordingly.

Will I be back? Not unless these have some type of online pre-registration for events. Waking up before I normally wake up for the day job to get in a 2 hour line is not exactly my definition of fun. If they do get some kind of pre-reg system in place, will I then? In a heartbeat. I got to see lots new games and familiar faces, roll dice and slay monsters, and it was 11 hours closer to me than GenCon. I just don’t want to have to wait in 2+ hour lines for a game again, not when I can just click a few buttons and have a guaranteed spot.

Final thought: I want to give a shout out to the enforcers. They we’re kind and patient and did EVERYTHING they could to help upset gamers. They made things run as smooth as they could with what they had to work with. Every last one if them deserves a round of applause. Thank you for your part in making the convention as great as it was.

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The 2017 Not Going to Gen Con Sale for Print Books

Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium

As you are gearing up for Gen Con, getting ready the year pilgrimage to Indianapolis, I am sad to say that JBE will not be attending this year. That, however, does not mean that you should be sad because we just relaunched our Not Going to Gen Con Sale. This year, it is all about the print books.

That’s right, this sale is on books you can hold in your two hands. Those that love the feel of the covers, the smell of paper, the sight of seeing the book on your shelf, and the ability to make notes in the margins, this sale is for you. You can grab these books for a nice discount.

How much of a discount you ask? Easy. All of our print books that are more than $10 are $5 off. If the book is $10 or less, it is $2 off. That simple. And this is on ALL of our print books, even the one we released only a few short months ago. So if there is a new release you wanted and you wanted it in print, now is your chance to pick it. Do you want to read it now? Well that is even easier. For $2 more, you can get the PDF. This means you can devour it now and still have the print book on your shelf.

Which books are on sale? Great question.

Monster Books (PFRPG)
Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes
Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane
Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations

Adventures (PFRPG)
Deadly Delves: The Gilded Gauntlet
Deadly Delves: To Claw the Surface
Shadowsfall: Temple of Orcus

Player Races (PFRPG)
Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium
Book of Heroic Races Compendium
Book of Heroic Races: Half-Faerie Dragons
Book of Heroic Races: Seedlings

Traveller
d66 Compendium
Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium
Mech Tech ‘n’ bot: Fighters and Small Ships
Character Datafile

Fifth Edition
Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven

13th Age Compatible
Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin

This sale is exclusively at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. So hurry over there and order your books today. This sale will not last long. Share this sale with your friends on Facebook and Twitter as well as with your regular gaming group. I am sure they will want these books in their hands as well.

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JBE Sponsors GameHoleCon

Earlier today, JBE became a sponsor of GameHoleCon. This is a great gaming convention in Madison, WI. Be sure to check out this convention going on from Nov 2-5.

If you know or run a gaming convention and are looking for sponsors, contact us through twitter or facebook and we will discuss sponsoring your convention.

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JBE 2016 Mid-Year Update

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

Everyone ready for GenCon? I’ll be following all the developments from here in New Jersey. I hope everyone there has a safe trip and posts lots of notes to social media about the seminars since I will be following them like fiend.

So what is going on with Jon Brazer Enterprises right now? Well, you probably noticed, not much. Here’s why: 1) my day job. About a year ago, my day job gave me a new project that pretty much owned my soul for most of last year, pushing all other day job projects to the side. That ended a while ago but since then I have been playing catch up, still keeping me busy. It has only been in the past few months or things started to settle down. While I had enough time to finish JBE projects that were already turned in by writers, I lacked the ability to be organized enough to get new projects started. 2) I got married. Back in April I married my best friend and love of my life. But as anyone who is or has been married knows, you’re kind of a mess for organization around that time. I recently uncovered a few major errors (i.e. forgetting to pay various people) that I wouldn’t otherwise make. I hope I corrected everything by now, but I don’t know for sure. We’ll see. 3) Over committing myself. The last problem is purely my own. I committed myself to various projects and did not budget sufficient time for them, even without the above two. So I have been cautious to not add anything that added to my already full schedule, at least until after I finish up various projects. So where are those projects:

  1. Deadly Delves. The top priority for me right now is a 9th level Deadly Delves adventure for Pathfinder. Richard wanted to head this project up and he has been doing a smashing job with it. He wanted to do a sizable dungeon with a bunch of great authors, where they each took a few room and make a truly memorable adventure. The single biggest part we are waiting on right now is the part that I said I would write: the city outside. It has got lots of plot hooks for adventures that can be done before, during, or after. Last week I told Richard I was almost done, giving him an estimated number of words to go. Since then, I tripled that estimate and have completed only half the parts that I wanted completed. Inspiration particles hit me and I just kept writing. And yes, we plan to convert this over to Fifth Edition sometime, but no time table on that as of yet.
  2. Foreven Worlds: Prelude to War Adventure Path. The first adventure itself is done and is in layout. We are still working on the back sections for it. However, even if we finished it today (which won’t happen) we’re still waiting on the release of High Guard since we need to make sure that our new ships match what is done there. Odds are, High Guard will be out first, but you never know. We eliminated the new vehicles from this book so we do not have to wait for the Vehicle Handbook as well. All those vehicles got moved to the back section for second adventure in the series: State of Chaos, written by fan favorite Traveller author, M J Dougherty.
  3. Book of Heroic Races. As much as I hate to admit it, work on Advanced Gillmen keeps getting pushed aside in favor of the above two projects. The first draft is more than half completed. Once it is done, however, we are going full steam for the Advanced Compendium, which is mostly completed.

Future projects: I only started looking towards the future again in the past month. To that end, I got two new Deadly Delves adventures commissioned and I expect they will be out sometime next year. Our first fifth edition monster supplement came out recently and we expect to follow up with more in the near future. I actually wrote quite a few monsters between the game’s release and the OGL for it coming available. Now we’re working to put them together into themed monster supplements. I expect we’re know when the next will get released roughly the day before you do.

The last thing we are working on a website redesign with an online store integrated. If you click on our Online Store, you will see all our titles and can click on the title you want and it will take you to where you can buy them. A few of PDF titles, you can buy through Paypal, straight from us. It will take us a while but eventually all of them be available at JonBrazer.com.

That is about all I have for the moment. If there is something you are looking forward to, please leave a comment below and I will be sure to address it.

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PaizoCon: Play a Catfolk And Wield a Huge Axe

PaizoCon Catfolk 2 Join us at PaizoCon and play in our games:
Friday
Expedition to Playtest Mountain

Saturday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Sunday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Monday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Can’t make it to PaizoCon? Download the Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven for Pathfinder at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and d20PFSRD.

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PaizoCon: Save the Villagers, Save the World

PaizoCon Changeling 1 Join us at PaizoCon and play in our games:
Friday
Expedition to Playtest Mountain

Saturday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Sunday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Monday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Can’t make it to PaizoCon? Download the Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven for Pathfinder at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and d20PFSRD.

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Pathfinder: Where Else Can You Play a Wyvaran?

PaizoCon Wyvaran 1 Join us at PaizoCon and play in our games:
Friday
Expedition to Playtest Mountain

Saturday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Sunday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Monday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Can’t make it to PaizoCon? Download the Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven for Pathfinder at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and d20PFSRD.

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PaizoCon: Changelings Kick Undead Butt

PaizoCon Changeling 3 Join us at PaizoCon and play in our games:
Friday
Expedition to Playtest Mountain

Saturday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Sunday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Monday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Can’t make it to PaizoCon? Download the Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven for Pathfinder at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and d20PFSRD.

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PaizoCon: Play a Wyrwood and Rescue the Villagers

PaizoCon Wyrwood 1 Join us at PaizoCon and play in our games:
Friday: Expedition to Playtest Mountain
Saturday: Rescue from Tyrkaven
Sunday: Rescue from Tyrkaven
Monday: Rescue from Tyrkaven

Can’t make it to PaizoCon? Download the Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven for Pathfinder at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and d20PFSRD.

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PaizoCon: Sign Up For Our Game Today

PaizoCon Catfolk 3 Join us at PaizoCon and play in our games:
Friday
Expedition to Playtest Mountain

Saturday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Sunday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Monday
Rescue from Tyrkaven

Can’t make it to PaizoCon? Download the Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven for Pathfinder at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and d20PFSRD.

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Pathfinder: Riders of the Whirlwind

All week long, we have been looking at the deities of Shadowsfall. So far we have presented our design goals and philosophies as well as an overview of the the archkyton Akaron the Paingiver, Bendes and Ular, the Twin Gods, and Zyree, the caregiver. We round this week out by giving you an sneak peak at Calista, the Journeywoman.

Unlike the other deities described thus far, Calista is seldom worshiped in the strongholds and few of her followers can ever be found within any of the major cities. Instead her freespirited-followers roam through the Outlands, to disover and enjoy all the new places the goddess brings into the Plane of Shadows. The Journeywoman is credited with changing Shadowsfall according to her whims and her followers take great pleasure in being the first to experience it. Whether it is learning every rock on a mountain, exploring a long-forgotten dungeon, battle some kind of new undead or finding magic items that have been altered by their absorption onto Shadowsfall, Calista’s followers are at the forefront of every new experience.

Followers of Calista on the Southern Peninsula frequently serve as guides to those seeking a pass through the Razor Mountains or other dangerous regions of the Outlands. The goddess’ followers, however, are most known for leading refugees to new ruins. Anytime an undead horde overwhelms a town, there are always now homeless survivors that need a place to live. These consummate explorers help these people find a new suitable home, be a cave, shallow holes in the ground or the ruins of absorbed towns.

Calista has a wide range of followers from drow to gnomes, rangers to wilders, even a few time thieves. Thius goddess of the wind has a powerful streak of freedom that many find enticing.

One of the few things that Calista and Akaron have in common is that their oracles are known to probe the mysteries of joy. This new mystery focuses on emotion spells, providing morale bonuses and disheartening ones adversaries.

We hope you enjoyed this look at the deities all week. Next week I will be at GenCon for much of the week so we will not be doing any previews during that time. Look for more previews the week after. If you see me at GenCon, make sure to say hi.

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Back from PaizoCon

Teamwork Congrats on Shadowsfall: Temple of Orcus
Well, we’re back from PaizoCon and we’re THRILLED! We’re PUMPED! WE ARE EXCITED! We had a great time playing games and meeting everyone. This was the largest PaizoCon yet and it was encouraging to see everyone so excited about their Pathfinder games. It was also great to have people come up to us, telling us how the Book of the River Nations has been such a game saver for their game.

We ran two role playing games: this year’s Free RPG Day Adventure and the first playtest of next year’s Free RPG Day adventure. We will be doing a Kickstarter for this adventure in October and we hope that you will support us.

Tim Nightengale gets the first Volunteer of the Year Award
I took part in two seminars and Louis of LPJ Design was right next to me the whole time. I really enjoyed doing them with him and can’t wait until next year to do them again with him. It was also fun sitting next to Gary, Scott, and …. shoot, I can’t remember who from Legendary Games was also on the panel. My apologies.

At the Paizo Preview Banquet, Tim Nightengale received the first Volunteer of the Year Award. If you haven’t met Tim, he is a great guy and he is the man responsible for PaizoCon existing as well as the guy that makes Wayfinder possible. Tim deserves this award and then some. We are really happy for him.

The cosplay at the convention was really fun. Many people dressed up as their favorite Pathfinder character. Here are a few of them. Please share with us a link to any other pictures of anyone else at PaizoCon in cosplay. Since I was still jet lagging, I was asleep during the grand convocation and did not get any pictures of the event, but I heard that there were alot of people dressed up there. Be sure to click on each of these images for a larger version.

We can’t wait for next year’s PaizoCon. We’re already making plans for it. All we need at this point are dates *Hint, Hint, Paizo* so we can get the airline tickets at that much earlier and be confirmed to go that much sooner.