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State of the Enterprise 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Traveller

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

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

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

13th Age

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

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

Fifth Edition

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

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

Pathfinder

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

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

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

Sword and Wizardry

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

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

Dale McCoy, Jr
Jon Brazer Enterprises

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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.