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I’m Not Dead Yet

I’m currently in the hospital so Book of the Faithful (JBE’s 1st Pathfinder RPG supplement) might be late, but i do believe it will come out on Monday as origionally planned. Mech Tech ‘n’ bot’s Fighters and Small Ships should still come out in november, but it might be the very end of the month.

In the meantime, I am hoping to give birth to a 3.5 mm kidney stone today. If you’re looking for some inspiration for future tech for your game, they’re going to use a laser inside me. How cool is that!

I gotta save cell battery for calling the family so I probably won’t update again until I’m back home. Until then, stay safe and have fun.

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Blog at ENWorld.com

In addition to the website here, I am now maintaining a blog of playing experiences and design notes over at ENWorld. Stop over and subscribe to the feed so you don’t miss a post. So far I have only posted about Pathfinder, but I will soon be posting some about Traveller as well.

Additionally, you can also find Jon Brazer Enterprises on Facebook, Role Play Media, in addition to Twitter. Join the group and be apart of our growing network.

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[Meta] Newspapers and the Future of RPGs

This morning on my way to work, I stopped at my local Wawa for breakfast (bad for the waist line, but still good) and there was a guy from the local newspaper there handing out free copies of their paper. I didn’t take one and as far as I could tell no one else did either. It amazed me that they were still trying to keep that end of the market alive. Why weren’t they offering some kind of “try our online subscription free for 30 days” or something like that. This might sound harsh, but when the nation’s largest newspaper (the New York Times) could spend HALF as much money by buying every single one of their subscribers a Kindle and letting them read it there instead of printing the actual paper, your industry needs to find a different business model, and fast.

My next thought though was: how does this apply to RPGs? The print side of the market has been shrinking for years while the electronic side as really been the only growing part. While the total market for electronic books is miniscule compared to the print market, those numbers will not be that way forever. But when Amazon sales of Dan Brown’s book The Lost Symbol are selling better on the Kindle than in hardcopy, the rest of the market cannot be far behind. Keep your mind open for the whole of the RPG market to be on those devices in less than 5 years.

What else is changing? Sci-fi-like battlefields are finally here. If you have not seen this video yet, check it out. Surfacescapes Demo Walkthrough for D&D from Surfacescapes on Vimeo. Throw a network connection on there, and you’re set to game with the rest of the world.

But back to my newspaper musings, I see some RPG companies getting it and some not. Some companies post the whole of their system up on a wiki and others that do not place bookmarks in their PDFs. Now we’ve got the Nook from Barns and Nobles that is full color. Printing full color costs a ton; displaying full color images on the device costs the same as black and white. Why print when you can do that? Companies need to be ready for the future, because the future is here. As Michael Stackpole put it, “The war between digital and print is over. Digital won, print just don’t know it yet.”

How will you be reading your RPG material in five years? Have you ever tried reading a book from your phone or an eReader device?

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[Traveller] Contest – Name This Ship

It seems like I am naming alot of stuff these days. Sometimes I can look at something and I know its name; other times its alot harder. This ship is one of the latter. So lets make this a contest. This is a sub-100 ton fighter produced by the Krown Corporation (from Mech Tech ‘n’ bot: Spaceport Tech 1). Leave a comment to this post with your idea for a the ship’s model name. Whoever’s name I choose will get a free pdf copy of the 16 page book Mech Tech ‘n’ bot: Fighters and Small Ships, due out late November. Enter before Nov 7th.

Good luck and happy gaming.

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[Traveller] Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium 1 Released

On distant worlds in the deepest regions of space, unknown creatures await unwitting explorers. Close to home, devious politicians and gangsters lure native wild life to carry out their dirty work while maintaining denyability. On a frontier outpost, primitive life forms walk the uninhabited regions hoping claim the civilized place as their new home. Be prepared no matter where your players go. Be ready with the Creatures of Distant Worlds.

Compendium 1 brings you the creatures from across science fiction all in one place. Each one represents a threat faced by characters in books, movies and video games that you can bring to your table. Combine the creatures with diseases, poisons and mundane animals, and this book spells trouble for your players.

Available now in print at our new Lulu store and in PDF at DriveThruRPG. Additionally, if you subscribed to either of the two Creatures Subscription offered by Jon Brazer Enterprises earlier this year, you should have received a coupon for a copy of the Compendium for free. If you subscribed and did not receive the coupon, please respond to this post.

Have Fun and Happy Gaming.

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Pathfinder: Contest – Name this Creature

Now that the bestiary is out, I am beginning serious work on monsters. I finished up a piece of artwork yesterday, but I’m not exactly sure what to name it. Submit your name ideas as a comment to this post and if I choose your idea, you will win a free copy of Book of the Faithful I: The Power of Prayer, due out in November.

Good luck and happy gaming.

Link to image

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Pathfinder: Religion for Non-Priests

One thing that always bothered me about D&D is that I have seen few characters have any faith beyond those of clerics. There have known a few to buck the trend (some of whom I have played), but the large majority I have known only gave thought to religion during character generation, choosing the obvious choice (i.e. dwarf character takes the main dwarf god, druid choosing the nature god). To help build the role playing aspect of this, what appears to be my first product for the Pathfinder Role Playing Game will help the non-Cleric to make their faith an integral part of their life.

Looking back at the long history of characters I have played, the one that I remember the most fondly were the ones with some major contradiction or non-obvious mashup of ideas. Among them was a fighter that worshiped the god of magic. He came from a family of wizards and wished to be a wizard himself, but was never smart enough to study the arcane arts. That internal conflict kept him interesting and memorable.

In Book of the Faithful I: The Power of Prayer, we explore ways for faithful followers of a deity to tap into a small bit of that divine power without multiclassing. We do this through a familiar mechanics: feats. Prayer Feats, the specific type of feats detailed within, gives a follower a daily reward for faithfully praying to their deity. Whenever a cleric prayers for their spells, the faithful follower must also make a short prayer, not nearly as long or intricate as the cleric. And for that prayer, the god rewards the character one time during the day at a time of the god’s choosing, not the character. In game terms, the player chooses when to use the power of the feat at whatever time they feel is most opportune.

Unlike clerics which may choose the majority of their spells from a large collective pool of spells, a god can only grant prayer feats based on the domains the deity may grant their clerics. Below are two that appear in Book of the Faithful I:

Shield of Divine Gust (Prayer)
The gods of air blow a single strike from you.
Prerequisites: Worshiping a deity with the Air Domain
Benefit: Against a single ranged attack per day, you gain a divine bonus to your armor class equal to (1/2 your character level). When multiple ranged weapons work off a single attack roll (such as a Manyshot attack), they count as a single attack.

Vine Skin (Prayer)
The gods of plants make you the protection of a plant against the elements.
Prerequisites: Worshiping a deity with the Plant Domain.
Benefit: Against a single blow per day, you gain resistance to either electricity or fire equal to (1/2 your character level).  You may decide to use this and which energy type after a successful attack roll but before damage is rolled.

Upon first glance, these feats may appear overpowered, but they are balanced by the fact these can only be used one time per day. It is the difference between the Maximize Spell feat (which requires the spell occupy a higher spell slot) and the Sudden Maximize Spell Feat (which did not require a higher spell slot but could only be used once per day) from the “Complete” series of book series. In the same way, this gives the character the feeling of being touched by their god without breaking the game.

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[Foreven] Ship Quirks and Other New d66 Lists

Brand new this month from Jon Brazer Enterprises, the First Name in Foreven, comes four all new exciting d66 list of random names and items. Each list provides you with possibilities for getting you out of a tight situation and giving your players food for their imagination.

This month, we bring you four all new lists:
d66 Space Station Names[/url]
d66 Planet’s Main Industry
d66 Ship Quirks
d66 Mercenary Company Names

Check them out now and see what your imagination can do.

Jon Brazer Enterprises specializes in Traveller-based RPG products. Check out our other products at our PDF store and our Digital Print Store. Jon Brazer Enterprises – We Bring You the Future.

“Traveller” and the Foreven logo are Trademarks owned by Far Future Enterprises, Inc. and are used with permission. The Traveller Main Rulebook is available from Mongoose Publishing.

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New Widget Added

Normally, I do not comment on adding or deleting a widget, but this time I am because it is a relative big deal. Its a writer’s word count meter underneath the Tweets from the Future widget. It displays the current word count of a major project I’m working on. I don’t know how many words the final is going to be but 50,000 is a good estimate for the moment. That is about a 128 book. So this does not for a book less than 48 pages. I am planning a few that are 32ish pages, but I am not counting them for this. My goal is to have the current top secret major project ready by Origins or GenCon 2010, but no guarantees. I am, however, not going to be working on this on a daily basis.

This also marks a change in my current business model. I am going to be focusing on more larger projects and releasing less frequently. If there is one thing that has been communicated to me rather clearly is that most do not want sub-10 page products. I will be phasing out those shorter projects in favor of longer products. The 1-3 pagers were good to get the company off the ground, but it is now time to move on. I will be releasing products much less frequently, but they will be larger products.

Until Next time.

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[Traveller] Mech Tech ‘n’ bot – Battle Dress Now Available

Far future universes need machines and technology that makes the average spacefarer’s life easier. Everything from the robots to computers to weaponry and vehicles, the future should feel exciting with tech everywhere. Ideal for any setting, Mech Tech ‘n’ bot is your supplement series to making your game feel futuristic.

Battle Dress 1 presents four all new battle dress for soldiers, military units and private owners: the Krieg designed for heavy weapons combat, the Wind Dancer for high jumps and agility, Thunder optimized for law enforcement, and Wolf built for snipers to evade detection. As a bonus it details the Hummingbird compressed sonic rifle. Protect yourself with the best in defense.

Download today at DriveThruRPG.

Remember to pre-order your copy of Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium 1 by Oct 5th to receive the PDF copy as a free gift.

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Pathfinder: Minor Race Development Blog: Half-Dryad

This is the first what I hope will be an every other week blog entry. Basickly its going to be taking about the development of whatever it is I happen to be working on for the Pathfinder Role Playing Game. The poll showed the highest interest in Races and Monsters. So lets start with Races since I was working on that earlier this year with only the beta as a guide.

One of the problems that I never felt was really answered was, “There is no race that just scream, ‘This race is for women!‘” Sure there’s the elf/half elf, but neither of these possess the grail-shaped light over their heads to draw in the female gamer. Well with some wonderful inspiration from my girlfriend and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon we’re both enjoying thanks to netflix, I found the perfect female to base a race off of: Cordelia. She’s social, kicks ass when necessary, a survivalist, possesses indepth knowledge of certain aspects of life, and makes witty remarks. Granted she’s not very knowledgeable about many other aspects of life. Oh well. So I leaf through the Monster Manual to find some base of reference for a Cordy-like race. Succubus? No! Not going there … yet. Dryad is cool. … The whole “cannot be more than 300 yards away from their tree” thing makes it a major no go. … How about a half-dryad? Hmmm, potential! I mean what human moral-less man wouldn’t want to be with an elf-looking woman that can’t follow him back home and find out he’s married. Plus they can entangle at will. That’s wrong on so many levels, but I think it could work.

So what should a Cordelia-themed half-dryad race have at its disposal. Entangle as a spell like ability would be quite dryad themed. Then there Cordy’s native survivalist abilities and she’s highly social. Con and Cha and Survival skill bonuses. Definitely an Int penalty. Definitely. She’s going to need a natural armor bonus (+1) since she’s part dryad and other fey qualities like low light. Maybe the natural armor could be a feat, to keep the race balanced. I’ll have to playtest that some. I think that about wraps up the crunch.

How about the fluff? Well they have a Cha bonus so they’re pretty and social. They like to make themselves the center of attention. Definitely a Cordelia trait. They can leave the woods and leave their parent stuck at an oak tree. Probably grew up with little change of scenery, except when getting away from the parent. So no matter where they go, they’re seeing a whole new world. New possibilities lay before them where ever they go. Sounds like the perfect adventurer race to me. What else?

What about restricting their sorcerer bloodlines to fey only? They can certainly be destined, so keep that one allowable. Well it is possible that their human parent had some infernal or draconic influences. They’re fey should overpower such shouldn’t it? Possibly, but (to use a cooking metaphor) I don’t need to add alot of garlic or oregano to greatly influence the taste of spaghetti sauce. So I think the others should be allowable. Must think more on this.

Please feel free to comment on this. Tell me what you think of this race?

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Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium 1 Print Edition Pre-Order

The wait is over! The much anticipated Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium 1 is now available for print pre-order from Jon Brazer Enterprises. Now you can get all the creatures you have been craving for your game in your hot little hands and waiting on your bookshelf.

Packed with over fifty creature stat blocks in its 16 pages, you can find the right creature for the right moment. Each creature write up is dripping with plot hooks, environmental information, descriptions to read to your player, and (most importantly) combat tactics information. It also includes a list of Terran creature stats for you to use as is, to modify and make your own unique creatures and to fill out your distant worlds.

But that’s not all, the Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium 1 also contains 30 diseases, both exotic and mundane, for your players to contract. If that were not enough, this Compendium details poisons and venoms. All this adds up to a book of trouble to shake up even the most experienced of players.

As a bonus for pre-ordering before October 5th, you get the Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium 1 PDF for free as soon as the Compendium ships later that month. All this for $9.99 plus shipping and handling. Click on the button below to reserve your Creature Compendium today.

Pre-orders are now closed.