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Tales of the Crimson Boar: Meet Our Design Team

As I said in my last blog about Tales of the Crimson Boar, our upcoming campaign mini-setting, our design team for this project includes some excellent writers, including several members of the Raleigh gaming community that originally conceptualized the Crimson Boar Inn. I want to take a few minutes to brag about each of the amazing team members and introduce them to you!

 

Michael Allen is a freelance designer and cartographer, and his work with Adventure-A-Week Games and other third-party publishers of RPG products is well-known. He is also the designer of JBE’s critically-acclaimed 1st-level Pathfinder module To Claw The Surface and the cartographer for The Gilded Gauntlet (as well as a contributor to that project) and Along Came A Spider. Michael’s full-color rendering of the Crimson Boar Inn was commissioned by Raleigh Tabletop RPGs in 2016, and we’re thrilled to have licensed that content for use in this product as well!

 

Claire Carrington is a published academic author and researcher who has contributed to several scientific periodicals and blogs in addition to her fantasy writing as a NaNoWriMo participant and avid roleplayer. A lover of all animals, especially reptiles and amphibians, she is also the founder and owner of Terra Ophelia Designs, which offers custom-built terrariums for your favorite scaly friends!

 

Nori Duffy has worked as a translator and ESL instructor across a wide range of public, private, and nonprofit organizations. A longtime RTR member who has made many a veteran GM facepalm with puns and spurious decisions at the gaming table, they are an avid fan of all things geeky and gamey.

 

In addition to designing RPG content (The World of Esaene and The Pellinen Islands), Brant Guillory has also written columns and reviews for Scrye, RPG.net, Battles! Magazine, and ConSimWorld. His games and designs have included commercial RPGs and wargames, academic training exercises, and training games for the NSA and National Defense University.  He is the editorial director of GrogHeads.com and co-hosts their podcast (The GrogCast!) and video series (Dragon Up The Past) as well as organizing their wargaming program at the Origins Game Fair for the past 5 years.

 

Allan Hoffman’s prior credits as an RPG designer include contributions to Savage Mojo’s epic plane-hopping adventure Palace of the Lich Queen and their Suzerain rules supplement for playing demigods in Pathfinder, as well as room designs for JBE’s The Gilded Gauntlet. A seemingly-bottomless producer of ideas and words, Allan resides in North Dakota where he serves his community as a pastor.

 

Melissa Moritz has been playing, writing, designing and programming for roleplaying games since way back in the days of MUDs, MOOs, and MUSHs. Her blog, The Lonely Gamer Girl, is an excellent hub of resources for GMs. Melissa previously served as an organizer for Raleigh Tabletop RPGs prior to relocating to Ohio, and acted as showrunner for the inaugural season of The Contingent, RTR’s longest-running and most-popular Semi-Organized Play Campaign.

 

Cathy Nanni has been playing and running games for over a decade. An RTR member for over three years prior to relocating to Texas, she served as a Storyteller and creative consultant for The Contingent across four seasons of games, introducing a host of unforgettable characters and bone-chilling moments for our local player base (as well as a thigh-slappingly-funny session of Kobolds Ate My Baby! set in the Crimson Boar Inn!).

 

Randy Pinion is a longtime roleplayer and GM with a penchant for enormous, over-developed homebrew projects, as well as a previously-published satirist at Boston University’s Daily Free Press. The newest member of RTR’s Leadership Team, Randy has led the Tales of the Crimson Boar quarterly event going on two years now, and is also the creative force behind the wacky sci-fi hijinks of RTR’s newest Semi-Organized Play Campaign, Seek The Stars!

 

Christen Sowards is the owner of Lost Spheres Publishing and creator of the upcoming Pathfinder-compatible City of 7 Seraphs planar city setting. JBE fans will also recognize him as the author of Nine Lives For Petane. In addition to his work as a designer and publisher, Christen is an advocate for safe spaces in gaming. He resides in Utah with his husband James.

 

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Christmas in July 2018

Its that time of year again everyone.

*Time to brush up on our juggling?*

What?!? No. Well, not only that, but it is time for the Christmas in July Sale. Sure we said last year and the year before and the year before that that it is better than ever. Just like it was true then, it is even more true now. Why? Because we have more on sale than we did last year.

*Isn’t that just because you have more stuff than you did a year ago?*

Yes, thank you very much unhelpful voice in my head, that is true. We are talking over 200 PDFs that are 25% off.

*Wow! 25% off. That’s like … 75% of the regular price.*

Once again unhelpful voice, you are correct. And you can find these deals at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and the Open Gaming Store. Let’s take a look at some of these awesome deals you can snag right now.

Pathfinder

Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Book of Heroic Races Compendium (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Book of the River Nations (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Deadly Delves: The Gilded Gauntlet (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Deadly Delves: To Claw the Surface (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Shadowsfall: Shadow Plane Player’s Companion (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)

Traveller

Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
d66 Compendium (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Mech Tech ‘n’ bot: Mech Squadrons (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)

Fifth Edition

Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)

13th Age

Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races 1 (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races 2 (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)
Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin (DriveThruRPG/Open Gaming Store)

See all of our PDFs on sale at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and the Open Gaming Store and download now before this sale ends.

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5e: Conjure Minor Celestial

Not long ago we shared with you one of my favorite creations for 5e, the lantern archon. This little talking ball of light is a guide through the heavens and a great helper to servants of a deity. There’s just one little problem with it, a cleric has to be level 13 to summon one and they cannot cast resurrection that day if they want to do so. I mean, I like that little guy and all but not that much.

It never seemed fair to me that wizards and druids can conjure up some help at much lower levels, but not the cleric. In other editions clerics are just as good at calling up help from beyond as wizards. So it only seemed logical that I do something about it.

Conjure Minor Celestial

5th-level conjuration
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour
You summon celestials that appear in unoccupied spaces that you can see within range. You choose one of the following options for what appears:

  • One celestial of challenge rating 2 or lower
  • Two celestials of challenge rating 1 or lower
  • Four celestials of challenge rating 1/2 or lower
  • Eight celestials of challenge rating 1/4 or lower.

A celestial summoned by this spell disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.
The summoned creatures are friendly to you and your companions. Roll initiative for the summoned creatures as a group, which has its own turns. They obey any verbal commands that you issue to them (no action required by you). If you don’t issue any commands to them, they defend themselves from hostile creatures, but otherwise take no actions.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using certain an 8th level spell slot, you choose one of the summoning options above, and twice as many creatures appear.

Here’s the only problem with this spell, the MM as a total of 1 celestial you can conjure with this spell—the pegasus. Even worse, VGtM doesn’t add any. There are a decent number of beasts, fey (mostly evil ones), and elementals in that book, but not a single celestial a cleric can conjure up at any level. The flail snail is conjurable for wizards and druids (or crying out loud), but nothing for the cleric.

So I will continue to correct that oversight, both in our blog and in the book Book of Magic: Conjurable Creatures, coming late 2018/early 2019. This is without a doubt a book focused on spellcasting players, but it is also great for GMs as well. I mean, its a book of monsters; every GM can use more monsters, even ones that are primarily good ones. If you are a GM or someone that primarily players spellcasters, I hope you check this book out.

While you are at it, I hope you also check out all our other supplements for 5e. We have awesome adventures, radical races, and malicious monsters. Dive in at the JBE Shop.

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5e: Great Dodo

One of the problems that annoys me the most about Fifth Edition is the lack of character choice you have. Beyond 3rd level, there are very few choices for a character to make. Even spellcasters, the classes with the most numbers of choices regardless of edition get far less choice compared to other editions. This means that every choice you do make has to be more meaningful, far less choices can be a cute throwaway choice done just for the fun of it.

That is what makes the conjure spells so much fun for spellcasters. They can change their choices just because it seems like a good idea at that moment. If this one is silly, that’s ok because the next time you cast it can be completely serious. So while you have the opportunity, why not conjure up a great dodo. Before you go, “Wait, what?!?” here it is…

Great Dodo


Huge beast, unaligned


Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 152 (16d12 + 48)
Speed 30 ft.


STR 16 (+3) DEX 14 (+2) CON 17 (+3)
INT 2 (–4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 5 (–3)


Saving Throws Con +6
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)


Flapping Run. When taking a Dash action, a great dodo treats its speed as 45 ft.
Actions


Bill Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 36 (6d10 + 3) bludgeoning damage. On a successful hit, the target must succeed a DC 16 Constitution save or be stunned until the end of the great dodo’s next turn.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 42 (6d12 + 3) piercing damage.

Download all of JBE’s 5e PDFs at the JBE Shop. You can also download our 5e PDFs at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

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Crimson Boar: A Community Partnership

Although Jon Brazer Enterprises supports a variety of game systems and genres of play, it’s no secret that fantasy gaming makes up the lion’s share of our product releases. If you’re reading this, chances are good that you’ve already got one of our many adventures or rules supplements for Pathfinder, 5th Edition, or 13th Age either in your digital library or on your bookshelf. (If not, click on one of the links in my previous sentence to see what we have to offer your game!)

In addition to being a role-playing game publisher, JBE’s staff and contributors are also part of an international community made up of local networks of gamers. For my own part, I’ve been a member of an amazing community in Raleigh, NC for nearly ten years now—Raleigh Tabletop RPGs (or RTR), a Meetup-based community of nearly 1,600 gamers that has grown from coffeehouse meetups and a loose network of private home games to multi-table in-store gaming events and year-round semi-organized play for a number of different systems. Much has changed since RTR’s founding, yet the heart of that community remains just as vibrant as it was at its inception.

Today, it’s my utmost pleasure to announce in this blog post a partnership between the RTR community and the JBE community on a product we hope to bring to you within the next year: Tales of the Crimson Boar.

Longtime RTR members know the Crimson Boar well, although newer members or those outside the Raleigh area might not be familiar with its origins. In 2011, a group of gamers met at Deja Brew Coffeehouse in North Raleigh and began a massive crowdsourcing effort to stock an inn and tavern with unique NPCs. For seven going on eight years, RTR has hosted a summer fantasy gaming event called Tales of the Crimson Boar every July where the inn and its inhabitants were featured in the games run—sometimes just as a starting point, other times as the focal location of the scenario.

Over the next few months, I’ll be spearheading a design team to reconceptualize the Crimson Boar Inn and its inhabitants as a cohesive, modern campaign mini-setting, along with a massive collection of full-color maps and a short adventure module set in and around the Inn for GMs around the world to introduce their gamers to this little corner of our local community. Most excitingly, we’ll be working in concert with RTR organizers and GMs to bring their ideas to life! Our design team for this project includes eight former or current members of RTR (myself included) who will bring their unique talents to bear on creating an unforgettable setting and cast of characters. The Crimson Boar always has been, and always will be, RTR’s—JBE is merely the custodian and deliverer of that content, and it’s important to us that the product represent both our standards of quality and the diverse spirit of the Raleigh gaming community!

We’ll have much more to say about Tales of the Crimson Boar in the coming weeks and months, including a full introduction to our design team and some preliminary details about what makes this setting stand out—so pull up a bar stool and try a pint of the house ale!

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5e: Lantern Archon

The little helper angel, the lantern archon, is one of my favorite and it really disappointed me that it was not in the MM. This is a perfect creature that a cleric should be able to conjure up for help. Heck, you could even say this is the spirit that takes on an animalistic form from the find familiar spell when finding a celestial.

Be sure to check out all of our 5e monsters, class options, races and adventures at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Lantern Archon

Tiny celestial, lawful good
Armor Class 14
Hit Points 76 (17d4 + 34)
Speed fly 30 ft.
STR 3 (–4) DEX 19 (+4) CON 14 (+2)
INT 12 (+1) WIS 18 (+4) CHA 15 (+2)
Saving Throws Wis +6
Damage Resistance radiant
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, petrification
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages all
Challenge 2 (450 XP)


Innate Spellcasting. The lantern archon’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 12). The lantern archon can innate cast the following spells, requiring only verbal components:
At will: aid, detect evil and good
Magic Resistance. The lantern archon has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Actions


Multiattack. The lantern archon makes two light rays attacks.
Light Rays. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 60 ft./360 ft., one creature. Hit: 6 (1d4 + 4) radiant damage.
Healing Touch (1/Day). The lantern archon touches another creature. The target magically regains 9 (2d6 + 2) hit points.

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5e: Arm Wrap

One thing I hear over and over again no matter what edition or variation of D&D, there just are not enough magic items for monks. In an effort to fix that, I started writing some. As usual for this blog when showing off something not yet published in a book, it hasn’t been approved by my editors yet so it is not as polished as it would be when given the final nod.

Tell us what you think of it in the comments below. Support our efforts to bring you more 5e awesomeness by downloading our adventures, races and more at JonBrazer.com. You can also find our 5e game supplements at DriveThruRPG RPGNow Paizo and the Open Gaming Store.

Arm Wrap

Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)

When wrapped around the arms, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls on from natural weapons such as claws and bite attacks as well as martial arts that use unarmed strikes. If you have ki points, you gain an additional ki point.

Download our Fifth Edition PDFs at the JBE Shop. You can also find our 5e books at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow Paizo and the Open Gaming Store.

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Pathfinder: Playtest at Origins

Yesterday I got my first chance to play the demo of the Pathfinder Playtest, and I couldn’t be more excited to have been apart of it. I played in a 2 hour demo with pregen characters. So I would like to share with you my impressions of the game.

Before I begin, I would like to say that I am not going to talk about the adventure itself since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone that is going to play it. I am only going to limit my remarks to my thoughts on the game itself.

Have you ever played a sequel to a video game you loved and realized from all the changes and upgraded that this was for all tense and purposes that this is a completely different game (none of the original programming code reused whatsoever), but the design loveingly took the time and effort to make sure that the new game still look and felt like it was a successor to the original. Like those working on it loved the original game but knew the code needed to rewritten for modern audiences. That is exactly how this felt, only with a tabletop game. It is undoubtedly a different game than Pathfinder 1e, but it felt the same. That is without a doubt a good thing.

I played the Kira the cleric (my apologies to Paizo if I got her name wrong). The character had the Fire domain, giving her a bolt of fire as an attack. I was able to cure one person in the group with a touch and the whole group with a burst. The fighter moved and attacked. Traps were disarmed and on and on. All of this sounds familiar to Pathfinder 1e fans, but the way it happened is different in 2e. That fire bolt was launched from my pool of spell points instead of X uses per day. The fighter had a specific 2-action option for moving and attacking. Disarming the trap was assisted by the paladin because she had a background that helped in this matter.

All those differences are good and all, but what do I think of it? And more importantly, is this the 5e killer? Well, I like it. It currently appears to be a solid game from the little I saw of it. Is it a 5e killer, I think that is the wrong question to ask. The right questions is, are they going after the same audience? To me, that is an unquestionable, “No.” Fifth edition is an elegant game. It is fun and easy for new players to pick up and learn. It also has painfully few choices for an individual character. Sure you get a subclass in the early levels and can choose to upgrade an ability or take a feat every so often, but that is it. It is all to easy to make one elf rogue look exactly like another elf rogue in that game. Add in the fact that the number of books they sell that are not tied to a specific campaign that contain new player options can still be counted on one hand several years in, and it becomes obvious that Wizards designed their game to be played by casual gamers. They wanted someone that only had the core book five years after launch to not be intimidated by someone with the gym bag library at the table.

That is not the audience Paizo is going after. One year of Pathfinder 2e will see more pages of player options published than 5e has from their respective companies outside of their core books by the same date. Where 5e is covering the basic ideas for you to play, Pathfinder 2e is going to cover all the options, allowing you to make exactly the character you want to play. Between classes, class options, feats, skill feats, archetypes, and more, choices for your character are something you will not be hurting for in Pathfinder 2e.

That is where I see Pathfinder 2e finding it’s home, among gamers that want their character the way they want it and not having characters that are highly similar. Where 5e is the Basic Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder 2e is the Advanced game.

I just want to take a moment to thank Mark Seifter. He ran an awesome game for our group and took the time to answer all of our questions about it after the game. I am sure he had to do that a million times at PaizoCon and he was still fresh and engaging with us at Origins.

Be sure to check out all our Pathfinder and 5e options at the JBE Shop.

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5e: Vampiric Young Blue Dragon

Today I would like to share with you a fun mash up of two monsters: dragon and vampire. We are so use to vampires being humanoid that we forget that a vampire can be of any shape. So when creating it in another form, why not marry it a creature that is already scary like a dragon. Done like this, it opens up some new design space. You can make adjustments to the standard vampire abilities that fit a dragonic form much better. For example, we changed the ability Legendary Resistance to Legendary Scales. This is both familiar while still being unique for this specific monster.

As always, check out all our Fifth Edition products at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store. Supporting us lets us to bring you more monsters every Wednesday and other blog posts throughout the week.

Vampiric Young Blue Dragon

Large undead, neutral evil


Armor Class 20 (natural armor)
Hit Points 123 (13d10 + 52)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 80 ft.


STR 21 (+5) DEX 16 (+3) CON 19 (+4)
INT 22 (+6) WIS 18 (+4) CHA 20 (+5)


Saving Throws Str +10, Con +9, Wis +9, Cha +10
Skills Athletics +10, Perception +9, Stealth +8
Damage Resistances lightning, necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)


Legendary Scales (3/Day). If the dragon succeeds a saving throw that would normally deal half damage on a successful save, the dragon can choose to take no damage from the attack. Any conditions that would be applied on a successful save are still applied.
Regeneration. The dragon regains 20 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight or running water. If the vampire takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vampire’s next turn.
Vampire Weaknesses. The dragon has the following flaws:
Forbiddance. The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
Harmed by Running Water. The dragon takes 20 acid damage if it ends its turn in running water.
Stake to the Heart. If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into the dragon’s heart while the dragon is incapacitated in its resting place, the dragon is paralyzed until the stake is removed.
Sunlight Hypersensitivity. The dragon takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack roll and ability checks. .

Actions


Multiattack. The dragon makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d12 + 5) piercing damage plus 5 (1d10) lightning damage and 5 (1d10) necrotic damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 18). The dragon cannot bite another target while grappling. The target’s hit points maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the dragon regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A dragon slain in this way and then buried in the ground or a mound of copper, gold, and silver rises the following night as a vampiric dragon spawn under the dragon’s control. If a humanoid is slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the dragon’s control.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d8 + 5) slashing damage.
Terrify. The dragon targets one dragon or humanoid it can see within 30 feet of it. If the target can see the dragon, the target must succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be terrified of the dragon. The terrified target regards the dragon as a imposing image that must be obeyed. Although the target isn’t under the dragon’s control, it takes the dragon’s requests orders that must be carried out or suffer the consequences. Additionally, it is a willing target for the dragon’s bite attack.
Each time the dragon or the dragon’s companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until the dragon is destroyed, is on a different plane of existance than the target, or takes a bonus action to end the effect.
Black Lightning Breath (Recharge 5–6). The dragon exhales lightning infused with necrotic energy in a 60-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw, taking 44 (8d10) lightning damage and 44 (8d10) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

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5e: Scroll of Blinding Ash

So I was leafing through the DMG the other day and I realized that there is a real shortage of awesome common and uncommon magic items. So I decided to start writing some. Magic items, especially low level items, make for an excellent and rewarding experience for players. They can separate an average game from a memorable game. Expect to see this and many other like it in an upcoming PDF release from JBE when we have completed enough to make for an awesome release.

Scroll of Blinding Ash

Scroll, uncommon
Upon activating this scroll, it turns to ash. The ash flies into the eyes of a creature within 30 feet and the creature takes 1d6 fire damage. On a failed DC 13 Constitution save, the creature is also blinded for the round.

You know what else makes adventures memorable? A unique adventure your characters never played before. Download Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin for your Fifth Edition game today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store. Prefer it in print? Order your copy at JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, or Amazon today.