The Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes, the latest in the award-winning Book of Beast series, details the deadliest and most frightening monsters ever to grace your gaming table. Bring new life and peril to your mythic adventures with these fierce monsters and high level NPCs.
This 68-page, beautiful full-color monster tome features:
34 brand new monsters ranging from CR 15-25
11 high level NPCs and classed monsters, each are difficult builds, saving you considerable work
3 demigods with enough detail and NPCs for you to build an entire campaign around
12 brand new traps ranging from CR 15-24, to keep your players on their toes
Easy-to-use references and links, allowing you to look up rules you are sure of with a minimum of effort
Make your players afraid of monsters again. Make them tremble with fear.
As the holidays have wrapped up and you begin to get back into your science fiction RPG, be sure to have the d66 Compendium at your side. This books gives you the name for every ship, planet, moon, starbase, spaceport, robot manufacturer, and mercenary company you could ever want. Flesh out your character or give your game setting all the detail you could want with proper names and descriptions for every situation. Share the exact composition of the exotic atmosphere or name your aliens in a consistent manner. Inspired by the Traveller setting’s Foreven Sector, this book will enhance your world and your game.
As a publisher that tries to make my books as attractive to game stores as possible I do quite a few things to help them out. Most notably, I have a PDF guarantee where a customer can get the PDF for free no matter where they pick up a print book. And game stores can give out the PDF via Bits and Mortar. However, I only know of a few game stores that really tout this kind publisher/game store cooperation. The general attitude I have encountered from game stores is that they find it annoying that they have to do additional work keeping track of a PDF for a book that doesn’t sell all that many copies. Sure they are glad to handle it for big selling game companies, but for game books that may only sell 2-4 copies ever in their store, they do not want the additional work. And on more than a few ocassions I’ve heard game stores just ignore it and tell their customers to contact me personally, which I am happy to do. While this is not exactly helpful, I do understand the position. We are all busy and extra work is not always welcome.
However, this position blindsided me. The author of the post and owner of the blog is Gary Ray of Black Diamond Games. He’s a good guy whom I value his insights into the retail side of the industry considerably. The short version of his blog post is that he will no longer be carrying books that are funded via Kickstarter anymore from small and medium publishers. “So my answer is always going to be ‘no’ now, I do not want that product, and thank you for sharing your efforts to bypass traditional mediums that I happen to use to feed my family.” While I do understand (and agree) that business is business and if he can’t sell a product (regardless of how it was funded) he shouldn’t carry it, a blanket attitude like this does not help me at all. As one of these publishers that had a Free RPG Day book funded via Kickstarter, I produced a book that would otherwise be impossible for me to do so without Kickstarter funding. The minimum print run to participate in Free RPG Day is larger than any other print run I do on a for profit book. I cannot do that on a book that is nothing but a total loss. It is just not possible.
But factor this in for a moment: Kickstarter is used by a number of small and medium game publishers for games that they themselves are not sure if there is a market for it. So the game publisher is not sure if they should 1) make the game at all, 2) how large the initial print run should be, or 3) plan to make expansions. Kickstarter can give you definitive answers to some and points to others. It can clearly say if there is enough interest out there to actually make it. A funded Kickstarter project means you should produce the book. While it won’t say exactly how many to produce, you know you have to produce copies for those that bought the game early and you have additional money to make more. Just don’t spend more than you brought in and you’re good. And if you did goals beyond the minimum, you may have funding for expansions as well. On top of all that certainty in the very uncertain market that game publishing is, it generates excitement among those that will become the alphas of the game.
Compare that with traditional distribution. You do not know how many to produce if there is a market out there at all. You are relying on game stores and distributors that are so flooded with other games and books that unless your name is Paizo, Fantasy Flight, Game’s Workshop or Wizards of the Coast, there is no guarantee a single store in the world will hear of you and (even if they do) order a single copy, let alone more than one. You also don’t have any indication if there is reason for you to work on expansions for the game or how well they will sell either. Oh and you are using all your own money to design, playtest, and produce this game.
Comparing the two, Kickstarter has a considerably amount of certainty while traditional distribution has almost none. So an attitude like the one in the blog ties an arm behind my back. I can say with certainty that because of attitudes like the one expressed above I will not be participating in 2013’s Free RPG Day. If my books are going to be banned from their store because it was funded with Kickstarter, then I do not have the funds to create such a book. Its that simple. I can’t do it. If the attitude expressed was, “I have to use more discretion when ordering books that were funded with Kickstarter,” is completely understandable and good business.
Consider the future for a moment. If a game company sells through direct marketing, print on demand, Kickstarter and other non-traditional methods, having never touched the traditional distribution system and makes it big (a distinct possibility in the 5-10 year time frame), what incentive do they have to ever sell through game stores. Lower profit margins, no direct access to their customer base, no direct feedback from customers, no certainty that the game store will pick up the game “because they didn’t sell through us game stores before, why should I sell their products now,” (yes I got that attitude when I went from PDF to print publishing), and many more reason against selling through traditional distribution. However, if game stores are (at minimum) not against selling a game that was funded or produced through non-traditional means, they can be part of the game company’s strategy to reach customers and seen as indispensable. Attitudes like the one above do not help.
For the time being, I can say that I am not going to be making changes. However, I am getting that much closer to reconsidering my distribution strategy. I am content the way it is. However, the more push back I get from any one distribution channel, the more I want to look for alternatives.
You may have seen my posts on Twitter and Facebook that I’m devoting all my time these days to working on Shadowsfall to the exclusion of all else. However, I do not want to drop off the face of the earth. So, I’m going to be posting some various pieces of material that are developed but are waiting for me to finish writing more in a similar vein (which I’m not doing these days). So consider these spoilers of future products. I’ll be posting about once to twice a week so stop back frequently.
Guardian of the Mountains
An enormous rock beast, this creature is easily mistaken for a small mountain while it is dormant for centuries Guardian of the Mountains CR 19 XP 204,800
LN Colossal outsider (earth, elemental, extraplanar) Init +2; Senses darkvision 120 ft., tremorsense 240 ft.; Perception +35 (+42 vs creatures touching the ground)
DefenseAC 37, touch 0, flat-footed 37 (-2 Dex, +37 natural, -8 size) hp 406 (28d10+252) Fort +25, Ref +9, Will +20 DR 20/adamantine; Immune acid; SR 36 Weaknesses vulnerable to sonic
OffenseSpeed 30 ft., burrow 120 ft., earth glide Melee 2 slams +30 (4d8+10) Ranged rock throwing +18 (8d8+15)) Space 30 ft., Reach 30 ft. (400 ft. with extended slam) Special Attack crush (DC 34, 4d8+15), extended slam, rock throwing (200 ft.)
StatisticsStr 31, Dex 6, Con 29, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 19 Base Atk +28; CMB +46; CMD 54 Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes Skills Intimidate +34, Knowledge (dungeoneering, history, planes) +32, Linguistics +32, Perception +35 (+42 vs creatures touching the ground), Sense Motive +35; Racial Modifiers +12 Perception vs creatures touching the ground Languages Common, Draconic, Terran and 27 others
EcologyEnvironment any mountains Organization solitary Treasure double (lumps of gold, platinum and silver)
Special AbilitiesCrush (Ex) A guardian of the mountains can crush any creature it steps on. If a guardian of the mountain enters the space occupied by an opponent three or more size categories smaller, the creature takes 4d8+15 and must make a Reflex save (DC 34) or be pinned. A pinned creature takes the listed damage at the start of its turn and must succeed a CMB or Escape Artist check to break the grapple. A guardian of the mountain must succeed a CMB check to maintain the pin. The DC for this ability is Strength-based. Extended Slam (Su) A guardian of the mountains can pull rocks out of the ground, incorporate them into its body and extend its reach. Once every 2 rounds, a guardian of the mountains can attempt a slam attack against creature that is up to 400 ft. away. Alternatively, this can be used to make a bull rush attempt. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity. After this attack, the rocks pulled out of the ground fall back down. All creatures in a line between a guardian of the mountains and its target must succeed a Reflex save (DC 33) or take 2d6 points of bludgeoning damage. Creatures that are above the guardian of the mountains and its target (such as flying creature) do not take damage from this effect while creatures below the line of falling rocks take damage. A guardian of the mountains must be in contact with the ground to use this ability. The DC for this ability is Constitution-based.
A guardian of the mountains does not move for earthquakes or the encroachment of civilization or the slow progress of time. It only awakens from its long slumber whenever the force of air encroaches heavily on the force of earth. Ancient stories tell of a guardian coming out when powerful spellcasters specialize in air or cold spells and wield them within a mountain chain, a large group of cloud giants make their home in its hills, or a flying city passes overhead. One tale tells of a Guardian of the Mountains crushing a human city that worshipped an air deity in its mountains, having built grand temples to the deity.
Legends claim that it is one of Gaia’s scions and great protectors. Scholars debate whether the guardian of the mountains is all the same creature, travelling from place to place or if there are multiple guardians living in the world. No stories claim that any have ever been killed. However, a few tales tell of the guardian of the mountain being reasoned with and the reason for its attacks ended. Typically these legends tell of someone going on a great quest to put a stop to the real cause of the guardian of the mountain’s reason for anger.
Download the Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes today at JonBrazer.com.
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