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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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[Poll] What RPG Material Would You Be Interested In?

Jon Brazer Enterprises’ first official poll. What RPG Material Would You Be Interested In? We are currently deciding which direction to go from here. We’ve got several ideas for projects to come out early next year. We’d like to know what you are interested in. Please click on the link below and let us know.

What RPG Material Would You Be Interested In?

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September Updates

New month begins, summer wanes, and Ren Faire season begins. This weekend I’m taking my daughter to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival this weekend. I love renn faires; I hope my daughter does as well. We’ll see. She already tried on two dresses she’s going to wear. One is pink velvet the other is purple … fabric. No clue what it is. But its purple and she likes it. So all’s good. Odds are she’ll like it, but I don’t know for sure. Later my girlfriend and I are going to the Lakewood Renn Faire and we’re still planning on going to the Penn Renn Faire in October.

Right now I am still planning on going to TravellerCon. I haven’t formally sent in the registration info yet because I do not yet know in what capacity I will be going as. Assuming I can finish the Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium in the next two weeks, I am going to be a vendor. I am still hopeful that I can also finish up my first project for Foreven, but more than likely it will be ready for a mid-November/early-December release. I am highly considering getting myself listed with some distributors. If I can, I’ll be doing a campaign mid-2010 to get into game stores. Not bad for being less than a year old.

Pathfinder has not escaped my notice as well. I have a megaton of fantasy artwork currently going unused. I’ve played enough to be familiar with the game and it is a damn fun game. The only thing holding me back at the moment is the possibility that I might be spreading myself to thin. Running a business is not an easy venture. I find myself spending just as much time on the business aspect as I do actually writing. Don’t get me wrong, it is one fun ride. But it is also a small ton of work.

Recently, I’ve been learning some cool tricks with Photoshop. I’ve known how to make something look like its travelling at blinding speeds, but now I’m taking that and applying it in a different way to make it look like that same object is being warped at odd angles. Expect to see some of this in upcoming covers.

Traveller Upcoming Products: Next week, we’ve got 4 more d66 lists. I’ve got 2 picked out so far: Private Ships and Emblems. The following week premieres the last of the Creatures of Distant Worlds for individual sale: Ants. This will cover everything from swarms of tiny ants that devour people in 2-3 rounds to giant radioactive ants that damage small space craft with their bite. Following that comes the third in the Mech Tech ‘n’ bot line. Its currently 2/3’s complete and will be ready for release towards the end of the month.

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Good Problems

Certain problems I love to have. To many good ideas is my current problem. Here are some of the ideas rattling around in my head at the moment. A monster series for Pathfinder (the bestiary is coming out a full month after the core book so why not produce some monsters for players to encounter in the interrim), a ship book for Traveller, a Foreven sourcebook, my own far future campaign setting and accompanying first adventure), and several others. Unfortunately the Pathfinder idea is going to have to wait (and miss a perfect opportunity), because I don’t have the core book and I will get some important details wrong (like XP, CMB/CMD, feats, etc).

So I am still maintaining my focus on Traveller. So weigh in, what would you like to see? A Foreven sourcebook, ships, a creature compendium, a mech and fighter book, or would you be interested in a setting that focuses on freedom, justice, desperation, and a hope for a brighter tomorrow?

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Late July Update

I’ve been away form the computer for a while. Second vacation with my daughter this summer. In that time, I’ve been thinking and planning much about Traveller. Nothing I can talk about yet since plans are little than a kernal of an idea at the moment. but I think I am ready for the next step. It does however mean a shift in the way I’ve been running the company to date. I haven’t been thrilled with single page releases and I am not sure the market prefers this format either. So after the current run of 5 Creatures of Distant Worlds, that format will be changing. I still have several ideas as to what it will be changing to, but nothing solid yet.

As readers of Creatures of Distant Worlds will undoubtedly know, there is a particular setting in mind when I designed each these. That setting is currently being written. I expect it’ll be released next year. I also plan to goto a con this fall and plan to run the setting’s intro scenario a few times to get some of the bugs worked out. Details, both on the setting itself and which convention, will come once confirmed.

Did I mention I like hot wings?

Pathfinder is still very much on my mind. I purchased alot of stockart. Most of it is fantasy based (that can easily be ported over to sci-fi, but that’s a different matter). Releasing a few Creatures of Distant Worlds style products for Pathfinder (to test the market) is a very tempting idea.

Monday is back to work day and I need to add products to DriveThruRPG, finish up the PDF of the Character Datafile, write Ants…

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[PFRPG] What Things May Come

There are few things I know for sure. One of those things I do know is that my daughter is 6 years old. For the past two years I’ve been telling myself that I would introduce her to role playing games the summer when she’s six. So this is the summer. I am finishing up my first week of vacation with her and have not done that yet. But then, this week was a vacation with my full family (parents, sister and her family, daughter). So there really hasn’t been time for that. The next two weeks I have her, I’m thinking I’ll either introduce her to hackmaster basic (I need a good excuse to buy it) or to 1e D&D. Something simple and can really spark the imagination for her.

One of the other things I know for sure is that any company that is not growing will eventually die. Expanding my company to create products for PFRPG is a logical step, IMO, for my company. Its definitely going to be a popular system, it holds true to the version of D&D I like best and it’s made by one of my favorite RPG companies. But what should I produce? Joseph Goodman made some excellent points about 4E which affirmed my own thoughts about PFRPG. One cannot simply do the exact same product they did in 3.x days and expect it to sell well. Companies that have their followers can do that, but even they will not be able to simply slap a PFRPG logo on their old products and expect them to sell well. So I’m planning to sit back, relax and watch what avenues are covered well and which need additional support. Heck, it took me a year from the launch of Traveller to put out my first product. I’m not going to rush quality.

So to sum up: will I be doing PFRPG products? Yes. Will I be doing them soon? No. Will I do them when I am confident that I release a quality product, know there is a need for my product, and can do something that has been scarcely seen in 3.x? Yes.