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Pathfinder: Phantasm Swarm

Swarms are a pain in the butt. Physical weapons are of not much use against them if at all. Spells that target only a single creature are downright useless. You have to rely on area effect spells to take them out. Otherwise, you’re running away.

Incorporeal creatures are a pain in the butt. Physical weapons are of little use. Spells that don’t deal force damage or positive energy are not very effective. You’re have to rely on a small selection of spells and certain divine casters to take them out. Otherwise, you’re running away.

So when creating the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane, I thought why not combine the two. That would make a monster that is just downright terrifying and perfect for a higher level game. The only thing that would make it even worse is if one of those classes you would normally rely upon were less effective. That would be evil! The result of that is below.

You can find this creature and more that are equally awesome in the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane at the JBE Shop. This book is also available at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Phantasm Swarm

A cloud of dark malevolent energy manifests itself as a roiling mass of angry skulls and grasping hands. The parts move and act as one – a single entity driven to destroy all that is holy.
PHANTASM SWARM CR 12
XP 19,200
CE Tiny undead (incorporeal, swarm)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +32


DEFENSE


AC 23, touch 23, flat-footed 16 (+4 deflection, +6 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 size)
hp 102 (12d8+48)
Fort +8, Ref +12, Will +14
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal, swarm traits; Immune undead traits; SR 20 (divine spells only)


OFFENSE


Speed fly 40 ft (perfect)
Melee swarm (1d8 Wisdom damage)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 22), hatred of religion (+2 Wis)


STATISTICS


Str —, Dex 23, Con —, Int 13, Wis 22, Cha 18
Base Atk +9; CMB +13; CMD 28
Feats Dodge, Hover, Improved Initiative, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Skill Focus (Perception), Skill Focus (Stealth), Step Up
Skills Fly +33, Knowledge (religion) +16, Perception +27, Spellcraft +16, Stealth +35
Languages Aklo, Common
SQ divine spell resistance


ECOLOGY


Environment any (Plane of Shadows)
Organization solitary, pair, or mass (3-5)
Treasure none


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Divine Spell Resistance (Su) A phantasm swarm has spell resistance against divine spells equal to 8 + its total HD. Arcane spells are not subject to this spell resistance.
Hatred of Religion (Su) The only thing a phantasm swarm hates more than religious holy/unholy symbols are those bearing them. The Wisdom damage dealt by the swarm attack is increased by +2 if the targeted creature possesses some kind of obvious holy/unholy symbol or channels energy.
Wisdom Damage (Su) A phantasm swarm’s attack deals 1d8 points of Wisdom damage to a living creature. This is a negative energy effect. A creature dies if this Wisdom damage equals or exceeds its actual Wisdom score.
It is done. These souls will never reincarnate nor will they be at peace. We have made them an offer and they chose to reject it. They refuse to work for us; they will have all eternity together to regret their decision. It is too late for them to reconsider now. Their souls are now damned for all time. Let them writhe in torment and remember their loss with no end. Pain is all they shall ever know.
– Thykan Rast, cleric of Asmodeus, “Ledger of Souls”

It is said that souls that reach their final reward forget their earlier lives. Less known is that souls forbidden from this reward never forget. Over the course of centuries, clusters of these tortured souls have gathered together on the Plane of Shadows to form a phantasm swarm, an entity more powerful than just the combined ectoplasmic energy of the souls alone. Its collective hatred for priests and all divine casters—the living intermediaries to the afterlife—gives a phantasm swarm power. The ghostly lynch mob now seeks revenge.
A phantasm swarm, armed with all its loathing of divinity, will attack any creature it identifies as an agent of a deity, regardless of the religion or alignment. Wearing a holy/unholy symbol or simply invoking the name of a deity may be enough for a phantasm swarm to exact retribution for its wretched state of disembodied unrest on a worshipful creature.
Magic bludgeoning weapons deal half damage to a phantasm swarm. All other magic weapons deal one quarter damage. Mundane weapons do no harm this furious soul cloud.

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What Kind of Monster Artwork Do You Prefer?

Earlier this week, we showed off a monster that a druid or wizard can summon with the conjure minor elemental spell. I really like that monster, but there’s something I have been wondering about with the artwork: the style. It is a beautiful color image. The problem is is that I don’t have a massive library of color images. I have a much larger library of black and white image. So as I continue to work on monster books for Fifth Edition, 13th Age, Pathfinder 2e (possibly), and other systems, I want to stay consistent as much as possible throughout the entire project. So that leads me to ask, what do you prefer?

Adding a parchment background to a black and white image is quite easy and rather fun. Not only that, it gives the image a distinctive feeling of being from an ancient tome that time forgot, in keeping with the fantasy theme. However, I do love looking at the color images in monster books. So I am asking you to help me make up my mind.

Tell me what kind of image would you like to see in a monster book from us. Vote in the poll below and as always, elaborate in the comments below.

What Style of Monster Artwork Do You Prefer?

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See our monster books we have published so far for Pathfinder and Fifth Edition at the JBE Shop.

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Pathfinder RPG: Dare to Enter the Dragon’s Dream

Enter the Dragon’s Dream!

When workers on an archaeological expedition unearth a dragon’s skull, the entire dig crew disappears soon thereafter. Their patron Count Larom seeks adventurers to find out what happened to his employees. Since the workers’ disappearance, strange and terrible songs have been heard coming from the vicinity of the excavation. What dangerous magic has their tampering unleashed—and why have guardians of the realm of the dead suddenly taken such an interest in this site?

Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream is an exciting deluxe adventure for 16th-level characters, and includes in its 47 action-packed pages:

  • 5 Fully-Statted New and Variant Monsters, keeping your players on their toes by giving them a new take on classic monsters as well as unique challenges they’ve never seen before
  • A New Haunt and A New Trap
  • 2 Beautiful Maps, with a GM’s version included in the adventure and a separate PDF that includes player-friendly versions of each map—perfect for play on your favorite VTT!
  • 4 New Magic Items, ideally suited to high-level characters
  • Enough content to get your group of 16th-level PCs to 17th level, heading towards the level beyond

Dangers Unknown. Treasures Untold. Adventure Awaits.

Download Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream, a level 16 Pathfinder adventure, today at the JBE Shop. You can also find it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

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Pathfinder: Maps to the Dragons Dream

On Tuesday, Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream will be available for download and we couldn’t be more excited. This 16th level adventure is the perfect jumping off point to a planar adventure as you enter a demiplane composed of an old crypt dragon’s dream. Naturally, you start off with a normal enough location in the material plane, but the players find their way to a more exotic location.

That exotic location is what we are showing off today. The image at the top of this post is of the two maps included in this adventure. The one in the left is excavation of a lost site of powerful magic. The adventurers explore that location and find much more than they expected. Among the things they find is a gate way into the dream, taking them to the map on the right. There the mad dreams if such a power hungry creature twisted anything recognizable about reality that they will have a whole new realm to investigate.

Each of these maps are highly detailed in the adventure and are labeled with numbers for each encounter you find (as seen above). In a separate PDF, we included the player versions of these maps that lacks the numbers and lacks any spoilers that the GM’s version may have as well as a gridless version for VTT gaming.

We hope that this adventure will be memorable for you and your players. Download Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream, a level 16 Pathfinder adventure, today at the JBE Shop. You can also find it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

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Pathfinder: The Chaosfire Incursion

Don’t Get Burned in the Volcano of Chaos

The legendary volcano Mount Ymawaah suddenly appears near the city of Carnassat, unleashing a wave of fiery creatures on its citizens. Even worse, the volcano shows signs of erupting soon and destroying everything nearby. Only brave adventurers can discover who sent this destructive mountain to the city, learn this creature’s enigmatic purpose, and stop it before this city comes to ruin and destruction!

The Chaosfire Incursion is an exciting adventure module in Jon Brazer Enterprises’ Deadly Delves series and is compatible with the best-selling Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This adventure is designed to challenge four to five 11th-level PCs like no other content has to date. Inside this volume, you’ll find:

  • 7 New and Variant Monsters and a New Trap for your Pathfinder campaign
  • Three Full-Color Maps, each depicting a different level in the underground labyrinth of this otherworldly volcano
  • 2 New Magic Items
  • Details on the City of Carnassat a great jumping off point for your own adventures
  • Enough content to get your group of 11th-level PCs all the way to 12th level

Dangers Unknown. Treasures Untold. Adventure Awaits.

Download Deadly Delves: The Chaosfire Incursion today at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, the OpenGamingStore, and Paizo.

Download all of our Deadly Delve Adventures for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, the OpenGamingStore, and Paizo.com.

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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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Sale: One Day Only $2 Sale on Pathfinder, Traveller, 5e, and 13th Age

Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes (PFRPG)

Book of Beasts: Legendary FoesToday only, we are running a $2 Sale on all of our items currently on sale that normally sell for more than $4. That is a minimum of 50% off the regular price and as much as 80% off. That’s right, you can get our PDFs that are normally $10 for the rock bottom price of $2. This mean for Pathfinder you can grab for $2:

d66 CompendiumFor Traveller, be sure to grab:

For 5th Edition, don’t miss out on:

For 13th Age, download right now:

Don’t forget everything else we have on sale right now on the Christmas in July Sale going on right now at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.

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Pathfinder: An Exclusive Look At Tengu Spells

Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Tengus (PFRPG)

The one exclusive look I want to post is the maps from Deadly Delves: Quests of the Sands, but I have been busy and away from my computer. In the meantime, however, I can show you something about Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Tengus that I have been wanting to show off for a while. Let’s take a look at the spells within.

These spells are incredibly thematic and perfect to really make your tengu characters come alive. I also want to point out just how much we integrated the Advanced Class Guide. The new spellcasting classes in that book are getting some real love. Here are two of the spells within.

Murder of Crows
School conjuration (summoning); Level arcanist/ sorcerer/wizard 2, bard/skald 2, druid/hunter 2, shaman 2, summoner 2, witch 2
Casting Time 1 round
Components V, S, M (a handful of shiny coins)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect one swarm of crows
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
You summon a swarm of crows. Use the stats for a bat swarm (B1) without the blindsense ability. The swarm attacks the nearest creature. If the caster is a tengu, he can control the swarm by concentrating during the spell’s duration. Otherwise, the caster has no control over its target or direction of travel.

Steal Eyes
School necromancy; Level antipaladin 4, arcanist/sorcerer/wizard 4, cleric/oracle/warpriest 5, witch 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one creature
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude negates; Spell Resistance yes
You rip the eyes of your target from their body, calling them into your hands. The target permanently gains the blinded condition, and the pain of losing their eyes causes them to be sickened. The sickened condition and associated penalties are pain effects and can be removed by any magical healing or a full day’s rest. Since the target’s eyes are physically removed, the resulting blindness cannot be cured by remove blindness, but can be cured by heal, regeneration, or similar abilities.

Stolen eyes can be used in a spell such as scrying to strengthen the bond between the caster and the target or can be used as an additional material component for a spell you cast in the next round that targets the same creature. This consumes the stolen eyes and increases the save DC of the saving throw for the creature by 1.

Download the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Tengus for Pathfinder at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, d20PFSRD, and Paizo.com.

Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Tengus is part of the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium. Download the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium now at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, d20PFSRD, and Paizo.com.

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State of the Enterprise 2014 Edition

Greetings,

I have done a few meta posts before, but I am going to try to make this a yearly thing. This is not only going to be my thought on how Jon Brazer Enterprises is doing but how I view the industry as a whole, from my chair in New Jersey, at least.

2014 was a real mixed bag in my opinion. In a number of ways, it was an awesome year. I had three Paizo writing credits this year, JBE had a pretty freaking awesome year in terms of sales, and oh yea, a game called Dungeons and Dragons came back and both the GF and I love it. In other ways, 2014 had its hard side as well. JBE pulled out of traditional distribution, 5E still does not have any kind of official license to go with it and then there are the personal hardships that I will not go into here. But as always, we pick ourselves up and we keep going. “You just have to say ‘no, I won’t’ one more time than they can say ‘yes, you will’.” -John Sheridan

As I write this, I just finished uploading our 3rd Deadly Delve adventure. Until recently, I have really resisted adventures because I started roleplaying in systems that did not have much adventures. I mean, sure, I created the Temple of Orcus adventure for Shadowsfall, but that was my first adventure I ever created, and I knew I could do better if I had more experience. But now I am actively writing and hiring writers to create adventures for us and I have to say it is quite a bit of fun. For a while I was getting burned out of Pathfinder. In the 5-1/2 years since Pathfinder’s release, more than 100 companies have published Pathfinder Compatible material (some of them weekly) and that is on top of the 3-ish products/month that Paizo releases themselves. I will be honest, there are times I try to come up with new products and I come up with a blank. This brings us to Deadly Delves. While there are alot of adventures out there, I do believe there is still a considerable amount of room for new stories. So that is why we are focusing on adventures for Pathfinder.

It did not start out that way though. Deadly Delves, when I came up with the idea of doing adventures a year ago, was for 5th Edition, not for Pathfinder. To be completely honest, the original idea was for an adventure path where the players faced off against the 5 different types of chromatic dragons. That specific idea was scrapped when, about a month after, Tyranny of Dragons was announced. But that did not stop Richard Moore from developing the adventure he was working on from completing it. In fact, Reign of Ruin still holds a number of ideas and names from the proto-setting we came up with for the adventures.

Which brings us to the 13th Age version of Reign of Ruin. Both Richard and I like 13th Age. So when it became obvious that a license for D&D 5th edition was not going to be available at launch, he developed the adventure for 13th Age and then converted it over to Pathfinder. We’ve made adjustments to how we develop adventures since then, but I have held off on releasing other 13th Age adventures until we got some feedback on the first. And we did. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive with some constructive input to make it better in the future. Namely: more integration with the 13th Age icons and suggestions for campaign failures. So once we make those adjustments to Rescue from Tyrkaven and others, we will resume releasing adventures for 13th Age.

The other area in Pathfinder we are focusing our energy is in races. Shortly after the release of the Book of Heroic Races Compendium, I started a thread that I thought was going to be a good promoter for the book. Instead it generated about a 1000 ideas for ways to develop playable races that have been largely ignored. Sure, races outside of the core rulebook have gotten some development, but 7 pages in the advanced race guide is hardly noteworthy and 2 pages is just a downright scandal compared to the supplements devoted to core book races. So we are going full bore ahead with the Book of Heroic Races Advanced Series. About half of the drafts have been turned in and we really believe that people that want to play something other than what Tolkien wrote about are going to just love them.

Which makes me think of new races for 13th Age. I mean there is no reason why I can’t adjust these races for this system. Sure, they will each need a new section talking about how they fit in with the icons, or possibly new icons for those that want to ignore elves and dwarves, but being such a rules light system, we can do so much more than what is possible with Pathfinder. For example, races don’t necessarily have to have a humanoid shape. We can have unicorns, pseudodragons, butterflies (tiny gnome-like creatures with butterfly-wings), intelligent wolves, rock people, and so much more. With 13th Age we don’t have to stick to D&D-based games, but can go a whole new direction. The possibilities are endless.

Speaking of D&D, I mentioned that I love the game and that there is still no official license for it. You see, no supplemet is as popular as the first 6 month to a year of the game. Paizo’s two most popular adventure paths are 1) Rise of the Runelords, their first AP and 2) Kingmaker, an adventure path first published 6 months (ending 1 year) after the release of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. That means that we are coming to a point where if Wizards doesn’t release a license for 5th edition or we are going to have to make a decision. Either a) support it through existing OGL material or b) forget about the game entirely. I really hope I don’t have to make that decision, but I do not know I can wait much longer.

To totally change subjects for a moment: Traveller. This company was founded on supporting Traveller and to this day Traveller remains some of our best selling products. Which is why I keep kicking myself for how little support I give the game. It certainly is not for lack of ideas. Developing border words for Foreven produces endless ideas. Adventures are a great idea as well. We even have a few short ones written that are apart of a larger campaign. But we have yet to finish it. We keep working on it when it when we have time. However, time is one of the most rare commodities we have these days. So we will be releasing more Traveller supplements this year, but when is kind of up in the air.

Now here is the real question: what surprises do we have up our sleeves for the year. That’s a good question and we are not totally ready to reveal that just yet, but have no fear, we have surprises coming, some that will be exceptionally amazing. We hope that you will stick with us for the year and enjoy the ride.

Dale McCoy, Jr
President of Jon Brazer Enterprises