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Starfinder: Even More Star Battle Previews

You may have noticed yesterday that that cover of the upcoming Star Battle: Hex Space Maps has a “1” next to it. That’s because we have the second already to go and launching tomorrow. The first focuses on more ring worlds and sunrises. The second focuses on nebulae, solar flares, rock worlds and we’ve even got a space station in there as well. Each set has 6 maps pre-printed with 1″ hexes perfect for your minis. These maps are a serious upgrade over the basic map and and a great enhancement to your game. These can be incorporated into your game right away and will make for a more memorable experience.

Click on the maps below to see a larger preview.

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Starfinder: Star Battles Preview

In two days, the Starfinder Roleplaying Game launches and we at Jon Brazer Enterprises could not be more excited. While we are working on new alien races and class options and places to go, we decided that that is not where we are going to put our energy right away. Instead, we are going to help you play the basic game straight out of the core book. Unlike the launch of Pathfinder back in 2009, there isn’t 30+ years of history with the core game nor is there 9 years of history that the base engine of Pathfinder was built upon. This game is brand new and science fantasy as a genre is not nearly nearly as developed as a more mundane science fiction genre.

So how are we helping? Well the game includes rules for ship combat and Paizo sells a Basic Starfield Map Pack for your space battles. While it is necessary to get the basic map out there, we are Jon Brazer Enterprises. We enhance your world and your game; we go beyond the basic. We have a map pack that you can order Thursday for your game from DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. If you are the kind of person that would rather have the PDF and print your own, you can download the PDF from all our regular retailer locations and it comes pre-sized for you in 12″ x 18″ as well as 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper. Additionally, we are working on having it available for those that play Fantasy Grounds, but that will not be available right away.

Check back on on Thursday for links to where you can order and download your copies.

Click on the images below to see a larger preview, and happy gaming.

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Pathfinder: What is a Half-Faerie Dragon?

Book of Heroic Races: Half-Faerie DragonsEarlier today, we released the Book of Heroic Races: Half-Faerie Dragons race, but what exactly is a half-faerie dragon?

The very existence of half-faerie dragons brings a confused look to the faces of most enlightened sages and a blush to those of even the worldliest adventurers. Though the size difference between faerie dragons and most humanoids alone makes things awkward at best, half-dragons clearly descended from faerie dragons. They are a whimsical race of those derived from the rare physical or magical union of faerie dragons and one of any number of humanoid races such as humans or elves, the vast majority of their kind are the children of other half-faerie dragons. They have a propensity to “borrow” things without the owner’s permission as well as use their magical prowess to produce effects that are visually pleasing but have little practical use. They love apples and are said to grant wishes (although that last bit may not be entirely true). But no matter what, half-faerie dragons want to experience the moment and want to know about the experience of something as much as the facts.

Half-Faerie Dragon Racial Traits
Half-faerie dragons have the following racial traits.
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, –2 Constitution, –2 Wisdom: Half-faerie dragons are charismatic creatures, quick in both body and mind, but they suffer from distinctly fragile bodies and a lack of restraint and common sense.
Humanoid: Half-faerie dragons are humanoids with the draconic subtype.
Slow Speed: Half-faerie dragons have a base speed of 20 feet.
Small: Half-faerie dragons are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty on their combat maneuver checks and to CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Butterfly Wings (Ex): Half-faerie dragons possess fully functional butterfly-like wings just like true faerie dragons. Unlike their draconic ancestors, they cannot actually fly because of their frame and size. They are, however, capable of slowing
their descent during a fall and using their wings to help them jump and balance, as well as control themselves while flying magically, granting them a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Fly checks.
Darkvision: Half-faerie dragons can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Arcane Whimsy (Sp): Half-faerie dragons can use prestidigitation as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to their Charisma modifier. The caster level for this ability equals the half-faerie dragon’s character level.
Breath Weapon (Su): Once per day, a half-faerie dragon can exhale a cloud of euphoric gas in a 10-foot cone. Creatures within the cone suffer euphoria for 1d6 rounds. Creatures affected by euphoria are staggered, sickened, and immune to fear effects for the duration. A Fortitude save (DC 10 + half the half-faerie dragon’s class level + the half-faerie dragon’s Constitution modifier) negates this effect.
Draconic Resistance: Half-faerie dragons gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against paralysis and sleep effects.
Languages: Half-faerie dragons begin play speaking Common and Draconic. Half-faerie dragons with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Orc, and Sylvan.

Download this and the Seedlings, another balanced playable race available from Jon Brazer Enterprises, at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, and the new Store.

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Pathfinder: The Fractured Fortress of Gear’s Gate

Tomorrow sees the release of Shadowsfall: Shadow Plane Player’s Companion and we could not be more thrilled! This book we have been working on and planning for over a year now is going to see the light of day. All week long, we are giving you an early peak into the land of eternal darkness. Monday, we looked at the overall setting itself. Yesterday we discussed the cosmopolitan stronghold of Blackbat, a city where safety is as common as bright sunlight in Shadowsfall. Today we are looking at a city that could not be more different: Gear’s Gate.

For over a thousand years, the citizens of Gear’s Gate has resided in relatively safety. The citizens within this stronghold suffer few attacks from monsters and roving undead hordes that the city’s military or the various houses cannot repel. The houses runs Gear’s Gate as an arcanocracy, where the city’s mages and alchemists hold significant power and a house is only as powerful as the knowledge of its casters. This is because daily life and the stronghold’s defense relies on the vast array of magic items and powerful artifacts within the stronghold. The powerful magic requires skilled crafters and arcanists to both use and maintain these items. So in this city, knowledge is power.

The houses are in change of everything in Gear’s Gate from food production, water purification to magical transit and mining. And the houses compete with each other for power and money. This competition result in delays in food production, disease running rampant and transportation being delayed. There are even rumors of violent skirmishes between the houses far away from the city walls. All this infighting leaves the populous unhappy with the houses and the arcanocracy. Talk of revolt continues in the taverns in both outlying villages and in the city itself.

The most powerful artifact in the city is known as the Eldritch Projector. This powerful magic item keeps the guardians operating without any need for alchemical fuel, powers the siege batteries, and otherwise keep life at a relative normal for the people here. One house, House Sarvenva, possesses the unique knowledge to keep the projector operating and they wield that power like a cudgel. That power have maneivered them in a position where many consider Sarvenva to be the city’s rulers, but the situation is far more complex than most realize. The houses work to collect blackmail on each other, forcing backroom deal and bribery to be more powerful than the rule of law.

Despite the relative protection it city offers, powerful forces have been hitting Gear’s Gate at the edge of its territory. Guardian pilots are lured beyond the edge of the Eldritch Projector’s range, leaving the pilot in difficult situations. The sophistication of these attacks has increased. The field captains in charge of that region fears some intelligent commander waits for any mistake that Gear’s Gate might make.

Be sure to come back tomorrow where we tell all about the Outlands, the vast stretches between the pockets of civilization on Shadowsfall.

Preorder your copy of Shadowsfall: Shadow Plane Player’s Companion today. Get more character options, no matter what race you play with Shadowsfall: Favored Class Options. Get a print copy of the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane and discover their deadly secrets with your free PDF. Live the adventure with a half-vampire fighting to help the living with Shadowsfall Legends: Pawn, Deception, and Sacrifice, by Mur Lafferty. And don’t stop with that story. Read about an umbral kobold in the stronghold of Blackbat in Shadowsfall Legends: The Gem That Caught Fire by Ed Greenwood.

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Pathfinder: Deity Twin Power, Activate

All this week we are looking at the deities of Shadowsfall. Monday we started with the design goals and philosophies that went into the deities. Yesterday we are looked at the lawful evil god of the kytons, Akaron. Today we are looking at the twin gods of law and good, Bendes and Ular.

From a design prospective, I always wanted a multi-person deity as a god. This can be seen in other game systems such as Exalted where the Sidereals are the chosen of the Five Maidens. The web comic The Order of the Stick has the paladins worship the 12 gods. But I could not think of many examples of a multi-personality deity in a d20 based game. So I wanted to include one front and center.

Bendes and Ular are the Twin Gods over three main areas: hunting, gathering and cooperation. Bendes being portrayed as the mighty hunter while Ular is the wise gatherer. However, they do not let their different contributions divide them. They command their followers, known as Peacemakers, to find a mutually beneficial outcome to any situation that emerges in a community. The Twin Gods do not care what divides a community, be it race, economic class, spellcaster or sword wielder; they command cooperation or they withhold prosperity from those causing problems. The reason being is that they see cooperation between different groups as being the surest way of surviving the harsh conditions of Shadowsfall and the undead hordes that roam the eternal night of the plane.

Clerics and oracles of Bendes and Ular are seen as negotiators while inquisitors and paladins are seen as enforcers of the peace. Followers that do not have a divine calling are expected to be reasonable in all circumstances, especially when working with followers of less reasonable deities.

The stronghold of Blackbat and Bastion remain the strongest centers of worship for the Twins Gods. Blackbat, because of its cosmopolitan nature and its internal strife, makes the stronghold an important center of the Peacemaker’s work. Despite the fact the stronghold’s vampires avoid the temple in the city proper, they frequently ask prominent Peacemakers to negotiate a fair price for the zombies they control. Peacemakers are one of the five founding religions of the Bastion stronghold. Even today, the other religions look to the Peacemakers to help keep the followers of the Slatchak inline, which they cannot always do.

Vole’s Deep is the only stronghold without any kind of structure dedicated to the Twin Gods. It is said that the internal strife forced the Twin Gods to negotiate with Calista a changing in the land, driving away much of the farms and good herds from the region. Because of the changed land near the stronghold, the various faction leaders finally agreed on one thing: to destroy the shrines to Bendes and Ular within the stronghold. Today, Vole’s Deep’s citizens curse the names of the Twin Gods.

We hope you enjoyed this look at one of Shadowsfall’s deities. Come back tomorrow when we look at Zyree, the male and female god of birth, life and death.

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Pathfinder: Talking About Shadowsfall Deities

We are FINALLY getting to a point where I feel the Shadowsfall: Shadow Plane Player’s Companion is far enough along that I can talk about it and it not be way too soon. I would like to start talking about the deities because frankly I saw this as one of the most critical areas of the setting that I had to hit this right to strike the exact tone I was going for. And I am happy to say that I am happy with them. All this week, I will be talking about a few of the deities that I feel really make the setting stand out.

Before I do that, I want to talk about the design goals with them and the philosophies that went into them:

Design Goal 1: Make as Many Deities Player-Friendly as Possible. That’s right, I wanted it to make sense for a character to worship any of the deities in the pantheon. I know this was not entirely possible. There are always going to be some enemy deities that are just an enemy to all of humanity and all living things. Orcus and one other (Androstid) are those deities for us, but I tried to limit it to only them. I didn’t want any of my other evil deities to be without a perfectly good reason why a player character couldn’t make a character that worshiped any of the rest. The basic philosophy that went into that the god a character worships sets a tone for the character. And when you are in a survival-horror situation like Shadowsfall, your willingness to work with someone you completely disagree with increases as long as that person will watch your back in a pinch. So yes, Shadowsfall has player-friendly evil deities.

Design Goal 2: Each Deity Has a Unique Stance on Survival. I borrowed from the Norse mythology. Each of these deities possess a unique way to survive the harsh Norwegian winters. Thor by strength of arms, Odin by wisdom, Loki by trickery, Freya by love and so on. In this same way, each of Shadowsfall deities emphasizes some aspect of life (or unlife) that helps its followers survive the eternal night of Shadowsfall. The philosophy behind it is that this will help differentiate each deity from the others. If they all have their own stance on a single topic, you provide a reason for some to consistently work together, some to never work together and many others that will work together depending on the circumstances. This conflict creates stories. Again, to use the example of Orcus, he is the demon prince of undeath. How do his followers survive: by being undead. Undead followers have no need for food or shelter. While making other undead is at odds with most others, that is not the case with all other deities. Androstid, whose numbers include intelligent undead that do not wield much magic, find little problem with this.

Design Goal 3: Give Players a Duty to Their Deity. The one thing I wanted to avoid was to write a god’s name down a character sheet because it is the logical choice for that race/class and never think on that deity again. I wanted deities to call upon their followers to do something specific. And it is failing to do that that duty brings the inquisitors around. Again, something I wanted to avoid was simply to spread the religion. Player characters should have a goal in mind for what makes them inline for their god. Orcus’s followers are all about spreading undeath. However, they also are about the study of divine and arcane power and the accumulation of said power. If a person wants to learn powerful magic, that person needs to look no further than the Cult of Orcus.

So those are our three design goals with our deities. All told, we created fourteen deities, one for each of the nine alignments and a second one for each of the five neural alignments. Tomorrow I will get more in depth with the first player-friendly evil deity: Akaron, the lawful-evil archkyton.

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Pathfinder: Unpublished Spells for Your Enjoyment

Continuing the series from earlier this week, we bring you four spells from the upcoming Book of Magic: Signature Spells 2. The single biggest complaint about Book of Magic: Signature Spells 1 was that not all the spells were the signature spells of a particular spellcaster. We are amending that for number 2. We’re just a few spells shy of being finished with it (plus editing). As soon as we finish up with Shadowsfall: Shadow Plane Player’s Guide, we’ll get these spells finished up. In the meantime, enjoy this preview of these spells.

Clarissa’s Holy Defense
School abjuration [good]; Level cleric 4, inquisitor 4, paladin 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
Range 30 ft. radius burst
Area all allies within a 30 ft. radius burst centered on you
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes
Your deity shows you favor and protects you in your struggle. You and each of your allies gain a +2 sacred bonus to your armor class and saving throws. This bonus increases to +4 when being attacked by undead and evil outsiders.

Halabar’s Zone of Screams
illusion [fear, figment, mind-affecting, sonic]; Level bard 3, sorcerer/wizard 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area 10 ft radius burst
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes
Terrifying screams fill the bursting area that only those inside the area can hear. Those that fail the Will save are frightened for the spell’s duration, even if they leave the affected area. Those entering the zone must make a Will save or be frightened for the remainder of the spell’s duration. If the area is silenced (such as from a zone of silence spell), the effects of this spell are suppressed but are not ended.

Leighanna’s Forceful Halt
enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]; Level sorcerer/wizard 4
Casting Time 1 immediate action
Components V
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one living creature
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes
If the creature targeted by this spell fails its Will save, it ends it movement for this round. At the start of its next turn, the target creature may move as normal. If the creature has not yet moved this round, it can take up to a 5 ft. step. If the creature was moving faster than twice its movement speed, it must make a Reflex save or falls prone. A flying creature may make a free Fly check to hover, if capable.

Shallan’s Vampire Shadow
School illusion (shadow) [shadow]; Level cleric 6, sorcerer/wizard 6, witch 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (black pearl worth 1,000 gp)
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one vampire
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes
The pearl explodes into a shadow and attaches itself to the vampire. A vampire targeted by this spell can be affected by spells that only target living creatures or that require a Fortitude save that do not affect objects. Spells that deal positive or negative energy treat the vampire as an undead creature.

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Pathfinder: Book of Beasts Preview #4, Bestiaries

This whole week, we’re previewing the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane. Monday we started with the unquiet giant. Tuesday saw the darkling. Yesterday detailed the book’s appendixes. Today we’re looking at how the Book of Beasts helps to create a full environment for Shadowsfall. Click on the image to see the enlarged version of the page.

As you can see, we combed for all three of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiaries for you for all monsters that work best in the setting and listed them all for you. All the monsters listed on this page are monsters that we encourage you to use straight out of those monster books with no variation. But really, the Plane of Shadows has … well … just about everything the material plane has. As we described at the top, you can use any monster you want with the darkened template applied. We also wanted to make sure that we empowered GMs to use any monster they want to come up with their ideal story. To that end, we described how a normal monster that normally would not be on Shadowsfall could be found there. That last bit has more details in Shadowsfall: Shadow Plane Gazetteer, but we wanted to give you a start now.

Tomorrow is our last preview of the Book of Beasts. We’ll show you the table of contents so you can see exactly how many monsters there are in the whole book, their names and their CRs. Tell your local game store today to preorder you a copy. Don’t forget our PDF Guarantee allowing you to get an electronic copy when the buy the print version.

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Pathfinder: Book of Beasts Preview 3, Appendixes

We’re doing previews all week of the upcoming Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane. Monday we previewed the unquiet giant and yesterday we previewed the darkling. Today we’re taking a look at the Appendixes in the Book of Beasts. Click on the image to the left to see an enlarged version of the image.

The three most common monsters on the Plane of Shadows are Shadows, Skeletons and Zombies. However, all these of these appear in Bestiary so they are not new monsters. Skeletons and Zombies are templates so you can make your own pretty easily. However, we wanted this to be a real resource for GMs playing a Shadowsfall game so we gave added a few appendixes to the book. Each of these appendixes fill a 2 page spread of pregenerated monsters. While we did a few low CR versions of these templated monsters, we gave them a little shake up. As you can see in the image, the cave fisher shadow has an incorporeal filament attack that can attach to a creature’s shadow, something a normal shadow does not possess, but still familiar to those that have fought a cave fisher before. Additionally, we also have high CR versions on the second page. Expect to see a CR 21 ancient dragon shadow, a CR 16 Fighter/Rogue Half-Elf Skeletal Champion, and a CR 17 sorcerer gnome juju zombie.

After these three appendixes, we have the darkened template. This template describes how most creatures that spend generations on the Shadowsfall end up being altered by the Plane. This is similar to a celestial/fiendish templated creature.

Up next we have the parts that turn this from a book of monsters to a true bestiary in its own right. The next few appendixes are the Universal Monster Rules, Feats, New Creature Subtypes and Creatures by CR. All the rules from the Pathfinder Role Playing Game Bestiary 1-3 that were used in this book are collected into one place so you do not need to reference another book if you need to reference a particular ability. Same with feats. All the feats used in this book that cannot be found in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook are collected here. So Flyby Attack comes right after Combat Patrol and Bloody Assault.

Tomorrow we’re releasing the Monsters from the Bestiaries page. This will help you in your game to make full use of your monster books and make a true environment setup for your game.

Incase you had not heard, the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane left the printer and is on its way to the warehouse. Soon it will be working its way through distribution. Be sure to tell your local game store today to preorder you a copy. Your game store can give you a PDF copy of the book when you do.

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Pathfinder: Book of Beasts Preview #2, Dread Gargoyle

Yesterday, we previewed the unquiet giant. Today we’re taking a look at the Dread Gargoyle. Like yesterday click on the image to see a larger version.

The dread gargoyle emphasizes is one example of a themes we wanted in Shadowsfall: that monsters here are recognizable, but they’re twisted and far more dangerous. A number of monsters including the black worm, dull mite, onyx ooze, and spectre lord are all similar to the monsters that we all know and love, but have been changed either by having been on the Plane of Shadows for generations or by “living” in a place that is ideal for them. In the case of the dread gargoyle, there are lots of ruins around, allowing it ample living space. Spectre lords, by contrast, are not held powerless by the dim sun of the Shadow Plane.

These creatures are not merely the same as their material plane brethren with more hit dice and higher attack bonuses and DCs. Oh no, my friend. These creatures possess new and dangerous abilities that make them more than the creatures your players expect. May evil GMs everywhere rub their hands together in glee.

Tomorrow we take a look at the the most common creatures in Shadowsfall: shadows, skeletons and zombies. Pre-order this book today at your local game store or at your favorite gaming website and get the PDF for free when you do.