Wednesday, March 14, 2012

101 Magus Feats (Work in Progress)

Spent some time today working on 101 Magus Feats. This time out I finished up the first 50 feats, which deal with all the various magus archetypes. Though I decided to avoid the Super Genius Game cabalist as there are sorcerer bloodline feats you can take that go along well with this.

One thing I really enjoy about the magus is the aracna pool as a resource.

Also I brought on Mark Hyzer to do a image for the magus, I wanted a female character that is somewhere between

Elric of Melnibone

and a Sith Witch,

Can't wait to see what Mark comes up with.

Here are is a preview of a feat that works with the Arcana Lord archetype

Arcana Absorption (General)

“Your power will become my power.”

Prerequisites: arcane pool and cannibalize spell class feature

Benefit: Once per round as a free action you can expend 1 point from your arcane pool and gain spell resistance equal to 12 +your magus class level against one spell or spell-like ability attack. If your opponent fails to overcome your spell resistance you gain a number of arcane pool points based on its spell level equal to the amount you would gain if you had siphoned power from a prepared spell to restore your arcane pool using your cannibalize spell or improved cannibalize spell class feature.

Special: You may select this feat as a magus arcana so long as you meet its prerequisites.

101 Magus Feats coming April 1st (not an april fool's joke :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Martial Arts Guidebook art by Eric Quigley

The progression of art development for The Martial Arts Guidebook promotional images by Eric Quigley.

Oh and here is our promotional video for The Martial Arts Guidebook, come on over and join us.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Martial Arts Guide Book: Part 3

Interview with Timothy "Hawkins" Wallace
by Steven D. Russell

Living and breathing Questhaven I know how close one gets to one’s work, how do you handle input for something like The Martial Arts Guidebook? How do you plan to handle patron criticism?

I will take all input into account, and believe in collaborative design, but ultimately Ben McFarland (Streets of Zobeck, Breaking of Forstor Nagar) and I must make the practical decisions of how something to work, but that is the point of having professional designers on a project. I am really looking forward to patron feedback and want to make a product that fulfills the desires of the most people possible.

Describe your best moment so far working on The Martial Arts Guidebook project?

I think that my favorite moment was when Ben and I ironed out the original sales pitch. It really felt good to have that finished and be proud of what we had accomplished. I showed it to one of my close friends who also plays RPGs, and his response something along the lines of “I would buy that!”

What do you feel is going to be the most ingenious and original part of The Martial Arts Guidebook?

By building the martial arts forms into a school (or faction) format similar to that in the Pathfinder Chronicles: Faction Guide along with NPCs for each school to act as teachers, rivals, et cetera, I believe that it will allow the PCs to feel as they are actually a part of something in game, rather than just having more feats to choose from.

Which design element do you foresee as being the most challenging, and why?

Ben wants me to include “seeds” and “boons” as parts of the various schools that will be presented, since I don’t have a depth of experience with these, I expect these to be more challenging than other aspects of the project.

What have you learned about design and especially designing for patronage projects so far?
That there is a lot of hard work that goes into the project before you get to do any actual designing.

Do you have any initial thoughts on new factions, traits, or archetypes?

Basically, I want to introduce “techniques,” which will be feat-strength abilities powered by either ki, grit, or arcane points, depending on the class or archetype. To gain access to these techniques, you will have to join a martial arts school (as faction) with a specific focus, usually involving a single weapon group. I would like to design an archetype for every one of the 21 base classes presented in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, Advanced Player’s Guide, Ultimate Magic, and Ultimate Combat so they can all utilize techniques. Ideally there will be seven or more schools with five to seven techniques per school; along with NPCs, boons, and magical items that flesh out each school.

What are the initial obstacles that The Martial Arts Guidebook must overcome? How do you plan to surmount them?

Right now, I would have to say word count/page count for different tiers of funding. Trying to iron out the word counts of what I want to fit into the each section. Such as the fact that I want there to be seven schools, maybe more if we can get some Rite Publishing campaign-specific and patron-designed one, in the final product.

We have a long history of attempts to do fantasy martial arts in the RPG industry how do you decided what has become cliché and what is a valuable trope to explore?

I think that most RPGs focus on the “martial” and not enough of the “arts” aspect of martial arts. The fact that it is most often treated as just “fighting” along with the large focus on unarmed martial arts—on a fraction of martial arts as a whole—I think has been a detriment to the art form.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Martial Arts Guide Book: Part 2

You've given me a bit of an idea what your gaming influences are, as well as a little bit of the cultural references...what other source materials are influencing this book (gaming, movies, books, history)?

Wow. Um, I would have to say that pretty much any movie I have seen that has decent to great choreography—from The Matrix to The Lord of the Rings to Star Wars (Episodes I and III; Episode II’s choreography sucked)—has in some way influenced this book. As far as video games, I would have to say mostly fighting games—like the Soul Calibur and Mortal Kombat franchises—have been an influence. I know I mentioned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before, but another TV show that I found quite inspirational was Avatar: The Last Airbender. Considering the amount of novels I read, I would like to say that many of them are an influence, but in my mind really only a few franchises stand out as having great “written choregraphy”: pretty much most everything written by R. A. Salvatore (not just hisDrizzt novels), all of Micheal A. Stackpole’s Star Wars and fantasy novels (seriously, he may have begun with Battletech, but he is an amazing fantasy writer), and Pathfinder Tales: Master of Devils, by Dave Gross.

And what have you worked on with your collaborators in the past? Why are you excited to work with them? Which of their works are most exciting to you, and why?

I worked with Rite Publishing for about a year to help convert Heroes of the Jade Oath from the Arcana Evolved rules set (a great alternate 3.5 system by Monte Cook by the way) to the Pathfinder RPG rules set. I am very excited to work with them because, simply said, they make quality work. And to have Rite Publishing work with me lets me know that they consider my work to be quality. I am most excited for the Heroes of the Jade Oath—as I have a vested interest in seeing it come to fruition, but I also am really excited about 1001 Spells. It is about time we had an affordable Pathfinder version of the Spell Compendium.

Have you been on a patron project before? What do you like about the patronage model? What are you most anticipating about the patron model? What do you think about the patron model compared to traditional design? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Well, yes and no. Let me explain. I first became aware of the Heroes of the Jade Oath patronage project on the Candlekeep forums. As it was, I was not ready to shell out $60 to become a patron of the project with no guarantee of a print product. Then in 2010, I noticed in my weekly email from Paizo that the Heroes of the Jade Oath PDF plus hardcover was going to be available via the Paizo Store for $60. After convincing my wife that yes, that is really what I wanted for my birthday that year, I was re-reading the product description and realized that it may be talking about the hardcover of the beta version and not the final “omega” version of the book. So I contacted Paizo, who contacted Steve, who contacted me and made me a patron of the project with the promise of a hardcover final version of the book when it came out. Which is how I ended up on the Rite Publishing forums when Steve asked for a volunteer to help convert Heroes of the Jade Oath material to Pathfinder; which led to me being able to launch a pitch in August of 2011.

I like that the patronage model allows for direct consumer input, which I think is probably its biggest strength. I think that it will be interesting to see what the people paying for the Martial Arts Guidebookwant and expect of me. Aside from direct consumer input and funding, I do not see much difference between the patronage model and the traditional retail model. There are two big weaknesses, as I see it, to the patronage model: the project dies if it does not get enough funding (technically a strength and a weakness, in my opinion), and not all patronage models result in a physical product for the patrons. Personally, if I shell out $40+ from my very limited roleplaying budget, I want to have a physical copy of the book (not comb-bound) to leaf through and read. I don’t care if it has pictures or a pretty cover (though with the d20 system charts are a must to understand some things), but I want something to hold in my hands and read.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Martial Arts Guide Book: Part 1

This is a guest post for Rite Publishing by Timothy Wallace (Hawkins the DM) who will be the lead designer on our newest patronage project which will launch on February 14th

I have been an avid roleplayer since I played my first game of Vampire Dark Ages my senior year of college 10 years ago. I still remember how my Ravnos constantly butted heads with my roommate’s Malchavian, to the point where it almost came to blows (between our characters, not us). And as many who grew up in the mid-to-late 80’s and early 90’s,The Karate Kid awakened in me a thirst for martial arts that was only fed by the inception of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Though I did not know it at the time, the Turtles were my first exposure to an adventuring party; and they were ninjas and did martial arts to boot! The Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords was the first roleplaying supplement that did a great job of combining these two passions of mine into a single product. But it is one of the products that does not translate well from 3.5 to Pathfinder; and on top of that it was controversial in its approach of “abilities per day” while also invalidating core rulebook classes (I know that I swore off PHB fighters as soon as the warblade was available to me).

I am excited to be able to design a PFRPG supplement that, while not a direct conversion of the Tome of Battle, I like to think it will be the spiritual successor of it. I am also looking forward to showcasing different martial arts styles for different weapons, races, and regions; whereas so far only unarmed martial arts styles have been focused on before.

Tim Hawkins

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Real Life Inspiration: The River of Doubt

This is the first part of a series of blog posts about taking inspiration from real life events to create evocative adventures.

The River of Doubt

A great leader has gone into retirement, (having stepped down from his throne, passed in on to his son, or perhaps he is in exile after a coup). Looking for a new challenge he has gone on an expedition of discovery to find chart a treacherous river or in a dangerous and unexplored wilderness. However unlike the expedition that inspired it, things got worse. The retired leader and the other members of his crew have gone missing, and a dead body is found. The government hires the PCs or perhaps offers a bounty for the return of their revered leader (even if its just his body, for a state funeral). This is an excellent adventure to introduce a new complex race native to the area previously known only in rumor. And you can spend a good deal of time searching for clues, or following false leads.

Twists: The retired leader has become injured by some affliction that cannot be cured until he is removed from the wilderness, but the curse makes his quick removal difficult, The new leader or an old enemy does not want the old one to return and sends an assassination team instead of a rescue team, the retired leader won't leave without his youngest child who accompanied him but is held elsewhere. The retired leader does return and attempts to retake his position leading to civil war, a golden age, or perhaps having lost his son to the assassins he becomes a tyrant. The PCs fail to save the retired leader causing everyone who loved him to blame the PCs for his death (and perhaps they are responsible as one of their members killed him for the government, to avert civil war, or prevent him from becoming a tyrant).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rite Designs Video Blog 01/12/12 (5e Rant and 101 Series)

Warning this is a rambling 5th Edition Rant with the other half being a discussion about 101 Hazards and Disasters.