Friday, February 21, 2014

[Qutesthaven Preview] Our Grandfather of Water and Wave

Illustration by James "Devin Night" Hazelett

Our Grandfather of Water and Wave

“Listen and heed the call of Our Grandfather of Water and Wave, be not distracted by other mortals, for they cannot determine another’s destiny, especially your own. You must learn to sail in high winds, and abandon all hope that the sea will ever rest. You must stop standing on the shore and staring out at the water, if you do not, you shall never cross it. ” – Shipwright Sulgen speaking the ritual remarks of the Night of Sacrifice   

“We give thanks to Our Grandfather of Water and Wave. For today, the waves have not flooded our homes. We give thanks to Our Grandfather of Water and Wave. For today, the monsters of the deep have not sunk our vessels. We give thanks to Our Grandfather of Water and Wave. For today, the winds are with us and our sails are whole.”  -The Thrice Given Prayer of The Mariner’s Basin.  

Alignment: CN
Portfolio:  Fishing, Lakes, Ocean, Rain, Rivers, Streams, Sailing, Sailors, Sea Creatures, Sea Storms, and Water
Worshipers: Fathers, Fishermen, Grandfather, Pearl Divers, Privateers, Sailors, Sea Creatures, Whalers.
Aliases: Sovereign of Waters, Master of the Sea, Unending Wave, Unmoved Whale, Raging Shark, Magnificent Dolphin
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Travel, Water, Weather
Subdomains: Catastrophe, Exploration, Oceans, Rage, Storms
Superior:  Our Queen of Wisdom and Mercy 
Allies: Our Father of Star and Sky, Our Grandmother Earth, Our Mother of Madness
Foes: Their Dark Lord of Fire
Symbol: A sea creature in front of a wave.

The churches of Our Grandfather of Water and Wave collect the outpourings of his worship, and I have found them in nearly every seaport and community that exists near a large expanse of water. The followers pray for rain, seek blessings for sailors and anglers; and ask favor be granted upon new water-going vessels (and I would never set sail upon a vessel that had not requested such favor). For particularly important and epic journeys, they make elaborate sacrifices in the water, cutting open bulls, and letting the blood and water commingle. This is to symbolize that all things owe their life to the water. Sacrifices though are not a common practice. The sacred orders are there only to aid the faithful and I can attest offer guidance. They proclaim they are not necessary for the faithful to form a bond with Our Sovereign of Waters,  for the worship of Our Unending Wave is extremely personal. In addition, while the Basins are a place of devotion and prayer, these temples of Our Master of the Sea are not somber, quite locations, they are home to untamed roaring celebrations accompanied by hard drink and often other carnal activities. They are like Our Unmoved Whale both wild and serene.

The most prominent temple to Our Magnificent Dolphin in Questhaven is the Mariner’s Basin, which is located partly on an actual tidal basin at the edge of the Quay’s docks. They collect massive tithes and sacrifices for their work, along with the fees from the privateers they organize for the Questor’s Society. This grants them a great deal of available wealth though not as much as the Great Church of the Pantheon. The Mariner’s Basin is more powerful secularly than it is spiritually due to effective control over the city’s access to the sea. I will tell you that the rumors I hear, speak to the corruption of the clergy due to this power and wealth, but from my investigations they have not grown so bold, nor so arrogant as to challenge the power of the Questor’s Society.

Questhaven does not have a standing navy, and rather commissions a large fleet of privateers. Commanding each ship are members of the Questor’s Society. The Mariner’s Basin serves a vital function in organizing crews for each of these ships, and many refer to these folk collectively as Privateers of the Raging Shark. If adventure on the high seas is to your liking life as privateer in the service of Questhaven and The Mariner’s Basin is a popular choice.

Hierarchy within the church is unique to each individual basin. At the Mariner’s Basin’s the most powerful cleric who holds the title “Shipwright” rules the Dockhands (clergy)  and he serves as a religious advisor and teacher of the faithful, but spends most of his time dealing with the vast number of tithes, sacrifices, and privateers. The Aesthetics of the Sea (paladin archetype) are utterly uninvolved with the basins short of occasionally captaining a privateer ship; they wander the endless waves doing what they can for everyone but themselves. Finally, the Privateers of the Raging Shark who are a secular mercenary order accept nearly any and all who apply, I myself was a member for a short time before joining the Questor’s Society. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Transparency: 40 things Rite is working on publishing, and where we are at.

40 Things Rite Publishing is currently working on getting published, some of these are working titles (and one has no title). 


  1. Lost in Dream a novel in editing (Set in the world of dreams)

Miniature Game

  1. Miniature Game in development, planning stage.

Dungeon World

  1. Missing Paths: Playbooks Up to Eleven, assigned to a Riter (a freelancer author working for Rite Publishing). 


  1. Pieces of Fate 2  assigned to a Riter
  2. The Demolished Ones: Fly in the Ointment second draft stage by Robert N. Emerson

Lords of Gossamer & Shadow

  1. Addendum Blessings & Curses in layout (release Thur 02/20/2014)
  2. Addendum Iconic Characters waiting on one piece of art before going to layout
  3. Threats: Echo of the Typhonians waiting on final art before going to layout. 
  4. Threats Dawn of the Dwimmerlaik  waiting n final art.
  5. Nexopolis: In Editing
  6. Addendum Empathy: In Editing
  7. Gossamer Worlds 3 assigned to Riter
  8. Icon Deck: waiting on final art before layout
  9. The Long Walk assigned to a Riter,  Author an artist working in tandem.
  10. Addendum Shapeshifting assigned to a Riter
  11. Lucien’s Guide to the Grand Stair 2 assigned to a Riter
  12. Corebook Kindle and Nook versions in layout.
  13. No Beast So Fierce adventure assigned to me, art is complete.


  1. In the Company of Dragons Playtest (ongoing)
  2. Adventure Quarterly #5  public release 03/01/2014.
  3. Perram's Spellbook 221 Magus Spell Cards (CRB, APG, UM, UC) in layout
  4. Rite Cartography Map Packs by Tommi Salama (3-4 files) in layout
  5. Martial Arts Guidebook in editing, waiting on art descriptions
  6. The Secrets of the Masked Reveler  in editing, artwork assigned
  7. Magus of the Jade Oath in editing 
  8. Convergent Paths 3 in editing/development
  9. Haunted Quarter assigned to a Riter
  10. The Secrets of the Divine 2 with me writing
  11. Kaidan Campaign Setting in development assigned to a Riter and Me :)
  12. Questhaven Campaign Setting in development with me writing. 
  13. 101 Not So Random Encounters: Forest Kingdom assigned to a Riter
  14. #30 Mercenary Companies assigned to a Riter
  15. Adventure Quarterly #6 assigned to Riters 
  16. The Secrets of Renegade Archetypes 2 assigned to a Riter
  17. 20 Variant Foes Wargs in editing
  18. 20 Kaiju assigned to a Rtier
  19. Pathways #36 assigned to Riters
  20. Faces of the Tarnished Souk Compilation in layout
  21. The Secrets of Adventuring Hero Lab assigned to the Rite Coder
  22. Ultimate Monsters Hero Lab (Book of Monster templates, 101 not so simple monster templates, 101 Monster Feats, 101 Variant Monsters  etc.) assigned to the Rite Coder. 

Transparency will now become a weekly post :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Making Monster Templates: Festering Spirit Creature Template

I do a lot of work with monsters, I have written them for Paizo, I have written the Book of Monster Templates, I have written 101 Not So Simple Monster Templates and 101 Variant Monsters. I thought I would do a few articles every now and then giving some examples of how you can turn nearly any monster into a monster template simply based on its origin story.

For this experiment I am going to start with an undead creature as these are the easiest things in the world to make a template. 

In my personal opinion ALL undead creature’s should be templates.

The Festering Spirit you will find the stats of the creature HERE!

 Illustration by John Baur

Festering Spirit Creature (CR +2)

A festering spirit arises when a vile being's corpse is put in a mass grave, or when such a creature is buried, exhumed, and placed in a charnel house or ossuary. The lingering hatred and evil of the dead mixes with the worst remnants of dozens of other people, creating a frustrated incorporeal shade of sickness, hate, and rot. Powerful creatures might arise as multiple festering spirits, each spawned from a different aspect of the original creature's personality.

Rebuild Rules: Type undead (augmented, incorporeal); Senses darkvision 60 ft.,  Aura stentchl AC a festering spirit creature gains a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma modifier, it loses the base creature's natural armor bonus, as well as all armor and shield bonuses not from force effects or ghost touch items; Hit Dice change all of the creature's racial Hit Dice to d8s, all Hit Dice derived from class levels remain unchanged, it uses its Charisma modifier to determine bonus hit points; Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal; Immune undead traits; Speed festering spirit creatures lose their previous speeds and gain a fly speed of 40 feet (good), unless the base creature has a higher fly speed; Melee and Ranged Attacks a festering spirit creature loses all of the base creature's attacks, if it could wield weapons in life, it can wield ghost touch weapons; Melee incorporeal touch (1d4 Con damage + slime); Special Attack create spawn, slime, trample (1 Con damage plus slime); Ability Scores loses Str and Con, +6 Dex, +2 Cha.

Create Spawn (Su): A coporeal creature killed by a festering spirit's Constitution damage becomes a festering spirit under the control of its killer in 1d4 days. Giving the corpse a proper burial (or cremation) prevents it from becoming a festering spirit.

Ghost Touch (Su): A festering spirit can manipulate corporeal objects that weigh up to 25 pounds as if those objects had the ghost touch special ability

Slime (Su): A festering spirit's slime resembles the putrefying sludge of decaying corpses. Any creature that is hit by the spirit's incorporeal touch attack, passes through its square, or hits it with a natural weapon or unarmed strike must attempt a Fortitude save (DC 10 +1/2 the festering spirit creature’s HD + its Cha Modifier) . On a failure, the creature is nauseated for 1d4 rounds, and on a success the creature is staggered for 1 round. A festering spirit's slime persists on objects and creatures for 1d10 minutes but has no harmful effect after its initial contact. Creatures immune to poison or disease are immune to this ability. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The $274.00 day.

There is a theory called 1,000 True Fans, and while I believe in it especially as the rise of kickstarter has made getting 1,000 true fans easier, I think there is a mistake in it where it dismisses the long tail model as not being useful to creatives.

But in my day to day business model, I deal in Print on Demand and Ebook formats (both DrivethruRpg and have great Print on Demand and Ebook options), I don't have major issues with inventory or distribution costs.  So a sale of 0.99 cent product 5 years ago, has the same profit margin per sale now as it did then. My electronic sales for PoD and ebook sales are open 365 days a year. The products never go out of stock, in the 6 years of doing bussiness we have created over over 300 revenue generating products that range in price from 0.99 cents up to $39.99 (and our best selling product is $19.99), for me the long tail turns into a kind of Mobius Strip.

So here is what was knocking around my brain today the 1,000 True Fans has a goal of $100,000 a year, (me I would easily be happy with half that, but lets stick with their numbers for now.) That's just shoot for under $274.00 a day (you get a bonus on leap year).   r.  How many products a day do you have to sell to maintain that amount? If you charge $0.99 cents and get $0.65 cents of that you need 421 products sold. If you sell it for $4.99 and get $3.24 you need 85 a day.

So after looking at Q4 of 2013, I can see where I am at on my goal of $274.00 a day. Where are you at?  (Note:  Your goal might be only $100.00 a day that is still $36,500 a year.)

So when you making stuff don't just think about your true fans think about the quality of your work in the very long run because that is what is going to make that long tail stretch out till it becomes a Mobius Strip.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Transparency: 35 things Rite is working on publishing, and where we are at.

35 Things I am currently working on getting published, some of these are working titles (and one has not title)


  1. Lost in Dream a novel in editing

Dungeon World

  1. An new Adventure (no title yet), assigned to a Riter (a freelancer author working for Rite Publishing). 


  1. Pieces of Fate assigned to a Riter
  2. The Demolished Ones: Fly in the Ointment second draft stage by Robert N. Emerson

Lords of Gossamer & Shadow

  1. Curses & Enchantments Waiting on art before going to layout. 
  2. Iconic Characters waiting on art before going to layout
  3. Threats: Echo of the Typhonians reviewing art sketches before moving on to final art. 
  4. Threats Dwimmerlaik: In Editing
  5. Nexopolis: In Editing
  6. Empathy: In Editing
  7. Gossamer Worlds 2 1st draft submitted, waiting on 2nd draft. 
  8. Icon Deck: waiting on final art before layout
  9. The Long Walk assigned to a Riter
  10. Shapeshifting assigned to a Riter


  1. In the Company of Dragons Playtest (ongoing)
  2. Pathways #35 proofing
  3. Perram's Spellbook 221 Magus Spell Cards (CRB, APG, UM, UC) in layout
  4. Rite Cartography Map Packs by Tommi Salama (3-4 files) in layout
  5. Adventure Quarterly #5 waiting on printing proof
  6. Martial Arts Guidebook in editing
  7. The Secrets of the Masked Reveler  in editing
  8. Magus of the Jade Oath in editing 
  9. Convergent Paths 3 in editing
  10. Haunted Quarter assigned to a Riter
  11. The Secrets of the Divine 2 with me writing
  12. Kaidan Campaign Setting in development assigned to a Riter and Me :)
  13. Questhaven Campaign Setting in development with me writing. 
  14. 101 Not So Random Encounters: Forest Kingdom assigned to a Riter
  15. #30 Mercenary Companies assigned to a Riter
  16. Adventure Quarterly #6 assigned to Riters 
  17. The Secerts of Renegade Archetypes 2 assigned to a Riter
  18. 20 Variant Foes Wargs assigned to Riter
  19. 20 Kaiju assigned to a Rtier
  20. Pathways #36 assigned to Riters

If you have a question please feel free to ask and I will answer as openly and as honestly as I can.

Steven D. Russell
Lord Protector
Rite Publishing