Thursday, December 31, 2015

State of Rite Publishing 2015

2nd Best Year Ever.

It will always be a hard to top 2013, the year of the Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless) Kickstarter & its retail release. The core book is an evergreen product for us as are many of the supplements. Nevertheless, 2015 had the highest amount of retail sales in out 8 year history. I am well pleased.

This year saw us continue release a small setting product each month, supported greatly by Matt Banach’s work on his series of short inexpensive Gossamer Worlds PDFS, Gossamer Worlds: GlimmerGloam becoming a best-seller. I even published Matt’s crazy idea of an entire gaming product written in poetic verse, GossamerWorlds: Poetica Mundi, to great critical acclaim.   

I also got the opportunity to work with Rob Donoghue again with his excellent work on Lucien’s Guide: Legends & Lies, plus we brought on H.M. “Dain” Lybarger who wrote Threats: Secrets of the Annunaki and my personally favorite projects, Gossamer Words: Planet Fiction, so you could ally or become the enemy of Sherlock Holmes along with many other fictional characters.

Finally, we have also started shipping the Kickstarter for our second Icon Deck of cards, to allow GMs and Players to have representations of Icons in the Lords of Gossamer & Shadow game or Trumps in their Amber Diceless games. DrivethruCards really does amazing quality cards, I could not have done this project without them.

For Diceless 2016, we will see the release of The Long Walk: Life On The Grand Stair, a massive supplement which will come out of editing next quarter. Addendum Shapeshifting which is in mock layout now. The retail release of the second Icon Deck, an Adventure written by me, and of course more Gossamer Worlds. I also hope to do one or two compilation print books. And launch a new Kickstarter once the Long Walk is complete and in everyone’s hands.

We released our supplement to our ENnie Award wining game/adventure The Demolished Ones, as Robert N. Emerson gave us A Fly In The Ointment, which to me is really an enhancement to the original story rather than a traditional supplement giving you a new experience if you run the adventure a second time.

13th Age
We jumped into a new license this year with support for The 13th Age, and while its sales are not as strong as Pathfinder or Diceless, our strongest showing being 101 Feats and Talents, it is profitable for us and we will continue to do so through 2016.

Speaking of 2016 look out for the Book of Icons and the Taskshaper.

5th Edition
While there is no official license for 5th Edition, I have chosen to follow the model of Goodman Games and many other publishers and release content under the existing OGL, as there is virtually nothing in 5th Edition that was not published in one format or another during the d20 ERA by one company or another.

As such Ed Kabara has done a number of products for us from 101 1st LevelSpells to The Breaking of Forstor Nagar, and I look forward to him doing more and more.

In 2016 I hope to bring another 5e expert on board to create some additional products for us.  

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
We had some amazing success in 2016, I was especially pleased to release the largest product we have ever done with Faces of the Tarnished Souk: An Npc Collection. Its really an amazing book doing what I wanted, and succeeding where I felt every other book of Npcs had failed.  Completely both the Kickstarter and then its retail release is something every small publisher longs for in the modern era of publishing. For a micro press like me, it’s amazing.

Another big milestone was the Martial Arts Guidebook completion after a long arduous production (I will never use Indieagogo again); we have released to our backers the PDF and are shipping the signed Print copies. The retail PDF has gained the highest critical acclaim from Thilo “Endzeitgeist” Graff with a 5/5 start + seal of approval and being recommended for his best for 2015.   I am more than well pleased.

We also saw financial success, with such products The Secrets of the Iron Titan, which let folks, finally play the construct character they wanted to. The Kaiju Codex, which brought Godzilla and Pacific Rim to your Pathfinder game. Along with great new ideas like the 101 Environment Spell Series by Dave Paul who has gone from being our go-to-editor to being a major writing force with this series.

Speaking of Dave Paul the editor, we launched our Patreon this year for our PathwaysE-zine. Allowing us to add two additional paid articles by some of the greatest talents in the industry. As always by using a different cover artist every month, we give work to new talent that micropress publishers can afford, and allow them to demonstrate the quality of work they can do on a deadline.  

This also allows us to find some of the best artists in our freelance stable like Dennis Darmody, Ernanda Souza, and Juan Diego Dianderes. Plus it allowed us to find new talents this year like Lee Pfenniger, Melvin Chan, and Manuel Castanon. I however never seem to have enough work for all the artists I love so if you a publisher check these folks out and give them some work.

We also launched a great Kickstarter this year with In the Company of Dragons, upgrading the original small PDF, that allows you to play a dragon right alongside other PCs, into a much larger book, we already have the manuscript complete and its off in editing land so we are on schedule to release it in 2016.

We also had big fun with our April fools product In the Company of Gelatinous Cubes, because who doesn’t want to play Jell-O.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the skill of Tommi Salama’s Rite Map Packs and his amazing cartography. I really enjoy every time we get to put one of these out. He has taken the Pathfinder Rpg community by storm as I swear I now see his cartography everywhere I look.

No year is perfect, and Rite Publishing has failures like any other company. I always believe in transparency, we acknowledge our mistakes, learn from them, and move not to make them again in the future.

Kaidan Campaign Setting (PFRPG): Never start a Kickstarter without the manuscript being done.  If you do don’t every allow the burden to fall all on one author, bring in others, a singular vision is awesome but you can break the writer. Also because it’s taken so long we have lost or original artists for the project. This manuscript is done, edited, and the mock layout is done. We are now moving forward with artwork. Therefore, this is a production timeline failure, but not a failure as a product and will like the martial arts guidebook will become a success in 2016.

Adventure Quarterly (PFRPG): This is another timeline failure, not a product failure, as the adventures, art, and cartography have been stellar. We do an amazing job putting Pathways out on time every month, but I fail to get AQ out every quarter. Once issue # 8 is complete, Robert N Emerson (editor-in-chief) and I will be making changes with Adventure Quarterly so that we can fix this problem.

Gossamer Options: Characters (Diceless): I should not be an editor. I don’t have the time or the skill to be great at this. This book needed a better editor than me and any failings on its part are due to my failures as an editor and developer. It’s not a bad book, but it’s the weakest of the Diceless line, and we have set that bar so high that a standard book like this ends up coming out weak.

The Long Walk: Life On The Grand Stair (Diceless): This is a failure of timeline again, projects sometimes just get behind, it is in editing now and will come out of that next quarter, but what I should have done on this from the beginning was bring a second experienced writer in to assist with this book from day one. It’s sadly the same mistake I made on Kaidan, putting too much on one author and one editor. Now that we are past all of it, it’s an awesome manuscript, heck I am running the adventure as part of my home game. I am really looking forward to publishing this one.

So the big lessons from 2016, don’t be afraid to use multiple authors on large projects, don’t be afraid to bruise someone’s ego by bringing in another author late in a project (even your own) because you are saving their sanity and your own. Oh yeah, and I am not allowed to be an editor.

The Future
I want to do things with PFRPG Occult Adventures maybe a 1920s Noir Chicago adventure path, I want to do the Gateway Pass adventure series, where your PCs never leave the local outpost and the adventure comes to you.  I want to publish more In the Company of (Rakshasa, Daemons, Demons, Devils, & Unicorns) next year.

I want to do a Bestiary for Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless) probably a Kickstarter. A series were we detail a single world in the Shatterlight series. See some fiction written for the game system, plus a guide to powers series, along with continuing the Gossamer Worlds, Threats, and Lucien’s Guide Series.

On a personal note, I hope to finish my novel Tartarus: A Superhuman Prison.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Designing in Public: The Rituals of Choice Part I, A Witch's Choice (PFRPG conversion) post #2

You can find Post #1 HERE!

Illustration by Ryan Barger

Act I: And So It Begins

Our story begins with the characters sleeping: Ask each player what his character is likely to be dreaming about, then guide each with a giant harpy eagle to the common dream location of Zewthra‘s balcony. 
As you move toward the object of your desire, it morphs into an enigmatic giant harpy eagle and flies down a hole that suddenly appears in the ground.
If the character does not follow:
Abruptly the aperture becomes a gigantic sinkhole and you fall landing next to your companions in a strange wondrous location.

Cartography by Jonathan Roberts
Full Map HERE! 

Location # 1: The Glass Balcony (EL 3)

With a feeling of instant vertigo, you are unexpectedly in the center of an open-air sheer glass balcony entirely lacking protective railing. It is half-shrouded in mist created by two waterfalls spilling into the basin far below. A brilliant rainbow arches through the balcony. The glass pane appears to connect to the brown stone door of a lovely multilevel red house with a number of similar glass balconies. Floating point down just out of reach over the basin is a brilliant crystal-woven golden longsword.

The albino harpy eagle flies up and observes all the PCs but does not speak to them or answer questions they may have. (The balcony is 30’ wide at the base, narrowing to 5’, and extends 20’ out over the falls at its farthest point.)
Let the players look about, talk to each other, discuss why they are all having the same dream. At an appropriate point, perhaps when they go to open the door or make an attempt at the floating longsword, Zewthra will open the door.

You see a dwarfish woman with red-wine colored skin, her eyes purple within black. Her long hair stands straight out like long black pine needles, her face contorted in a painfully blank expression. Her garb is a patchwork of different colored fabrics, a different pattern on each piece (polka-dots, stripes, swirls, splotches, and silhouettes) and makes her look like some macabre doll.

Let the PCs react to her appearance. She is completely unresponsive to the PCs, until at an appropriately dramatic moment.

A whisper issues forth from the strange woman: “Help me.” Then the crystal-woven golden blade disappears over the falls and appears in her hand, and she raises it as if preparing to attack. In total contrast to her actions, her face remains void of expression.


TERRAIN: If a character moves their full speed, they take the chance of falling and sliding, possibly off the edge (Acrobatics DC 10, failure results in falling prone and sliding to the limit of the character’s speed in a random direction. If they collide with an object, they bounce off and move half their remaining speed).
Characters can make a Climb check to grab hold of the edge if they slide over (DC 20). A failed check results in the character taking 2d6 points of nonlethal damage (see below).

DAMAGE: All attacks in the dream appear to deal lethal damage, but in reality are only dealing nonlethal damage. A character reduced to zero or fewer hit points leaves the dream world and wakes for a moment in the real world before falling unconscious again, but gets a glimpse of Vethkar’s house along with a crazed looking Zewthra. 

1st Round: The giant harpy eagle takes the hardest blow from her phantasmal killer spell and it disappears. Throughout the fight Zewthra will attack, though her demeanor is very strange,

·       “I am sorry” she will say,
·       a tear drop will appear on her face,
·       she will scream in terror,
·       she will even make the hand sign for a ritual of greeting;

2nd Round: Zewthra attacks with her luckblade this round and each round afterwards.
3rd Round:  A 5’ section of the balcony cracks like a spider web.
4th Round:  The cracked section falls away and the cracks spread to the next 10’ section. 
5th Round: This pattern will repeat until there is nothing of the balcony left.

The best way to win this fight is to push Zewthra over the edge. She is substantially more powerful than the PCs but her Acrobatics check is poor. If they do this, the giant harpy eagle reappears and each character hears a voice in their mind.

 The choirs of heaven sings to me of a profound wrong endangering all. This wrong has caught Zewthra in its snare, help her.

The giant harpy eagle then disappears and the PCs awaken in Plunging Steam Manor.

Zewthra         CR 3 (9, cured)

XP 6,400
Female verrik witch (circle warden, see The Secrets of Adventuring) 10
CG Medium humanoid (verrik)
Init +2; Senses Perception +9
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 37 (10d6)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +8
Special Defenses Aegis of protection.
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 longsword +4 (1d8+1/19-20)
Witch Spells Prepared (CL 9th; concentration +13)
5thbreak enchantment
4thblessing of fervorAPG, cure serious woundsphantasmal killer (DC 18), 
3rdaccept afflictionblood biographyAPGheroism, rain of frogsUM
2ndaidcure moderate wounds, hold person (DC 17), soothing word, vomit spidersAPG
1stbeguiling gift (DC 15), shield of faithcommand (DC 15), cure light woundsill-omenAPG
0 (at will)detect magicmessage, read magic, stabilize
Patron portents
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +4; CMD 15
Feats  Combat Casting, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Magical Aptitude, Mobility
Skills Diplomacy +6, Fly +11, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (arcana) +15, Knowledge (nature) +15, Perception +9, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +21, Swim +3, Use Magic Device +19
Languages Common, Verrik, Giant, Draconic, Dwarven.
SQ astral union, hexes (channel, fortune, good luck talisman), token of fellowship (luckblade), white hexes
Special Abilities
Token of Fellowship: A circle warden witch does not form a bond with a familiar; instead, she creates a special link with a fellowship. Symbolizing this fellowship is an object of great personal value, a fetish made with components bearing great significance to the fellowship, or the representation of an association (her luck blade).
The circle warden witch must commune with her token to prepare her spells. During the communion, the circle witch may link her fetish's spiritual energies to any number of willing, sentient creatures that she wishes to take upon her protection, including herself. A witch may attune additional creatures during the day by taking one hour to meditate, and draw talismans on the creatures she wishes to ward. A token of fellowship otherwise works as a familiar.
Aegis of Protection (Su): Zewthra may protect allies within the area of her wreath of community. As a move action, she may draw eldritch patterns that provide to all attuned allies within her wreath of community the properties of a protection from evil (alignment chosen during the move action) spell. The circle warden may instead provide them with a resist energy 10 (energy chosen during the move action).
By spending a full-round action instead, Zewthra creates a powerful sanctuary for any living being she wishes to protect inside her wreath of community; this ability works as normal, except that instead of protection from evil it reproduces the effects of a magic circle against evil (alignment chosen during the full-round action), and a creature needs not to be attuned to her fellowship to benefit from her protection. These effects last until the beginning of her next turn. This ability can only provide each creature with one attempt per day to suppress effects that are controlling them.
Astral Union (Su): Zewthra can leave her body as a standard action to bind her soul to one of her allies within the area of her wreath of community. This works as per the magic jar spell, except that the circle warden does not need a gem and her soul does not trap the ally's soul, nor overtakes his body. While mindless, her body is not lifeless, and it can do a move action each round. The physical and the astral body still share their actions on each round.
While bound to an ally, Zewthra may cast spells on him that are normally restricted to a range of touch or personal and use hexes that normally affect her to affect him instead. Thanks to the insight the circle warden can provide to him, the bound ally also gains the benefits of the shield of faith spell (caster level equal to the witch's level), plus the effects of a continuous Fortune hex.
If her body is slain or the ally leaves her wreath of community, her soul stays with her bound ally for 10 days after which she dies; or until the ally returns into the area of her wreath of community or her body is brought back to life, at which point she goes back into her body. During this time, her ally still gains the benefits of the astral union but her senses are limited to what her bound ally can perceive; she may also not cast spells onto any other creature than the bonded ally, nor use her wreath of community without a body.
Channel (Su): Zewthra can use a hex to channel positive energy like a 10th level cleric. Whether or not the creature makes a successful save, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.
Good Luck Talisman (Su): By spending one hour to write a mystic charm on a creature, Zewthra can ward a creature, as per the Ward hex. She can have 4 active good luck talismans at the same time equal to her Intelligence modifier.
Gyre of the Eldritch (Su): Zewthra may use a hex on two attuned creatures as a standard action, as per the Split Hex feat. This hex lasts one less round than usual (minimum 1) and may target two creatures anywhere on the circle warden's wreath of community.
4/day, Zewthra may also cast any spell with a range of touch on any attuned creature within the aura of her wreath of community, as if the spell was prepared with the Reach Spell metamagic feat.
White Hexes: Zewthra’s hexes are made to protect and ward. She cannot target unwilling targets with her hexes.
Wreath of Community (Su): Zewthra emits a 10-foot aura of abjuration. Once per round whenever an ally attuned to the Zewthra's fellowship is standing within the wreath of community's area, he may create a shield other effect in relation to any other attuned ally within the wreath of communitiy's area as a free action spell-like ability. The spell's caster level 10 (though the person activating the ability is consider the caster for all other purposes).

Zewthra is autistic. Her actions are always extreme, and her facial expressions, mannerisms, and speech are usually in direct opposition to those actions. She was a gifted gambler and prankster in her youth before the autism imprisoned her. Now she can perform only the most basic tasks, and when in an extremely agitated state her powers lash out at random. Around her father, witches, faen, humans, and other verrik, she is normally very compliant. She has manic attacks if confronted by non-witch litorians and generally ignores almost all other creatures, unless they cause her harm. Zewthra values her father and the feeling of safety he has created around her. She fears her own power and within her mind she longs to be normal again. Though unable to express it, Zewthra understands her father’s finances even better than he does. She also still has friends at court. If cured she could become a powerful ally of the PCs.

History: (Diplomacy (gather information), or Knowledge (local) DC 15) All of Zewthra’s needs have been cared for by her father, ever since the accident. Fearing his government would put her in the Damned Depository, her father fled with her to Far-Rough.

Secret: (Diplomacy (gather information), or Knowledge (noblity) DC 25) Zewthra killed a young minotaur in a prank gone wrong; he was the only son of a clan leader, and a runechild (A being favored by Our Sovereigns in Heaven). Racked with guilt she chose to suppress her power rather than risk harming someone again. This has caused unusual random changes in her thought patterns, however, ultimately resulting in her autism.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

People who are Awesome!: Perry Grosshans​

People who are Awesome!: Perry Grosshans​,
Line Editor for Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless).

Perry started out with Rite Publishing back in the days of Arcana Evolved (2008) as GM play tester for monsters I created, without him To Kill or Not to Kill, never would have gotten an ENnie nomination (he was its editor). Without him there would be no Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless), as Perry is the one who dared me to dream big (and again he was its editor). He has made me a better author and publisher, he also has made Rite Publishing a much richer place to work.

Sometimes the problem in this industry is that the reward for good work is more work. We don't stop and say what a great job someone is doing. Perry you're awesome, I could not do this without you.

Steven D. Russell
Rite Publishing.

Martial Arts Guide Preview (Coming Sunday).

Note: Techniques, work like combat maneuvers that you don't need a feat for you usually just have to meet the prerequisites to perform, the GM can allow unlimited use or require the expenditure of a resource such as grit or ki.  For more information check out the full sized free preview! 

Illustration by Juan Diego Dianderes

Dewmar Techniques

"We quickly drew blades and assumed our guards; the point of my blade hovering at eye level and hers casually, almost negligently down near her feet. I knew better than to presume her unskilled, only a veteran duelist dared face a  student of William

Dewmar with such nonchalance. Watching her elbow, I feinted for her knee and disengaged to thrust at her sword arm. Ignoring the feint, my enemy rolled the bell of her rapier with my attack, hoping to bind our weapons as she leapt into motion. Her off-hand pulled a heavy, wide-bladed knife from the folds of a silk sash, and the half-elf lunged forward to bury it in my guts. It was a dance well danced.”

The fencing techniques taught at the Dewmar Academy are for character wishing to excel with light weapons and be mobile about the battlefield.  Fencing characters can manipulate the movement and placement of their enemies, the use of their weapons, and stop them from acting as quickly as they normally would. 

Locked Blades

Fencing Technique

You bind your opponent’s blade with your own and step up to him, refusing to allow him to disengage.

[Alternate Prerequisites]: BAB +6, Iron Will

Steel Cost: 1 point

Activation Time: 1 standard action or 1 immediate action; see below

Effect: Choose a weapon you are wielding and perform a grapple combat maneuver against an opponent wielding a manufactured melee weapon. If your chosen weapon is a light weapon and your opponent is wielding a two-handed weapon, you take a -4 penalty to your combat maneuver roll. If the grapple succeeds, neither you nor your opponent can make an attack with the locked weapons, but either party may make 5 foot steps but such movement is immediately mirrored by the other party, and you both gain the grappled condition for the duration of the grapple. In addition to the normal methods of breaking a grapple, either party may choose to drop their weapon, or make a bull rush or trip combat maneuver against the other; success breaks the grapple in addition to the normal effects.

You may use this technique as an immediate action when attacked by an opponent wielding a manufactured melee weapon if you have at least +8 BAB. In this case, a successful grapple cancels the triggering attack. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Martial Arts Guidebook preview: Martial Techniques (Preorder Ends Sunday, Retail Release Nov 15th)

Illustration by Juan Diego Dianderes

Martial Techniques 

Full-Sized Free PDF Preview and Preorder can be found HERE!  (Preorder ends Sunday Nov 8th, Retail Release Nov 15th)

Options and Access 

 As the GM, you might decide that allowing your players to use these techniques an unlimited number of times per day is too powerful. If so, we encourage you to only allow characters with a point pool (i.e. arcane pool, grit, ki pool, lay on hands, or touch of corruption class feature) to take and use techniques. An optional point pool cost is provided in the technique descriptions let you know how many points from a point pool will be consumed when they are implemented as a part of those class features. A technique with an optional point cost of 0 is usable an infinite number of times as long as the character has one point in its point pool.

 We've done some experimenting here, pushing the boundaries of how martial characters work to provide something beyond "I Power Attack," or "I Vital Strike." Not all of these options may fit your playstyle. Feel free to include or exclude specific techniques to suit your game

Below is an example.

Soaring Tanuki

You suddenly grab your opponent with your free hand and toss him away from you.

Wushin Tanuki Technique (Light or One-Handed; Melee)

Prerequisites: One Wushin Tanuki technique

[Alternate Prerequisites]: BAB +3, Improved Trip or Improved Reposition

Activation Time: 1 standard action

[Optional Point Cost]: 1 point

Effect: To use this technique you must have one hand free. Make either a trip or reposition (APG) attempt against an opponent up to one size category larger than you. This attempt does not provoke an attack of opportunity and you do not fall prone if it fails by 10 or more. If your attempt succeeds, you throw your opponent in a square of your choosing up to 10 feet from its current position. Your opponent falls prone in the destination square and takes Xd6 bludgeoning damage where X equals 1/5 your BAB (minimum 1). You must place your opponent in an empty square that does not contain hazardous terrain. In addition, you may make an Acrobatics check (DC your opponent’s CMD) to follow with a jump and land on your opponent dealing an extra +2d6 bludgeoning damage. After this attack, you lose the benefit of your Dexterity bonus to AC until the end of your next turn.

Find out more, check out the full-sized free preview or Preorder HERE! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Designing in Public: The Rituals of Choice Part I, A Witch's Choice (PFRPG conversion)

The Rituals of Choice Adventure Path
Part I: A Witch’s Choice
By Steven D. Russell


A woman arrives in the protectorate of Questhaven from another plane, stepping barefoot through a portal of pure eldritch might. She is Morwen Khyar, a self-proclaimed demigoddess, Their Savior, and her power is such that no one disputes her claim not even the servants of heaven. Se seeks the true name of the Worldsmith who created the universe, and by speaking it aloud she will destroy this universe gain the power she needs to saver her own. The truename of the Worldsmith is hidden within the very fabric of this universe, and demigoddess or not, she lacks the power to dismantle the world without ruining the information she seeks. The path to her goal now lays open: Mortals under their own free will must rediscover and chose to carry out twenty forgotten rituals which will allow her to learn the Worldsmith’s truename. Morwen’s plan is to stay in the shadows and use mortal minions subtly and secretly, so that no other deity can move to stop her.  Moreover, even if all else fails, she has a contingency plan: the creation of heroes. So begins The Rituals of Choice.
“A Witch’s Choice” is an Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure designed for four 1st-level characters. Characters will advance to 2nd level by the end of the adventure. This is the first installment in the Rituals of Choice Adventure Path, a complete campaign saga consisting of 20 adventures.
The campaign path will take characters from a simple escort mission at 1st level to an apocalyptic battle for the multiverse at 20th level. The campaign is episodic with individual adventures able to stand alone despite a plot arc that runs through the entire series. This full arc will become clearer with each episode, together with “The Rituals of Choice Player’s Guide” free pdf that you can find at our website,

Campaign Setting

The Rituals of Choice Adventure Path takes place in the Protectorate of the Questhaven campaign setting but is modular enough to work equally well in any other standard high fantasy Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign setting.  Morwen can easily arrive on some other plane of existence, with the presence of the truename of existence being a new and exciting discovery.


 To play the Rituals of Choice Adventure Path, you will need a copy of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook and the Pathfinder Bestiary. This book may draw a number of monsters from the various other Pathfinder Bestiaries and Third Party Products, but the book will provided full stat-blocks in these cases. 

Adventure Background

Characters with ranks in Diplomacy (Gather Information) can learn more about the adventure background. When a character makes a successful check, the following lore is revealed; including the information from lower DCs. Knowledge (local) can provide Lore DC 20 or lower. Knowledge (arcana) can provide the Lore DC 25 but not the information from the lower DCs. Knowledge (planer) can provide the Lore DC 40 but not the information from the lower DCs.
  When running “A Witch’s Choice” as part of the Rituals of Choice Adventure Path, characters that put a rank into the appropriate skill or preform research in a library can reroll to learn more about the adventure background.
DC 10: The frontier town of Far-Rough lies just over the western edge of Korvack’s Cauldron (caldera of a dormant supervolcano) along the north of The Drifting Glade at very limit of the Protectorate of Questhaven. Several years ago, a well-to-do nobleman from the Kingdom of the Last Warlord named Vethkar came to Far-Rough by braving the Shattered Labyrinth. With him, he brought his unpredictable and autistic daughter named Zewthra.
DC 15: Zewthra’s condition is now killing her and by the judicious use of his resources, Vethkar has discovered that he must take his daughter to a mystical site where she must perform a special ceremony. The journey is hazardous, however, and his struggle to keep his daughter alive has already depleted his assets. Recently, he has been having a strange recurring dream about the PCs and a giant harpy eagle. He believes this dream has a mystical component, a sign from beyond, and he plans to follow the directions given in his dream. He truly believes that having the PCs escort himself and his daughter is the best chance for her survival.
DC 20: What only a few people in the town know is that Vethkar is brother-in-law to the Last Warlord. When his daughter began showing signs of the Verrik’s racial malady, the Phrenic Curse, he did not wish her to be put away in the Damned Depository (an asylum for those truly victimized by the curse), so he fled here.
DC 25: Zewthra’s malady is the result of the verrick raical curse and her own personal choices. When she was very young, and her witchery powers first manifested, she killed a rare guest of the Last Warlord, a young taurian boy (Minotaur). Zewthra chose to suppress her new powers rather than risk killing anyone else, but the effort cost her dearly. She now seems to be nothing more than a deranged child in a woman’s body.
DC 40: In truth, Vethkar’s dreams are the work of the wretch (half-orc half-hag) Dreamspun Sorecerer Bakhuth, who is also known as “The Wretched Harpy” to the Blood of Steelcrag, and “the Dreamspinner” by the verrik.

Adventure Synopsis

The adventure begins with the characters asleep, having strange dreams, and awakening to find themselves in Plunging Stream Manor, the home of Vethkar. He should be able to convince them, by the offer of a reward and the plight of his daughter Zewthra, to take an oath to escort his daughter to a mystical site known as . There are obstacles along the way as well as strange and wondrous encounters. When Vethkar dies halfway to the site (heart attack, if not by violence), the PCs must make a choice: continue or abandon the quest. If they continue, they must then convince the deranged Zewthra to choose to perform the ceremony of her own free will. If done properly Morwen will link all similar mystical sites (Avatar’s Landing) on the world to the place she first set foot upon in this world (). This will enable Morwen at some future point, drain all the might of every mystical site that has any of the qualities  possess into herself.

Adventure Hooks

The adventure hook will plunge the characters into the action from the very beginning. However, let the PCs choose the reasons they joined together before placing them in the initial encounter. Below is a list of suggestions that both the GM and the players can agree on. This list is by no means all-inclusive, and GMs are encouraged to tailor these to their unique group of PCs.

·        Agents of Authority: The PCs are young and newly appointed Questors, the adventurer’s guild that rules Questhaven (Vethkar’s various inquires for assistance from the PCs through his political connections have been answered). The PCs gain a +2 bonus on Diplomacy and Knowledge (nobility) checks.

·        In Rebellion: The PCs have sworn to serve in the fellowship of the Phoenix who seek to overthrow the oligarchic rule of the Questors, and set up a true democracy. (Vethkar, having abandoned The Last Warlord to save his daughter, asks for the PCs through an old friend, who became The Nameless Revolutionary who is the Phoenix-child that leads the Fellowship). The PCs gain a +2 bonus on Perception and Sense Motive checks.

·        Wards of the State: The PCs are/were all wards of a noble in the Kingdom of the Last Warlord (Vethkar is that noble, and he finally believes that the characters are ready to help him. They are fully aware of the adventure background except the DC 40). The PCs gain a +2 bonus on Sense Motive and Bluff checks.

·        Orphans, aren’t we all: The PCs are all part of the same orphanage (Vethkar discovers them and adopts them). The PCs gain a +2 bonus to any two of the following skills: Alchemy, Appraise, Decipher Script, Craft, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (any one), Perform, Profession, and Sleight of Hand.

·        Let My People Go: A benevolent patron buys the PCs as slaves and then frees them (Vethkar is the benevolent patron, who offers to reward them for their assistance). The PCs gain Toughness as a bonus feat.

·        A Mother’s Love: The PCs all share the same adoptive mother (A woman in Vethkar’s village, which is why he settled here. He offers rewards and the plight of his daughter‘s malady). The PCs gain a +1 bonus to Fort, Ref, and Will.

·        The Cost of Education: The PCs actually all attended the same school, and they are subject to indentured servitude for their education via the merchants’ guild that was their patron (Vethkar buys the PCs’ contract from the merchants’ guild, and offers them payment as well).  The PCs all gain Skill Focus as a bonus feat (they may chose the skill to focus on).

·        Heroic Legacy: The PCs are all the children (or adopted children) of a retired heroic company, who ask their heirs apparent to stand in for them.  The PCs can once per day roll two d20s instead of one and take the higher result. A PC must declare the use of this ability before the roll is made.   

·        The Dragonsworn: Ardon-nue “The Breaking Fire” a pyroclastic great wyrm read dragon who is seeking ot destroy the Questor’s society is recruiting a group of independent agents (his last group disappeared) (The dragon is intrigued by Vethkar’s dreams about the PCs and sends the players to assist him). The PCs gain a +4 bonus to saves against charm and compulsion effects.

·        The Fellowship: The PCs recruited each other; every PC member must recommend and have a connection to the next party member (not the same one) until you come to the last who has to give a connection to the first party member (Vethkar asks the first member, who started recruiting the party, to recruit the other members for the quest). The PC who starts the chain chooses a skill, and gains a +2 bonus to this skill. The next PC connection chooses a skill and both the first and second PC gain a +2 bonus to this skill. The third PC in the connection chooses a skill and the second PC and the third PC gain a +2 bonus to this skill and so on, until there are no more PCs left to join. The last PC gains a +2 bonus to the skill the first PC chose.  In the end each PC will have a +2 bonus to two skills as a benefit from choosing this background.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

#30 Bloodrager Organizations Preview (Coming Sunday Nov 8th)

Illustration by Sam Denmark
Written by Daniel Marshall

Djinn Touched

All soldiers require a master.  Soldiers who have the power to bend reality, manipulate pure energy in its myriad of forms, and tap into the intense power of their very blood require a master of great power to be worthy of their service.  No soldiers are stronger than we, and no master is greater than Ja’li’tahl, the most powerful of the djinn viziers.

At her command, we have razed cities, destroyed dynasties, and slain beings that would be gods.  In return, she grants us shelter, sustenance, and her blessings.  Her armies spread wide across the region with us at their head.  We know not of her plans, but she brings peace to a region long tortured by warring clans, raiders and beasts.

We, those whom the djinn has blessed, fight for reasons that number more than simple soldier can count, but we fight for her with unquestioning loyalty.  They tell us that when she first came upon the first of us, they were starving and dying of thirst, all while trying to fend off the enormous scarabs, snakes, and pillaging raiders of our homeland.  We were dying when the raiders attacked, thinking to capture us and sell us as slaves, and our fate certainly sealed.

Yet the power of the djinn changed out fate.  She became a whirlwind of ferocious power, sweeping through them and sending them sailing through the air as if they were no more than grains of sand in the desert.  Those that did not perish by her might quickly fled.  Though she had won the battle, there had been a cost, for arrows and scimitar strikes had left her wounds numerous and deep!  Yet she thought not of herself, using her magic to summon food and water for us even as she lay dying of her wounds.

Only when she lay on the brink of death did she tell us of the cave she called her home.  We took her there as quickly as we could, unsure if her body would withstand the journey, short though it was.  Over the next several days, we nursed her back to health.  Water from a crystal clear pool was used to cleanse her wounds, and what little remained of the food she had summoned was offered in an effort to help her regain her strength.

She saved us, and we saved her.  Such is the bond we bear with Ja’li’tahl, and the reason that we fight for her.  Others have found us since those days long ago, drawn to us, and to her, by the power in their blood.  The cave has expanded into a fortress, built into the cliff side to shelter it from the elements, and we… well, we have become the greatest weapon for peace that the land has ever seen!




We swear an oath to obey our Lady Ja’li’Tahl, the djinni who saved us from death.  We follow her commands into the jaws of death itself if necessary, for she seeks peace through the only way possible in these forsaken lands… war.

Entry Requirements

Must seek out the Djinn Touched and be accepted into their ranks by the J’li’tahl herself.  Usually this requires some manner of oath of allegiance and a deed to prove your worth.


Sol Dal’een – While Ja’li’Tahl frequently interacts with her most powerful soldiers; she is often busy with other things.  As such, she requires someone to manage her armies in her absence.  To this end she has entrusted her consort, a janni by the name of Sol Dal’een.  Though he does not bear the same power or authority as the vizier, he has slowly earned the respect of the Djinn Touched by treating them with respect, and joining them side by side on the battlefield.  Many tell tales of his blades, weaving death as he moves through the field of battle, sending countless foes to meet their gods.

Character Options

Their constant interaction with such a powerful being beings her blessing upon the Djinn Touched.  The magical waters of the crystal pool also contributes to their unique abilities.

Alternate Class Features

Djinn Touched – Add Invisibility and Gaseous Form to the bloodrager’s potential choice of spells due to the influence of their Djinni matron.
Whirlwind of Blades – The Djinn Touched have learned to mimic the powerful whirlwind ability of their mistress, though without the potent elemental power behind it.  At 3rd level, you can make a single full-attack action as if you possessed the Whirlwind Attack feat 1/day.  For every three levels beyond 3rd you can execute this attack an additional time per day.  This ability replaces Blood Sanctuary.


Storm of Blades
Lighting shoots along your blades, blasting any they strike with powerful energy.
Prerequisite Elemental (Air) bloodline, or member of the Djinn Touched
Benefit As a swift action you can sacrifice one of your spells per day to inflict electricity damage on anyone struck by your weapon in the current round.  The damage is equal to the level of the spell sacrificed plus your Charisma modifier.

#30 Bloodrager Organizations Preview (Coming Sunday Nov 8th)