13th Age: Guild Mistress, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read previous entries in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, Fleshcrafter, Herald, and the Wandering Spirit. This month we thought we would bring you a second icon, one that fights for better working conditions for crafters and artisans all the while taking a crippling cut of each sale: the Guild Mistress.

The Guild Mistress fights for better wages and better training for talented workers. From smiths to glass blowers, caravan masters to slave trainers, spellcasters to sellswords, they all have a guild to train them, hone their skills, and have a place to meet others of their kind. They all give a cut to the Guild Mistress whether they can afford it or not.

Quote

“Everything is for sale. The only question is what is the price.”

Frequent Location

Goldport, better knows as the Hub, sits where the largest river meets the ocean. It is the center of all trade traffic throughout the land.

Common Knowledge

The Guild Mistress controls all commerce in the land. The flow of good and services can be shut off at her whim.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Guild Mistress frequently works with adventurers, hiring them for additional security or as investigators to put down troublesome actors that threaten the guilds, even if they are guild members. However, she only goes so far with individual adventurers, cutting them off from guild employment if they do not join a guild themselves.

Allies

Allies is a strong word for Guild Mistress. As long as they do not disrupt business, she can work with them. While the Usurper’s actions caused business to come to a halt while seizing power, trade quickly returned once the political instability subsided. The Fleshcrafter relies on a constant flow of fresh spare parts. Both the Herald and the Deposed Heir’s forces need arms, armor, and supplies to address wounds.

Enemies

Today’s allies can be tomorrow’s enemies if the price is right or the other disrupts business. The Deposed Heir attacks trade caravans that supply the Usurper’s forces. The Usurper attacks crafter that harbor loyalties to the rightful monarch. The Herald attacks shop keepers that are secretly houses of worship for the Mad Cultist. All of these earn reprisals from the Guild Mistress, until these icons pay for their actions in gold.

Being insubstantial, the Wandering Spirit requires nothing from the Guild Mistress. Add to that a not-insignificant amount of the suffering the Wandering Spirit has returned to avenge has been caused by the Guild Mistress, and these two icons are forever enemies.

History

Starting her career as a slave trader, she organized the merchants into their own guild and got independent guilds to sign onto an organizing agreement. Through considerable blood, swear, and other people’s tears, she rose in power and influence throughout the known world.

The Reason to Fear

If you do not make the Guild Mistress enough money, she is only too happy to sell you to someone else.

Like the Wandering Spirit, one who has nothing to buy or sell to the Guild Mistress is the Mother, the equal and opposite of the Great Druid. Read all about this hag icon of the fey world next month at the JBE Blog.

Looking to play 13th Age while social distancing, Download Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races at the Fantasy Grounds Store. You can also find it at the JBE Shop and DriveThruRPG.

13th Age: Wandering Spirit, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read the first ones in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, Fleshcrafter, and the Herald. So now we present to you the Wandering Spirit, is the equal and opposite of the of the Lich Queen.

The Wandering Spirit was a living icon in a previous age. They were thought to have been at peace over a century ago, but the cries of pain by the living roused them from their eternal slumber to wreak havoc among the living.

Quote

“Dealing out justice after death may have less timely but no less necessary.”

Frequent Location

The Ashen Fields, the scene of a terrible battle in a previous age. To this day, the ground is ash grey and plants still refuse to grow there. However, the Wandering Spirit can show up anywhere.

Common Knowledge

While it is said that the Wandering Spirit meters out justice, no one is exactly sure what draws their attention in the first place or how heavy-handed that justice will be. Even worse, no one knows how small of an injustice a person commits before the Wandering Spirit hands out justice. The question everyone is afraid to ask is if injustices committed by their ancestors will come back to haunt them.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Wandering Spirit frequently communicates with adventurers personally, showing up in dreams or in unperson and asks for certain jobs to be completed. These jobs range from carrying out the death sentence the Wandering Spirit has pronounced on someone to finding a lost toy for a child. Most often, the instruction are vague, requiring adventurers to investigate and find a hidden source of a problem and make a judgment call on what should be done. It is rare for adventurers to turn down the Wandering Spirit if for no other reason than the icon knows where ancient magic items are hidden away or entombed and is happy to share such knowledge for carrying out such assignments. If anything, adventurers are the only true ally the Wandering Spirit possesses.

Allies

Unlike most icons, the Wandering Spirit has no true allies. Emissaries from other icons frequently return, unable to find the Wandering Spirit. The few emissaries return having met the icon carrying a message to the icons warning them to stay away. Some simply do not return. Most believe them dead, their souls devoured by the Wandering Spirit. Other rumors about such missing emissaries tell of them serving the ghostly icon, willingly or otherwise.

Some icons that the Wandering Spirit would form alliances with see the Wandering Spirit as some sort of abomination. The Herald sees the Wandering Spirit as another unholy undead. The Deposed Heir has ordered the execution of enough of the Usurper’s agents to fear the wrath of the Wandering Spirit. While it is true that agents of these icons may have to work with the Wandering Spirit, that day has not yet come.

Enemies

While few icons are stupid enough to try a direct attack on a powerful spirit who can appear in dreams, that does not mean they do not work against the Wandering Spirit either. Waylaying someone working on behalf of the ghostly icon that is interfering in their plans may not earn a reprisal, one hopes. Of course, if the offending agent of the icon dies in their sleep or is killed by some adventurers, was it the Wandering Spirit’s doing?

In his quest for power, the Usurper has sought the aid of the Wandering Spirit; those emissaries seldom return. The Fleshcrafter is both afraid of a confrontation with the Wandering Spirit and hoping to trap them. A spirit that powerful under the Fleshcrafter’s control joined to a golem would make for an unstoppable creation.

History

All anyone knows for sure about the Wandering Spirit is that they appeared out of seemingly nowhere approximately 5 years ago, telling adventurers to handle situations that no one else will. In fact few would even know of the Wandering Spirit’s existence were it not for adventurers carrying out such acts in the Wandering Spirit’s name. Whether the Wandering Spirit has any agenda beyond sowing chaos in the name of justice is not something widely known or demonstrated.

The Reason to Fear

Every living person should fear the Wandering Spirit, never knowing if the next judgement the Wandering Spirit pronounces will be upon their head.

One who professes to fear nothing, not even the Wandering Spirit is the Guild Mistress. Read all about this leader of organized labor as the next alternate icon we will be describing right here on the JBE Blog.

Support the series by sharing it on social media and by downloading 13 Rogue Talents and Powers at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

Pathfinder 1e: Frigid Grasp

We at Jon Brazer Enterprises are hard at work on the Book of Beasts: Magus Codex, the next entry in the Character Codex Subscription. However, it has become painfully obvious to us that there is a serious lack of touch spells for the class. The class is built around the spellstrike class feature and there are so few official touch spells that we are reusing the same spells over and over again or making excessive use of the close range arcana, wasting some of the spell’s potential. It really is crazy that there are not a plethora of touch spells (particularly in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic) for magi to use.

So when I’m not building new NPCs, I’m creating new spells for them. We’re not using these spells anywhere in the Book of Beasts: Character Codex since those are purely Paizo-created options from the Pathfinder RPG line of books (so no, there aren’t any options utilized from the campaign setting material appearing in this collection either). One I wanted to ask about was frigid grasp. All the first level damage spells I created do something cool to make up for dealing less damage than shocking grasp. When it came to frigid grasp I wasn’t sure if a –2 penalty to Reflex saves was balanced. Should it be –1? I went with –2 because a –1 feels like it should be a cantrip instead of a 1st level spell. However, I am wondering if a cantrip-level penalty would be appropriate with a little less than a typical 1st-level damage spell. Should it be variable, like a 1d3 penalty?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. Also download JBE’s Pathfinder 1e game supplements at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.

Frigid Grasp

School evocation [cold]; Level arcanist/sorcerer/wizard 1, bloodrager 1, magus 1, occultist 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range touch
Target creature or object touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes
Your successful melee touch attack deals 1d4 points of cold damage per caster level (maximum 5d4). Additionally, the target suffers a –2 penalty to Reflex saving throws until the start of your next turn.

Pathfinder 1e: Automatic Bonus Progression

Pathfinder Unchained introduced a number of changes to the base rules of Pathfinder 1e. We enjoy reading them, but we want to hear your thoughts. Do you like them? Do you consider them a core addition? We want to know. Vote in our poll below.

If you are not familiar with the Automatic Bonus Progression rules, read them here at d20pfsrd. The basic goal is to remove magic items like the cloak of resistance, belts of str/dex/con, headbands of int/wis/cha, ring of deflection, and numerical bonuses to weapons/armor, freeing up those magic item slots to items that do something cooler. So that green-hilted sword you inherited from your grandfather can just be a mundane sword. It doesn’t have to be a +5 sword because your grandfather received a +5 bonus from weapon attunement. You can make it undead bane without having to reforge it. Be honest, how many characters have you had without a cloak of resistance? So why not just eliminate the item, add the bonus to standard progression, and leave the spot open for something cool and interesting?

Or do you prefer the standard items? This gives you a comforting sense of just how powerful this character is. Tell us your opinion in the poll and in the comments below.

Star Battles: Nebulae and Asteroids Space Map Pack for Fantasy Grounds

This collection of stunning maps includes 12 brand new scenes of space and is ideal for ship fights in your science fiction/science fantasy campaign played over Fantasy Grounds. Each map includes a gridless version, a square grid, and a hex grid so you can use these in any game system.

Star Battles: Nebulae and Asteroids Space Map Pack includes:

  • 5 maps featuring asteroids for your players to dodge
  • 4 starfield maps of beautiful deep space nebulae
  • A stunning planet with a ring and moon
  • A dwarf star in the middle of a solar flare
  • 1 of a planet with a nebula background

Give your game a stunning background for the most epic of battles!

Download today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and coming soon to the Fantasy Grounds Store and the Open Gaming Store.

Pathfinder 1e: Wrappings, a Monk Magic Item

Let’s face it, monks get the shaft when it comes to magic items built for them. So today I am going to start breaking that by posting magic items designed with them. This one by itself isn’t a magic item, but it can be one. Check it out and see what i mean.

Wrappings

Aura no aura (nonmagical); CL

Slot feet, head, or wrists; Price 300 gp; Weight


Description


These nonmagical wrappings are expertly made. When wrapped around one of the slots designated for this item and enhanced with a magical bonus, such as on the Weapons table or the Melee Weapon Special Abilities table in the Magic Items section in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, it conveys that bonus to unarmed strikes. A creature can have multiple wrappings, each with a different combination of special abilities as long as each different wrappings uses a different body slot. The wearer can choose which wrappings to enhance their attacks as long as all attacks in a single round use the bonuses and abilities grants from only one wrappings. The wearer can choose to enhance their attacks with different wrappings the following round.

This item without any enhancements or special abilities does not convey any bonus to the wearer. Any bonuses or enhancements on these wrappings do not enhance natural attacks nor attacks made with manufactured weapons.

Download all of JBE’s 1e Pathfinder books at the JBE Shop.

JBE’s Virtual Conversation Schedule 2020

COVID-19 has dramatically changed convention schedules with most bring canceled (for good reason). But people still want to play their games, and everyone at JBE wants to join in on the fun.

Right now we are scheduled to attend three virtual conventions.

We hope that you will join us at these and other online conventions.

We are looking to attend more virtual conventions so if you are running an online con, contact us by commenting below or going to Twitter or Facebook and let us know about it.

13th Age: Beggar Thug

Personally, I consider myself a monster creator over any other part of roleplaying creation. I love making the perfect monster for the situation. It is something I enjoy more than anything else. Lately, I’ve been working on NPCs for Pathfinder in addition to the icons for 13th Age. So for today’s blog post, I decided to merge them and make an NPC for 13th Age themed to the alternate icons I’m working on. The Beggar Thug is a low-level henchman of the Queen of Beggars, one of the alternate icons I haven’t detailed yet. He’s one of those guys you see in movies where the hero punches him in the stomach, and he doesn’t flinch and then makes the hero regret getting into the fight. We’ve got that for you here.

Before we get to the stat block, I have to post my obligatory link to our 13th Age products at the JBE Shop, where the 40% off sale is ending soon. Download our products at our shop to support our 13th Age blog posts today. You can also find them at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Beggar Thug

1st level wrecker [humanoid]
Initiative +4
C: Hammer Fists +6 vs PD—3 damage and the target is dazed until the start of the beggar thug’s next turn (normal save ends).
Natural 18+—The save is now a hard save ends.
R: Thrown Object +6 vs AC—2 damage
Natural 18+—The target is stunned until the start of the beggar thug’s next turn (normal save ends).
Tough as Nails: The beggar thug has resist weapons 12+.

Nastier Special

Pissed off: The beggar thug deals double damage for the rest of the battle if it survives a critical hit.
AC 17
PD 15
MD 11
HP 27

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