When you are reading and running an adventure, do you like the stat block right there? Would you rather not have to deal with the stat blocks until you are ready for them?
Do you like the stat blocks right where the room and the encounter is described so you don’t have to flip pages? Would you rather it be in a different file, letting you split screen/print out the monsters?
The Book of Beasts: Witch Codex comes out soon and is now available for subscribers of the Book of Beasts: Character Codex. Previously, we shared with you the level 1 witch. Today we’re sharing with you the level 4 witch, the Draconic Debilitator. Incase you are unaware, the Witch Codex is the third in the Character Codex Subscription. The first two are the Warpriest Codex and the Magus Codex.
The odd-numbered levels in the Character Codex are the more typical builds. The even-numbered levels by contrast are more varied, thematic. Take the draconic debilitator. This NPC is designed with the hex channeler archetype in mind. This archetype gives the witch the cleric ability channel energy, making them a better healer. Mind you, this one is better at healing undead than living creatures, but that is a minor detail. Also, this NPC has a higher Charisma than Intelligence, letting them channel more energy. It is rare to see a witch with such a low Int; however, kobolds do not have a reputation for long life so it makes sense for them to have a greater offense capability than plan for long-term spell preparation.
Subscribers to the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription receive updates as soon as they are finished, like the Witch Codex which is available to subscribers but is not yet available for individual sale. Subscribe today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.
Draconic Debilitator CR 3
Kobold ARG witch (hex channeler ACG) 4
LE Small humanoid (reptilian)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2
AC 23, touch 17, flat-footed 20 (+4 armor, +3 deflection, +3 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 36 (4d6+20)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +4; +1 morale bonus vs. fear
Resist fire 1
Weaknesses light sensitivity
Speed 30 ft.
Special Attacks channel negative energy 6/day (DC 17, 3d6), hexes (DC 13; channel energy )
Witch Spells Prepared (CL 4th; concentration +5)
1st—bungle UM (DC 12), cause fear (DC 12), mage armor, ray of enfeeblement (DC 12) 0 (at will)—bleed (DC 11), daze (DC 11), detect magic, resistance
Patron Occult UM
Before Combat The witch casts false life and mage armor, then drinks a potion of aid and a potion of shield of faith.
During Combat The witch lobs grenades or uses their wand of magic missiles to attack from range, then channels negative energy once more than two foes are within 30 feet.
Base Statistics Without mage armor, false life, aid, and shield of faith, or their familiar within reach, the witch’s statistics are AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size); hp 20 (4d6+4); Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +4; CMB –2; CMD 11; Skills Perception +0, Sense Motive +0.
Str 4, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +2; CMB –1; CMD 14
Feats Improved Channel, Selective Channeling
Skills Fly +12, Perception +2, Sense Motive +2, Spellcraft +8, Use Magic Device +10
Languages Draconic, Undercommon
SQ gliding wings ARG, witch’s familiar (armadillo; contains all 0-level spells and all prepared spells plus 1st—detect undead, snowball UW, 2nd—command undead, death knell, hold person, molten orb ACG)
Combat Gear potion of aid, potion of shield of faith +3, wand of magic missile (25 charges), fuse grenade UE, iron pellet grenade UE (3); Other Gear flame-retardant outfit UW, spell component pouch, 370 gp
We know how much you love our d66 lists, and we are bringing you four new ones. We know you will love these as much as we loved creating them. Today we bringing you:
Download these and all our d66 lists at DriveThruRPG.
The Book of Beasts: Witch Codex is out of editing and is in layout. So it is time for us to start talking about it. Incase you are unaware, the Witch Codex is the third in the Character Codex Subscription. The first two are the Warpriest Codex and the Magus Codex.
Unlike the previous two classes, the witch class is a 9-level arcane caster, which means it doesn’t have to spread its ability scores nearly as far as those other two classes. But that doesn’t mean this class lacks for options. On the contrary, the witch class has two major sources of options: hexes and spells. Of the two, there is an argument to be made for hexes being more powerful. There is no limit to the number of daily uses, any DC’s use half the witch level instead of spell level, and you get a new one every other level, giving you time to be thoroughly acquired with it before obtaining a new one. The hex featured in the level 1 character is the evil eye. This is a solid low-level hex, reducing an enemy’s attack or AC by 2. That can literally be the difference between winning a battle and a TPK, especially against the big bad. Now this is the level 1 NPC; imagine what the level 20 big boss can do, specifically against the player characters. Happy gaming.
Be sure to subscribe to the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription to receive the Witch Codex as soon as it is released along with the Hero Lab files. Subscribe today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.
COVEN ASPIRANT CR 1/2
Half-elf witch 1
N Medium humanoid (elf, human)
Init +0; Senses low-light vision; Perception +7
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +2 deflection)
hp 6 (1d6)
Fort –1, Ref +0, Will +6; +2 vs. enchantments
Defensive Abilities dual minded APG; Immune sleep
Speed 30 ft.
Melee dagger +1 (1d4+1/19–20)
Ranged light crossbow +0 (1d8/19–20)
Special Attacks hex (DC 13; evil eye)
Witch Spells Prepared (CL 1st; concentration +4)
1st—mage armor, obscuring mist
0 (at will)—dancing lights, detect magic, read magic
Before Combat The witch casts mage armor and drinks a potion of shield of faith.
During Combat The witch hexes opponents to lower their AC and targets them with the crossbow.
Base Statistics Without mage armor, shield of faith, or their familiar within reach, the witch’s statistics are AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10; CMD 11; Skills Fly +0, Perception +5, Sense Motive +2.
Str 12, Dex 10, Con 8, Int 17, Wis 14, Cha 13
Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 13
Feats Defiant Luck ARG
Skills Fly +3, Knowledge (arcana, nature) +7, Perception +7, Sense Motive +4, Spellcraft +7, Use Magic Device +5; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Orc
SQ elf blood, witch’s familiar (bat; possesses all 0-level spells and all prepared spells plus 1st—burning hands, cure light wounds, inflict light wounds, snowball UW)
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds, potion of shield of faith +2; Other Gear dagger, light crossbow with bolts (10), backpack, bedroll, belt pouch, candles (10), chalk (10), flint and steel, ink, inkpen, mess kit UE, pot, soap, spell component pouch, torches (10), trail rations (5), waterskin, 101 gp
For quite a while now JBE has used DriveThruRPG’s printer Lightning Source to print our books no matter where you bought it from (with Amazon being the exception). They are convenient and the price is competitive with other US printers, if not better.
Recently, however, their color technical specs changed. I’m not going to go into details here, but it came to my attention when the book I have been working on most recently Foreven Worlds: Creatures of Distant Worlds was rejected for failing to meet those new standards. When I investigated what was in violation of the new standards, I discovered it was nearly the entire book. That’s a problem. Were it a single piece of art or two, that would be no big deal, but it’s a monster book; more than half the pages has some form of graphic on it and all but a few require some level of modification. Even worse, I’m no artist; alter colors on an image is something I leave to the professionals. I know my limits.
Do how does that change JBE’s plans for the books we want to print? Well for books we haven’t created yet, focusing on black and white/grayscale artwork is definitely the way to go. If you love our color artwork as much as I do, that is a disappointment. However, I will be looking for alternatives and I’ll just have to get better at the art side of things.
For books we are currently have available for PDF download but don’t have in print yet, we would like to hear your opinion. Are you just happy to have the book in print and the art is secondary or does losing the color artwork make the book less interesting to you? Should we convert our books to black and white or just leave them as PDFs?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Whenever you make a new career, class, spell, power, or whatever, sometimes you want to come up with something completely original, something no one has seen before. Other times, you want to make a homage to something you absolutely love in movies or tv. The same goes true with vehicles in Traveller.
Recently, I rewatched Spaceballs. That movie will NEVER get old as far as I am concerned. Remaking Spaceball One would be … insanity-inducing. The stat block would be fine, but mapping the thing would probably kill me. The Eagle 5, Lone Star’s Winnebago, now that is much more doable. In fact, it works better as a vehicle than as a ship because of how it is used in the movie. As a vehicle, the only thing it is missing is the “secret hyper jets.” Everything else is there, even the ability to “jam” radar.
If you want to see more vehicles this is one, be sure to pick up the upcoming Solormani Worlds: Vehicle from the Rim. While you are waiting for this, check out all of our careers, ships, space stations, and more for Traveller at DriveThruRPG.
Name Eagle 5 Recreational Vehicle
Skill Flyer (grav)
Speed (Cruise) High (Medium)
Range (Cruise) 3,000 km (4,500 km)
Cargo 1.0 ton
Shipping 11.5 tons
Cost Cr. 3,571,775
Autopilot (Advanced), Bunk, Communication System (Improved), Electronic Countermeasures (Advanced), Fresher, Galley, Ground Drive, Life Support (long term), Navigation System (Improved), Sensors (Improved), Speed Reduced, Stateroom, Vacuum Protection
Autopilot (skill level) 3
Communications (range) 500 km
Navigation (Navigation DM) +2
Sensors (Electronics (sensors) DM) +1, 5 km
Camouflage (Recon DM) —
Stealth (Electronics (sensors) DM) —
As of the time I am writing this, I only have 3 more vehicles to add to the upcoming Solomani Worlds: Vehicles from the Rim and it is ready to go to editing. This makes me think of the step after that: layout. one question I have had this entire project is how should these vehicles be organized.
The MGT2e Vehicle Handbook by Mongoose has the vehicles organized by Tech Level, having the lower-tech vehicles first and higher-tech vehicles later. Inside each grouping of tech levels, the vehicles are listed alphabetically. Always thinking of how best to help GMs, I thought I would ask if how you prefer to have vehicles organized. Vote in our poll below to tell us your thoughts.
While you are waiting for this, check out all of our careers, ships, space stations, and more for Traveller at DriveThruRPG.
Last year we started our Guide to series with the Guide to Mini-Bosses and Guide to Minions. Today we are continuing the series with the Guide to Evil Organizations.
Lets call our evil organization “Evil, Inc.” This doesn’t have to be a corporation; this works equally well for a dark religion, cruel governments and the like. Understanding how such groups operate will make your portrayal of them more believable and realistic. So what are some things you can do to make Evil, Inc. more memorable.
1) Clearly Define the Goals
The goals of Evil, Inc. should be will defined and easily understandable. A corporation wants to make money. The Cthulhu cult wants to end the world as we know it plunging it into chaos, while the Nyatharlotep cult wants to end the world utterly. A terrorist group wants to cause chaos and destruction. A potential usurper wants to unseat the current ruler and place their own person on the throne. All of these are clear and easy to understand.
Having said that, having clearly defined goals does not necessarily mean that those goals are well known. Best example of this is Die Hard where they present themselves as terrorists but in the end are “nothing but a common thief.” “I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I’m moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite.” This actually leads into the other half of this point, Evil, Inc’s schemes may be complex and difficult to follow, either by deliberate deception or because their plan is just ridiculous and hard to figure out. A thieving organization may take the fractions of a penny rounded off and divert them to their own bank account. The usurper may plan to discredit the girlfriend of the ruler’s grandchild and insinuate they have ties to their enemy, thus weakening the ruler. The Cthulhu cult may try to end the world’s protectors like David Bowie by casting a spell causing them to age faster and depart this world before their time.
However, in reality, the more straight forward plan is more likely to work out well. A corporation may undercut their competition, driving them out of business and then raise their prices. But that is hardly something that requires a hero to rise up and slay a dragon.
2) Transactional Loyalty
If there is one trait that an evil organization has above all others, it is transactional loyalty. What do I mean by that? They don’t stand by anyone in the organization when times are tough. If any one member becomes a liability, they are ignored, cut off, and quickly forgotten about. The liable person is left to whatever fate awaits them for working on behalf of Evil, Inc. This could be a lawyer that suddenly grows a conscience and will no longer lie for Evil, Inc. and has to go to jail for their past crimes. It could be a government that does not make retrieving captured soldiers a priority or a corporation that blames the bad actions on the whistle-blowing former employee. X-Files once had a cult that ate one of their own that was going to talk to Mulder and Sculley.
Mind you, this does not mean that Evil, Inc. has no loyalty, just that loyalty ends as soon as the person is no longer useful, or no longer convenient, to the organization. While the person is both useful and convenient, Evil, Inc. will treat that person exceptionally well. This is so the person will stay long after it is convenient for them. All they have to do is give away a piece of their soul every day.
3) Feeling of Not Making a Difference
The third thing that all evil organizations have in common is they make everyone around them and everyone in them feel like they have no ability to stop them, that you cannot make a difference. They announce something is happening against the public interest, people get upset, but it happens anyways. After this happens a few times, standing up to Evil, Inc becomes more difficult and it is easier to just lose hope. An evil government will telegraph they are doing nothing against something basic like a plague, claiming they are doing all they can even though thousands upon thousands die. The evil cult ends the world’s protector’s lives by aging them prematurely. The corporation robs people of quality healthcare.
This is where heroes come in, in that they shake off that feeling of hopelessness and do something that makes a difference. They stand up to their boss. They vote. They protest. They contact their government official. And that is just the everyday heroes of our day. In a fantasy world, heroes stop the demons of despair, put down the ogres of oppression, and right the wrong committed by wights. But all of those heroic acts are meaningless unless there is an overriding feeling that there is nothing that can be done about a given situation. That is something that must be conveyed to the players. Hydra said it best when they said, “Where one shall fall, two shall rise.”
One example of this is the adventure Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence. This adventure features a normally good religion trying to end the world by having it fall in the sun. As the planet gets closer and closer, a feeling to inevitability will fall over the planet. That is where the heroes come in and stop it. This high-level adventure is available for Pathfinder 1e at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store. The D&D 5e version can be found at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.
Much like we asked recently about Traveller, we want to know how you play 13th Age these days. COVID-19 isn’t going to end any time soon so we want your help in how we should adapt to these times. Vote in our poll below.
We all want to see ourselves as Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, or Poe Dameron flying in epic space battles shooting down enemy TIE fighters while the fate of the galaxy is on the line. However, it is really hard to do so when you have a blank background. That is the exact reason why I created the Star Battles line. This gives you asteroid fields to fly through, space stations to defend, beautiful nebulae not far away, planets to zip around, and much more.
We started the Star Battles series off with Fantasy Grounds because that is what I play. I am most familiar with that system’s organizational structure and how to operate that program. Since the launch of that series of map packs, I’ve gotten requests to make them available on other virtual tabletops such as Roll20. So I started learning those systems and began the process of becoming a vendor there. That process is still ongoing but that means you have to wait.
To combat this, we decided to expand the Star Battles line to include selling individual maps that you can download and add to your VTT, no matter which you use. This means you can get the exact map you need for a particular space battle and add it to any game system and use it on any virtual tabletop, or as many virtual tabletops as you like. Do you play Starfinder in Roll20 and Traveller in Fantasy Grounds? Now you don’t have to buy the map twice.