I’m not sure which game masters, dungeon master, referees, etc. of role playing games need to hear this, but you are doing ok. These are difficult times, and you are giving your game your best. Give yourself a break and know that you are doing ok.

Even if any issues you are having has nothing to do with the pandemic, larger societal issues, or whatever, even if anything going on in your life is purely personal in nature, you should give yourself a break and accept that your game may not meet as often as you like, or you may not be as prepared as you would like. It is ok to give yourself a break.

Remember, this is supposed to be fun for both your players and yourself. Take a step back, take a deep breath and remember that you are doing ok as a GM.

Share this post with all your GM friends, and give them virtual hugs.

PF1e: Emridia

It’s been months since I’ve written a Pathfinder monster. NPCs sure, but not monsters. Considering how much I consider myself a Pathfinder monster designer, that is particularly unusual. The pandemic has been rather difficult on my creativity. Having said that, I’m working to get back my creative spark. For a fun piece, I made a creature you can fight or summon up with planar ally. We hope you enjoy this monster.

Download all our Pathfinder 1e offerings at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Emridia CR 9

XP 6,400
LN Large outsider (earth)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +18


Defenses


AC 20, touch 13, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +7 natural, -1 size)
hp 115 (12d10+48)
Fort +12, Ref +12, Will +9
Defensive Abilities critical resistance; DR 5/adamantine


Offense


Speed 40 ft., burrow 30 ft.
Melee gore +20 (2d6+13)
Special Attacks trample (1d8+13, DC 25)


Statistics


Str 29, Dex 18, Con 19, Int 9, Wis 16, Cha 11
Base Atk +12; CMB +22; CMD 36
Feats Awesome Blow, Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Intimidate +24, Knowledge (dungeoneering, planes) +14, Perception +18, Sense Motive +18
Languages Terran


Ecology


Environment Plane of Earth
Organization Solitary, Pair, Avalanche (3-8)
Treasure double (crystals)


Special Abilities


Critical Resistance (Ex) All critical hits made with non-adamantine weapons against the emridia are treated as regular hits.

PF 1e: Shinara and Pony

While we are working on new Pathfinder 1e material, I thought I would show off one of our new signature characters. This is Shinara and her dog Pony. She’s our signature hunter. Unlike most nature-themed characters, she did not grow up in the wilderness and her only friend was the animals. No, instead she grew up in civilization, got married, and would be enjoying a nice normal life if her husband hadn’t been an abusive a-hole. She ran after striking him good, and she decided she will never go home to him again. Even worse, he knows the local authorities and will have her thrown in jail for “attacking him” if she shows up in her town ever again. So with nowhere else to turn, she fled into the woods. Utterly alone, she didn’t know what to do until she found a wolfhound being chased by an orc. She refused to let anyone else be a victim and defended the creature with her whole heart. At that moment, Shinara chose to be a hero. Afterward, she named the dog pony, and he has never left her side since.

The problem with a wolfhound companion is that the standard dog in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook starts off as small. Wolfhounds can get pretty sizable. So I made a quick adjustment to the standard dog template for Shinara’s eternal companion. I hope you enjoy it.

Wolfhound

Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 40 ft.; AC +2 natural armor; Attack bite (1d6); Ability Scores Str 15, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6; Special Qualities low-light vision, scent.
4th-Level Advancement: Size Large; Attack bite (1d8); Ability Scores Str +4, Dex –2, Con +2.

This month sees a whole flurry of new Star Battles: Space Battle Maps for your ship battles in outer space. Check them all out today.

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. Each map comes preset with a hex grid so you can jump into that space battle right away.
Star Battles: Orbital Sunrise Space Map Pack includes:
• Maps both close to a planet and some distance away
• Two, one, or no moons orbiting the planet
• Stars varying in color and one map with the planet orbiting four stars
• A map where the sun has burst but has not yet reached the planet
• Every single map is breathtakingly beautiful
Give your game a stunning background for the most epic of battles!
Download this collection at Roll20.

Have the perfect map for your space fight.

Are corporations about to go to war over mining rights? Are raiders looking to steal some minerals and make a quick buck? Now you can have the exact map you want for your space fight. Download Star Battles: Asteroid Mining Space Battle Map. This will inspire your gamers as they battle the evil forces of Evil.

What You Get

You get a single map measuring 2030 x 1400 pixels in JPG format. This beautiful map is perfect for any roleplaying game including Starfinder, Traveller, Stars Without Numbers, and many, many others. The image can be added to any virtual tabletop including Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Map Tool, d20Pro, Astral, and more.

Download today at DriveThruRPG.

Have the perfect map for your space fight.

Defending a space station with two spinning wheels for gravity? Looking to escape after making off with a big heist? Now you can have the exact map you want for your space fight. Download Star Battles: Double Wheel Station Space Battle Map. This will inspire your gamers as they battle the evil forces of Evil.

What You Get

You get a single map measuring 2030 x 1470 pixels in JPG format. This beautiful map is perfect for any roleplaying game including Starfinder, Traveller, Stars Without Numbers, and many, many others. The image can be added to any virtual tabletop including Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Map Tool, d20Pro, Astral, and more.

Download today at DriveThruRPG.

Previously, we talked about ways for a Traveller crew can transport cargo in the Solomani Rim. Point number 1 was to be a subcontractor. To be a subcontractor, you first need larger corporations from which to contract from. So we’re going to share with you some companies from which you can get a cargo run. Today we’re going to share with you a corporation you can use in your game.

DuWayne Cargo Megacorp

DuWayne Cargo Megacorp dominates trade in the Alderamin Subsector of the Solomani Rim and ships throughout the region beyond. The symbol of that power is the fleet of heavy trading ships, commonly referred to as Duwaynenaughts, that travel the heaviest of trade routes. These ships handle over 60% of all interstellar cargo in the subsector. Where they don’t go is the less populated systems like Omsk and Finnegans. When they have cargo bound for these systems, they take it to a nearby system and contract out the last jump or two. This means they can focus on the highly profitable routes and leave the less lucrative ones to smaller operators while avoiding investigations into claims of being a monopoly.

Check out our first in the Solomani Worlds line, Vehicles from the Rim, exclusively at DriveThruRPG.

It is just as true in life as it is in game: your character is not defined by their career. While their career will color the way they see the universe (i.e. an Agent will see threats around every turn where a Citizen will see people), that should not define your character. Here are three ways to separate your character from their career.

1) Describe a Vacation They Took And Give Them Dreams

Short of the Prisoner career, no career offers no time off. Did they go big game hunting in the Foreven Worlds or did they relax at a spa? Did they go to the equivalent of Las Vegas and gamble and take in big name concerts and shows? Giving the character a vacation shows something they care about other than the job.

Similarly, describe what they work for. Does your character want to impress their old military academy fling, showing them how they are so much better than the one they married? Do you want a house on Regina that you’re saving up for? Is travelling around on a ship your dream, seeing all kinds of different places, and doing that now as a player is living the dream? What puts antigrav in their step when they think about life?

2) Describe an aspect of the Job They HATED

Every job has its downsides. Sometimes it’s the pointy-haired boss that is completely incompetent or an annoying co-worker in the cubicle next door. Other times it’s a necessary part of the job, like the amount of paperwork an Agent must perform after discharging their weapon. Maybe it is a major aspect of the job like dealing with the public. Perhaps it is some rate occurrence like rebooting the robots when their restart sequence fails. No matter what, coming up with some aspect of their former career they cannot stand will help them stand out and will help your character be glad they are not doing that job anymore.

3) Describe a Happy Memory That Had Nothing to do With Work

Sure everyone is happy after some big achievement at the job, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Describe something happy that had no connection to the job, even if you use skills gained from the job. Did you do volunteer work, using skills you picked up as a scholar? Did you negotiate a better deal on your property because of skills you picked up as a merchant?

Maybe the happy memory doesn’t involve skills. Did the character enjoy a relationship or spending time with family? Did they paint figures terribly but enjoyed the time doing so? How about binge-watched a holovid romcom series about people living on a space station? What made life happy?

Check out all of our Traveller products at DriveThruRPG today.

Games in the Solomani Rim are in a much more civilized region of space than the Spinward Marches. As such, games have less of a rough and tumble feel to them. Or do they? Here are three ways to run mercenary campaigns in the Solomani Rim.

1) Corporate Wars

Just because the governments in this region of space are peaceful doesn’t mean that the corporations are. Imagine McClown’s Restaurant blockading Burger Emperor’s farming planet because shortages will hurt that corporation’s expansion plans. Do you think Burger Emperor has a standing army? Heck no. They hire mercenaries.

2) Fighting Organized Crime

While they don’t have the Imperium’s strength and resources, organized crime can easily have enough weaponry to take a local police force, and it would hardly be surprising if they can take on a planet’s forces. Hiring mercenaries means the world can take on the crime syndicate.

3) Guarding Individuals

Influential people still need private security beyond what law enforcement can provide, especially when they feel their regular security has been compromised. Whether their adversaries include people looking to get rich quick, disagree with them politically, or are simply non-existent, hiring the Travellers to guard is some regular work.

Check out all of our Traveller products at DriveThruRPG today.

5e: Gate Chalk

So in my personal game, I am looking at my players travelling to the planes in upcoming adventures. Spells to travel the planes are not low level ones and the group only has one full caster. So to take them to the planes, I am making a new custom item for them. I don’t want them to jaunt over to the good planes whenever they get an ouchie, nor do I want them to have a few scrolls and that’s it. I want them to have something more creative. Enter this new item: gate chalk.

The inspiration for this is sidewalk chalk and Roadrunner cartoons. Take a stick of that and draw on a surface and you can play hopscotch. Well, now imagine if you can just draw yourself a gate to another dimension. You know like how Wiley Coyote paints a picture of a tunnel and the roadrunner runs in, but then he can’t. That’s the same idea I am going for here.

Gate Chalk

Wondrous item, rare

A single stick of this chalk weighs a half-pound and is rainbow-colored. Using it to draw on a surface opens up a game to another plane. After spending 1 minute drawing on a surface, the drawing glows for a moment and a gate opens. This gate lasts for 1 minute and then it reverts back to a regular chalk drawing.

The location you emerge onto the new plane—including which plane you emerge onto—depends on the drawer’s familiarity with the location. Once the drawing is complete, the DM rolls a d100 and consults the table. See the teleport spell for a description of each, with Mishap including wildly divergent planes.

FamiliarityMishapSimilar PlaneOff TargetOn Target
Permanent Circle01-100
Very Familiar01-0506-1314-2425-100
Seen Casually01-3334-4344-5354-100
Viewed Once/Desciption01-4344-5354-7374-100
False destination01-5051-100

Be sure to check out all of JBE’s 5e products at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Giving players some ultra high technology is controversial. That tech shouldn’t be easily available but they’re players and should have access to the cool stuff. It can be game breaking or game defining. While both sides have a valid argument, I come down in the side of including it for several reasons.

1) It Makes For a Different Game

If you’ve played more than one campaign in Traveller where the plot could come straight out of Firefly, they start to feel overly familiar. Break out if the rut with a campaign where everyone has some cool ultra high tech. If it is weapons that can me one heck of a mercenary campaign. Maybe it is a ship where you have to go off in search of a cure to a plague. Perhaps a device that makes people tell the truth and you’re charged with rooting out an insurrection. Inspire some wonder in mystery into your games with some wonder tech.

2) You’re Throwing in Some Chaos

Say you give them ultra high tech guns, do they always have to work? Maybe they won’t work if the wielder lies. It could require special maintenance that the players aren’t aware of and it breaks at a critical moment. No matter what, you can do something unexpected and throw in some chaos into your game.

3) It’s Fun and Memorable

Which weapon are you more likely to remember: just another body pistol or the gun that wraps around your body, suck some of your life energy, and utterly destroys a mech in a single shot? If you’re hurt and you know that firing that ultra high tech gun will leave you nearly unconscious, it’s a real decision whether or not to fire it. That is a game session that you will remember and it is one that the players will call fun.

Check out all of our Traveller products at DriveThruRPG today.

The Traveller Sale is going on now at DriveThruRPG. Grab yourself Traveller PDFs you’ve been wanting but haven’t picked up you at 25% off. Even better there are some awesome featured products at a deeper discount like D66 Compendium 2 for 50% off the regular price.

JBE has some awesome MGT2e titles you’re going to want to grab while they’re in sale, like Careers Beyond the Claw and Vehicles from the Rim. Download them while they’re on sale.

Did you prefer 1e Mongoose Traveller or are you looking to complete your collection? Find all our titles for that version here.

There’s still more available. Check out everything on sale today.