It is the Christmas in July Sale 2021 at DriveThruRPG. Act now to get yourself 15-25% off the titles you’ve been wanting. Nearly every JBE title is on sale. Let’s see what deals you can have.

Traveller 2e

On sale now that you should check out are titles like Solomani Worlds: Vehicles from the Rim where we bring you all kinds of new vehicles design for names near the homeworks of all humaniti, the Terra system. Running games near thr old Spinward Marches? Well, you’ll want Foreven Worlds: Ships of the Border Worlds as well as Creatures of Distant Worlds. Are you a player looking to make a character different from the core book? Snag yourself Foreven Worlds: Careers Beyond the Claw. Need a place to visit in your travels? Have them visit Foreven Worlds: Rusted Fang Station. And of course, how could anyone forget the D66 Compendium 2. This book is universally loved by Traveller referees and players alike. If you don’t already own it, you should grab it right now and find out why your fellow gamers love it so much. It was the first Traveller Aid Society book to be published and the first be a Gold Best Seller.

If you didn’t see a book of ours you’ve been wanting, check out our entire Traveller 2e category and grab it while it is on sale.

Virtual Tabletop Space Battle Maps

While we’re talking about SF, one of the things that Starfinder and Traveller players have been doing all pandemic is playing over Virtual Tabletops, like Fantasy Grounds, Roll20, and Foundry, and they’ve been doing their space battles with Star Battles Space Battle Maps. Now you can have epic ship battles on backdrops that will inspire you and your game. Fighting near a space station? We’ve got the space around a Commercial Space Station, Double Wheel Station, Asteroid Mining, Station and Galaxy, Huge Space Station, and a Station in Asteroids. Fighting amongst the asteroids? We’ve got an Asteroid Field, Large Asteroids, as well as a huge Planetoid.

All this is just the tip of the meteoroid. Find galaxy backdrops, nebulae, planets close up, planets far away, planets with moons, even a freaking red dwarf star. All of these can be found in the Virtual Tabletop category. All of these are normally $1, but you can grab them right now for only $0.85. That is 15% off their regular price. Grab all the space battle maps you want at a nice discounted price.

Pathfinder 1e

With the release of the Slayer Codex, the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription just went up. If you missed it, it is now on sale for 15% off, making it cost less than it was it was available only last week. If you don’t own a piece of gaming history, the Book of the River Nations, now is the time to grab it. The ever-popular Book of Heroic Races Compendium as well as the Advanced Compendium are both 25% off. Playing one of the newer classes with one of these races? Then you need Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness. Grab it while it is at such a great price. Do you own the first Free RPG Day adventure funded by a kickstarter? Well, it is on sale now. Grab the Temple of Orcus today.

We have so, SO many Pathfinder titles that we can’t list them all here. But if you are still playing this game that we all love so much, look over our inventory in the Pathfinder 1e category, and treat yourself to so many highly rated titles now.

Do you play D&D 5e, 13th Age, Traveller 1e? These titles are on sale as well, including the original d66 Compendium. Download the titles you want while they are on sale. But hurry, this sale will not last forever. Head over to DriveThruRPG and download today.

With 20 new slayers coming your way in the Book of Beasts: Slayer Codex, you should see what we’ve got for you. Well, we’ve shown off several of the stat blocks of new NPCs, including the Fugitive Hunter, Poisoner, and Terran Enforcer. Now we want to show you some of the beautiful artwork we’ve got inside for you.

Download the Book of Beasts: Slayer Codex today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

The Slayer Codex is part of the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription. Join today and get this as well as the Warpriest, Magus, and Witch Codeces today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Images by Rick Hershey and Brian Brinlee
Image by V-Shane

Intelligent Melee Fighters and Deadly Ranged Combatants

Do your PCs need to hire a tracker that can deal serious damage? Does your upcoming session need someone that can bring the pain to the toughest members of the group utilizing unexpected tricks? Are you seeking ideas for the terrible power at the end of your campaign?

The Book of Beasts: Slayer Codex has the solutions you need, arming Game Masters of the First Edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game with the following:

  • 20 ready-made slayer characters, one for each level of play
  • Tactical combat recommendations for every character, helping you to quickly and effectively run the NPC in a fight
  • Personalities and details to give you ideas on how to use the characters both in combat and in roleplaying interactions

Populate Your Campaign With the Exact Character You Need!

Download the Book of Beasts: Slayer Codex today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

The Slayer Codex is part of the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription. Join today and get this as well as the Warpriest, Magus, and Witch Codeces today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

5e: Bolas

I want to make a magic bolas for the 3 fantasy games we support, but first I have to mundane version, since it doesn’t exist for two of them. It already exists for Pathfinder, and 13th Age has rules for weapons for each class so it will just be a magic item. So here’s the 5e version.

Bolas (5e)

Bolas 2 gp — 1 lb. Special, thrown (range 20/60)

Bolas: When hit with a bolas, the target becomes grappled. If the hit is a critical hit, the target is grappled and prone. The target can use their action to free themself with a DC 10 Strength check. Alternatively, the target or another creature can deal 5 damage to the bolas (AC 10). Attacking the bolas in this manner deals no damage to the grappled creature. Bolas cannot grapple creatures that can move through narrow spaces like an air elemental or a grey ooze or are otherwise formless.

Be sure to join our Patron to support our blog, and download our supplements at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store. Grab our supplements for your games online at the Fantasy Grounds Store.

Check out the other previews of the Slayer Codex, like the Poisoner and the Fugitive Hunter

One of the key features of our Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription is that we include some of the archetypes in our builds. These amount to a quarter of the NPCs within involve one of the various archetypes.

The upcoming Slayer Codex is no different. One of those NPCs with an archetype is the level 10 Terran Enforcer. As a bounty hunter, this oread is well versed in capturing their target alive and dealing nonlethal damage. With the patience of a rock, they wait for the opportune moment to apprehend their prey.

The Book of Beasts Character Codex Subscription now includes the Slayer Codex. Download today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Terran Enforcer CR 9

XP 6,400
Oread ARG slayer (bounty hunter ACG) 10
LN Medium outsider (native)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +17

Defense

AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+5 armor, +3 Dex)
hp 79 (10d10+20)
Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +5
Resist acid 5

Offense

Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 earth breaker +18/+13 (2d6+10/×3) or net +17 (entangle)
Ranged sling +17 (1d4+8) or net +16 touch (entangle)
Special Attacks incapacitate (DC 17), sneak attack +3d6 (6d6+6 when dealing nonlethal), studied target +3 (3rd, swift action)
Oread Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +8)
1/day—magic stone

Tactics

Before Combat The slayer studies the target and casts magic stone on their sling bullets.
During Combat Should the slayer act before their target, they strike with their earth breaker, using incapacitate, Bludgeoner, and Sap Master to deal a significant amount of damage and knock the enemy out. During subsequent rounds, the slayer works to get into flanking position with allies to land a sneak attack on their studied target. Whenever the target looks wounded, the slayer will use the net to entangle their foe, hoping to capture the target alive. Any fleeing targets get hit with sling bullets.
Base Statistics Without magic stone and studied target, the slayer has the following stats: Melee +1 earth breaker +15/+10 (2d6+7/×3) or net +14/+9 (entangle); Ranged sling +13 (1d4+4) or net +13 touch (entangle); CMB +14; Skills Knowledge (dungeoneering) +15, Perception +14, Stealth +19, Survival +14.

Statistics

Str 18, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +10; CMB +17; CMD 27
Feats Bludgeoner UC, Improved Initiative, Sap Adept UC, Sap Master UC, Stealthy
Skills Acrobatics +15, Climb +16, Escape Artist +16, Heal +14, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +18, Perception +17, Stealth +22, Survival +17
Languages Auran, Common, Dwarven, Terran
SQ dirty trick, slayer talents (fast stealth, surprise attacks), stalker, submission hold, track +5
Combat Gear sandals of quick reaction UE; Other Gear +1 chain shirt, +1 earth breaker UE, net (2), sling with bullets (10), belt of incredible dexterity +2, cloak of resistance +1, 120 gp

All of us GMs have been there. We create an encounter that we think will be a cake walk for the players and they roll terribly. Either that or they split the party and neither group can help the other. The question then becomes, “How does the GM same the party?” because we all know the players will never, EVER run away when they really, really should. The encounter balancing system of any game is not perfect, but 5e is notoriously bad, and the GM has to make adjustments on the fly. These three rules can save the characters’ bacon.

1) Remove Enemies From the Battle

Not long ago I sent my players to Hell. They were second level and pretty much spent for the day, but I wanted them to have a memorable experience. So I made a number of easy fights against weak devils that were chained to the slaves the characters were trying to rescue. I made sure to describe the slaves as non-responsive, like they were just following orders and otherwise not conscious of their actions. So one of the players tried to rally the slaves and have them fight back. All that did was get the attention of ALL if the nearby devils, instantly turning several easy encounters into one very deadly encounter.

So how did I rescue the players? I took some pieces off the board. That infernal boar there? It no longer has 25 hp. It now has 10. That imp over there, it uses invisibility on itself to get into a better position and never pops back out. All of the sudden, that encounter became much more survivable.

What else can you do? Have an enemy run away. Have an enemy hide and then make an escape through a previously undiscovered tunnel.

2) Have Some Reason for the Battle Other Than Killing

Unless the players are there for the express purpose of killing the other side, there is some goal in mind. The same is true for the bad guys. Is there some MacGuffin the characters are trying to keep safe that the NPCs are trying to steal? Add a rogue with mage hand or a wizard with telekinesis to grab the item and the bad guys retreat. When the goal is no longer there, the fight is no longer important.

3) “Invite” Them to Leave

Those of you familiar with Critical Role know a character dies pretty early on in Campaign 2. It was obvious that that battle went against the players. Had it continued, it would have resulted in a TPK. Instead, the leader of the bad guys told them to leave, saying he’s teaching them a lesson. They left, licked their wounds, got more help, and then came back to fight.

That was definitely a loss, but inviting the players to leave took them out of the battle for a moment, letting them assess their situation and make the right call. Yes one character died, but the others lived and the story continued. Don’t be afraid to kill off one or two characters; be afraid of the TPK.

Check out all of our 3 Rules advice posts, and download our supplements at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store. Grab our supplements for your games online at the Fantasy Grounds Store.

I’ve heard it said time and again that spell casters have all the fun, they have all the options. Well that just simply isn’t true. Today I want to show you one such example that proves the opposite. With today’s Slayer from the upcoming Book of Beasts: Slayer Codex, we’ve got one with plenty of options.

Check out the other previews of the Slayer Codex, like the Terran Enforcer and the Fugitive Hunter.

The Slayer Codex is a part of the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription. Subscribers get the Slayer Codex as soon as it is released. Join today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Poisoner      CR 4

XP 1,200
Vishkanya ARG slayer 5
CE Medium humanoid (vishkanya)
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9

Defense

AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+5 armor, +4 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 42 (5d10+10)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +0; +5 bonus vs. poison
Defensive Abilities poison resistance

Offense

Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk rapier +12 (1d6+3/18–20) or mwk rapier +10 (1d6+3/18–20), mwk short sword +10 (1d6+2/19–20)
Special Attacks sneak attack +1d6, studied target +2 (2nd, move action), toxic (swift action, 2/day, save DC 14, frequency 1/round for 6 rounds, effect 1d2 Dex, cure 1 save)

Tactics

Before Combat The slayer applies one of their poisons (whichever they deem appropriate) to their rapier. The slayer prefers to hide and study their target by blending into a crowd.
During Combat The slayer disguises themself as a nondescript bystander to get the first strike with a poisoned sneak attack, following up with more poison attacks using their toxic saliva.
Base Statistics Without studied target, the slayer has the following stats: Melee mwk rapier +10 (1d6+1/18–20) or mwk rapier +8 (1d6+1/18–20), mwk short sword +8 (1d6/19–20); CMB +6; Skills Knowledge (local) +9, Perception +9, Sense Motive +7, Survival +7.

Statistics

Str 13, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 20
Feats Seething Hatred (Human) ACG, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse
Skills Craft (alchemy) +10, Disguise +8, Escape Artist +10, Knowledge (local) +11, Perception +11, Sense Motive +9, Stealth +13, Survival +9; Racial Modifiers +2 Escape Artist, +2 Perception, +2 Stealth
Languages Common, Undercommon, Vishkanya
SQ combat style (two-weapon combat), poison use, slayer talents (ranger combat style, swift poison APG), track +2
Combat Gear potion of barkskin +2, medium spider venom, purple worm poison, sassone leaf residue; Other Gear +1 chain shirt, mwk rapier, mwk short sword, portable alchemist’s lab APG, 45 gp

As we’re working on the Book of Beasts: Slayer Codex, I keep thinking about the next project. To the completely honest, the next one is going to be the Solomani Worlds: Kurland Cluster for Traveller since that has been sent off to the editors, and we’re hard at work on the Book of Beasts: Arcanist Codex so that won’t be long behind. Then there’s an unnamed 13th Age project we’re not ready to talk about yet. At the moment, however, I’m thinking long term. What is our next major project, the one that will come after the Character Codex Compendium? One that comes up in my mind is a possible Encounter Codex.

For those of you unaware, the name Encounter Codex is one we won’t use since it references a book that Paizo talked about doing towards the end of PF1 but never materialized and there may be legal issues around using such a name that I’d rather just completely avoid. But the basic idea still holds.

The real question is what kind of book would this look like? One idea we’ve had is a list of random tables with monsters listing. Below is a sample table of what it might look like. Roll on the d100 table, and use the corresponding monster. If there’s more than one of a given monster, it is listed in parentheses. Lastly, the B number in parentheses lists which Bestiary the monster is in. This is far from a final list (i.e. it excludes the various codices, combos are only involving monsters in the same book, some monsters were left off the list, etc.), but it is enough to give you an idea of this specific version that we’re considering. Also, this is only CR 1 for underground monsters. If we did this for a book, we’d be doing this for each CR level for the 10 terrains listed for a ranger’s favored terrain, excluding the planes. The various planes would be a different book entirely, if we did one.

What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments below. If you want to see more proposed Pathfinder books or proposed book for any other game systems as a blog posts, join us on Patreon. For only $3/month, you can have input into what kind of blog posts we should post and what kind of books we should explore. Also download our book at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

d100CR 1 Underground
1Akaname (B5)
2-3Akata (B2)
4-5Amoeba Swarm (B2)
6-7Amoeba, Giant (B2)
8Beheaded (3) (B4)
9Beheaded and Isitoq (B4)
10Boilborn (B4)
11-12Cave Scorpion (B2)
13Celedon (B5)
14-15Clockwork Spy (2) (B3)
16Dark Dancer (B4)
17-19Darkmantle (B1)
20-21Dire Corby (B3)
22Dossenus (B4)
23-25Duergar (2) and Fire Beetle (B1)
26-28Duergar (3) (B1)
29Ectoplasmic Human (2) (B4)
30-32Fire Beetle (3) (B1)
33-34Flumph (B3)
35Formian Worker (2) (B4)
36-37Ghost Scorpion (2) (B3)
38-40Ghoul (B1)
41-42Giant Flea (2) (B4)
43-45Giant Spider (B1)
46-47Goblin Snake (B3)
48Grioth (B5)
49-50Gryph (B2)
51Hobkins Gremlin (2) (B5)
52-54Homunculus (B1)
55Isitoq (2) (B4)
56-57Jinkin Gremlin (B2)
58-60Kobold (4) (B1)
61-63Mite (4) (B1)
64-65Mongrelman (B2)
66Nuno Gremlin (4) (B5)
67Pickled Punk (B4)
68-70Skeleton (3) (B1)
71-73Skeleton and Zombie (B1)
74Skincrawler (2) (B6)
75-76Skulk (B2)
77Small Aether Elemental (B5)
78-80Small Earth Elemental (B1)
81-82Small Mud Elemental (B2)
83-85Spider Swarm (B1)
86-88Svirfneblin (B1)
89-91Troglodyte (B1)
92Undigested (4) (B5)
93-95Vegepygmy (2) (B1)
96-98Venomous Snake (B1)
99-100 Zombie (2) (B1)

I recently played Pathfinder 2e and picked up the Core Rulebook and Bestiary. I mentioned this in the Fans of Jon Brazer Enterprises Facebook Group and someone mentioned that the RPG market is oversaturated. I’ve heard this argument before, but this time it got me thinking. Sure the businessperson in me says that the law of supply and demand should end games without sufficient demand, but a different thought in my head said that the basic statement isn’t true, that the market isn’t oversaturated, and that is what I want to talk about today.

I don’t believe the “market” is oversaturated because the market is not one single market. Take 5e for example. The game is a simple game, relative to more crunchy games like 3.0/3.5 or Pathfinder 1e/2e. While not the fastest-paced game on the market, it is so compared to many others available. And for being a 7-year old game, the core company (yes, I am excluding compatible publishers like myself as well as the DMsGuild) has put out very few supplements. So if you are a gamer that wants a crunchier game, one that supports substantially more options for your character, and has tome after tome that you can just sit on your couch and read through, you are not in the 5e market. You’re in a market like Pathfinder. Do you want a science fiction game with limited to no magic, you’re in neither of these markets. You’re in a Traveller market. Were this all one market then the rules-light D&D 5e game could temp a Pathfinder player to switch with relative ease. The fact that that does not happen as often as say the canned soup market means that these are essentially different markets.

That all brings me back to the question, “Why do we play the games we play?” Thinking about that, I realized that that question is far more difficult than at first glance. Take the game I ran last year with my daughter and her cousins. We’re in different locations so it was over Fantasy Grounds. They’re all new so I wanted a simple game that was easy to teach, the book had to be easily available for everyone to read when they weren’t gaming, and I wanted to run it with them having only the core book (so no supplements as requirements). For that game, 5e was the game that fit our group.

Compare that with my home game consisting of all adults. Again, we’re playing over Fantasy Grounds since we’re not all local. While we’re playing 5e, I am not convinced that this game is the right fit for us. Several players are bristling against the simplicity of the game. One player traded in their character for another because the class offered too few options and another comments to me that the game simply has too few mechanical options for their character. There are only so many ways you can say, “you gain advantage,” before it no longer gives you the stimulation you are looking for. For us, we might be switching markets to Pathfinder 2e, or something else perhaps.

Having said all that, 5e was the right game when we got together. Maybe it isn’t now. I’m not sure yet. But we play the games we play to get the enjoyment we are seeking. For some a mechanically simpler game is ideal. For some and entirely different genre is better. So saying that the market is oversaturated does not do it justice. It doesn’t recognize the complexity of the “market.” Each game provides its players something they are seeking, something they enjoy that can’t be found in a different game.

Why do you play the games you play? Tell us in the comments below. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Be sure to download our supplements for your favorite game at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium

If you haven’t heard, the price for the hardcover of the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium is going to be going up on July 1st (printing costs). So until then, we’ve got it for 25% off the regular price. So I thought I would just take a few moments today to reflect on this awesome book.

What I realized was that picking my favorite race was like picking my favorite child. I just can’t do that. Well, okay I can because I only have one child, but you know what I mean.

Catfolk, I will always have a special place in my heart for this race. I mean I’m a child of the ’80s. I grew up watching the ThunderCats. If I want a rogue or a ranger I reach for a catfolk.

If I want a cleric with a better melee attack than most I’m pulling out a tengu. Bonus, the Gifted Linguist ability lets them evangelize to everyone they encounter.

Well I don’t normally mix science fiction with my fantasy, the android race is exceptionally well built and works well as a sci-fi mix in.

What can I say about wyvarans? You get to play a dragon! Need I say more?

When I want a race with a monstrous connection and temptation of dark powers, I am reaching for a changeling. This fun race speaks to power and corruption as a central point about the character with a troubled past.

Speaking of a monstrous connection, the gillfolk do this for an underwater, but these has the added benefit of being the humans of the environment. For a race with a history of abuse by another, gillfolk do this well.

Sticking with underwater for a moment, the merfolk are the elves of the sea. As someone who grew up playing a number of elves, this race appeals to the child in me, while still being new and unique.

Another race with a dark connection and a history of abuse, the wyrwoods have a long memory of what their abusers have done. Even better, their abusers are mages, instead of a monstrous race.

Playing a werewolf can be difficult mechanically. So when I’m looking for that same experience in a game, I reach for a skinwalker. This race carries much of the same flavor and feel while still being mechanically balanced.

Some people say that the psionic races are difficult to understand. That does not hold true for the elans. This human-of-the-psionics world is easy to understand and a real joy to play.

I know many people that don’t feel like they belong in the body there in. Either that or they feel like they are out of time or simply do not belong here. When I want to play this aspect in a game, samsarans are my choice of race.

Lastly, we have the lizardfolk. This scaly, misunderstood race of noble savages is one with nature more than anyone else here. Lizardfolk are what many druids or shamans wish they could be.

Do you love all these races as much as I? Are there any others you want to see delved as indepth as we had in the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium? Order your copy of this book before the price goes up at DriveThruRPG.