State of the Enterprise 2018

Hey everyone. It is that time of year again where I look back at the year coming to a close and forward to the year ahead. 2018 was a big year for the company and for the world at large. In many ways it was the year I expected even hoped for and many others it was not the year I expected at all.

Personal Life

Incase you hadn’t heard, I moved half way across the USA this year. I use to live in New Jersey and now I live in Missouri. My wife got a job that she has been working towards for some time now. We’re thrilled about this, but it has impacted my writing schedule.

What we hoped would happen but didn’t really expect was us buying a house. So in the past 4 months, we moved twice. Even right now, I’m still moving boxes that we never had the chance to unpack after the first move. So my writing schedule has been impacted again. If you want to know why we have not produced much since GenCon, that’s the primary reason (more on other reasons in a bit).

Pathfinder

Another wrench in the schedule is the announcement of Pathfinder Second Edition. I guessed this was coming a while back, but it still took me by surprise. We were just starting to get a solid stream of high level adventures under us when the announcement came. So we made our Pathfinder adventures a priority and we got almost all of them published before the release of the 2e playtest. I’m sad for the ones we cut from the schedule but it is entirely possible they will be seen in the future, either as Pathfinder 2e adventures, Fifth Edition adventures, possibly even 13th Age, or dare I say it Pathfinder 1e adventures.

As my own recent poll revealed, PF2e is not as popular as I (and many others) expected it to be. There still may be people playing PF1e for quite some time. We will keep monitoring the situation as things develop. Frankly, I don’t expect us to make a final decision on as to whether we are going to 2e or staying 1e (or even doing both) until we see the final rules and the compatible license. However, if you had asked me about it six months ago, I would have just assumed we’re going 2e and that is that. The fact that we’re considering other options should give you an indication of the situation.

Fifth Edition

The current push we are on is to make all of our Pathfinder adventures and other supplements available for 5e. We want to have just as much if diverse library of material for 5e as we do Pathfinder.

One thing we are doing with 5e we have not done in years with Pathfinder is get our books into distribution. Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence will be our first adventure making it’s way into game stores for this game. Shortly thereafter will follow Along Came a Spider. The latter was first released when 5e was still young, and our experience with the game was rather low (as was everyone’s). Since then we’ve leveled up our 5e game and we have plans for 5e supplements both print and PDF well into the new year. These include conversations of existing Pathfinder material as well as brand new supplements that are never seen before.

That was what a decent amount of my time has gone to as of late. When I said above that the move was the primary eater of my time, well working through the logistics to get this set up has another major time investment. It will be well worth it when all is ready to go.

Traveller

“Look for that in 2018.” That is what we said concerning several projects for Traveller in the State of the Enterprise 2017. So it is fair to say that things have not gone according to plan this year. We released our first single ships last month… and that is all we published this year for Traveller. Needless to say that was not the plan this time last year. We still have the last two parts of the Prelude to War adventure path. We have a number of monsters and vehicles that we want to turn into their own books. And we want to publish a number of small settings that you can integrate into the Foreven Worlds, elsewhere in the Third Imperium, or somewhere in a different setting. So we have our hands full for the year ahead.

13th Age


We continued our 13 Class Options series with 13 Wizard Cantrips and Spells and 13 Cleric Domains and Spells. The still not yet named 13 Rogue Options has fallen victim to the same time crunch we’ve described above from the moves and the Pathfinder schedule reschuffeling. Plus, we want to take the time to make each one that much more awesome. When we are satisfied with it, you’ll be the first to know.

After the “core four” classes, we plan to get to the others published. Let us know which you would like us to tackle sooner than others. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

2019 and Beyond

The next few months, JBE is focusing on 5e, Traveller, and hopefully some 13th Age as well because they received so little love last year. That will be our plan for the next four-to-six months. Beyond that, we have a number of ideas but nothing concrete. One thing is for sure, 2019 is going to see some big changes from us. We have all the printing logistics worked out, and I will be working on the company full time in the new year. This means we finally have both the means and opportunity to do things we have been dreaming about for a decade. I can’t say for sure yet which way we will be going, but expect big things from us this year.

By big things, I do mean sizable books or possibly our own system or our own setting. The last time we tried something like this was with Shadowsfall back in 2012 (almost 7 years ago!). Back then, we had the means (being in game stores then as well) but really lacked the opportunity to do it at the level we wanted. Having the experience from publishing so many more rules supplements and adventures since then, we are more prepared to embark on this dramatic step.

The road ahead is exciting, and we are ready for this adventure. We hope you will join us on our epic quest.

That pretty much wraps up our look back of the year and the look ahead. So from all of us, we hope you enjoy your time with family and friends this season, and we will see you in the new year.

5e: Giant Gingerbread Golem

While we at JBE don’t have a Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide or similar book of holiday themed monsters for Fifth Edition yet, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite monsters from that book converted to this game. The monster was originally inspired by Mongo from Shrek 2. Gingy is my wife’s favorite character so she squeed when she first saw Mongo. So I thought I would bring this guy to life, so to speak.

I hope you enjoy him in your 5e games. Treat yourself and download our 5e products as a gift to yourself.

Giant Gingerbreak Golem

Gargantuan construct, unaligned
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 145 (10d20 + 40)
Speed 30 ft.


Str 22 (+6) Dex 11 (+0) Con 19 (+4)
Int 4 (–3) Wis 12 (+1) Cha 1 (–5)


Damage Immunities fire; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren’t adamantine
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)


Fire Hardening. Whenever the giant gingerbread golem is subjected to fire damage, its surface becomes harder, but it becomes less flexible. Until the end of the giant gingerbread golem’s next turn, it takes no damage from bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing attacks that aren’t adamantine, and its speed is reduced to 20 feet.
Immutable Form. The golem is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.
Magic Resistance. The golem has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Magic Weapons. The golem’s weapon attacks are magical.
Stomping Walk. The giant gingerbread golem shakes the very ground, causing those nearby to fall prone. Any creature standing on the ground when a giant gingerbread golem walks within 5 feet of them that fails a DC 18 Dexterity save falls prone.

Actions


Multiattack. The giant gingerbread golem makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft.; one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.
Spice Breath (Recharge 5-6). A giant gingerbread golem exhales coarsely-ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Each creature in a 30-foot cone must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw, taking 73 (21d6) slashing damage damage on a failed save and has disadvantage to all Dexterity (Stealth) checks for the next 3 days as the creature smells like spices, or half as much damage on a successful one and does not have disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

5e/Pathfinder: The Pit of Eternal Torture

Last year, I shared my thoughts on an alternate take on the planes of law and chaotic evil. I always intended to get back and describe the rest if the planes, but I got distracted and never finished. Well, I thought I would take a few moments and jot down my thoughts on the lawful evil plane, or as I like to call it, the Pit of Eternal Torture.

Let me just state that I am doing this because I feel that angels, demons, and devils shouldn’t be in a fantasy realm. I prefer facing something without the real world mythology bleeding in. This way I can flavor it as best fits the story as well as experiencing the joy of creating something new. And when it comes to kytons, there’s lots of room to create.

Kytons, also called chain devils in some versions, believing in giving pain and not just oppressing the damned in their charge. They believe in following the rules and that rule breakers are to be savagely and severely punished. If you are healed, it is only so you can continue working for them. Kytons do not just take pleasure from pain but from the resistance of the mind’s resistances crumbling. They do not only want to beat their followers (also known as charges), but to break them as well.

When a kyton is done with you, you should not be able to see a world outside of them.

People that willingly submit to a kyton’s will have many reasons: they offer strength in troubling times, they make the world seem simple by categorizing everything as good and bad (which their charges understand as pain free and painful), and they demonize anyone and anything that is not for them. To those that see the world as dangerous, siding with such a powerful force seems attractive.

In reality, the kytons make the world a far more dangerous place. However, their followers do not see that infact they are helping to make the world more dangerous. By excluding anyone that disagrees with them, it is easy for the kytons to manipulate their charges into working to cause the very dangers that the kytons say they can save people from. This way, the kytons claws are clean while they sow pain and oppression into the world.

Kytons work in darkness. The light of truth can undo their work. It is for this reason that kytons prefer a dark world. Every kyton works to spread darkness throughout the world. So when their charges can see nothing except the kytons as the solution to their problems, this bother literally and figuratively the case.

Be sure to follow the JBE blog for more on my take on the planes and those that dwell within. Maybe next time I’ll write about one of the good ones.

Shop after the JBE Shop during the Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sale where you can grab all of our Pathfinder PDFs for 75% off.

5e: Dire Owl

A classic of the Worlds Oldest Fantasy Roleplaying Game involves giant animals. The origin of these is quite simple, someone trying to convince someone else that their fight with some animal was far more valiant because it was far larger than most. In a fight when the adrenaline is pumping, a fierce creature can seem substantially larger than it actually is. In our roleplaying games, however, these perceived larger creatures are indeed larger. That makes the fight more dangerous and the night more creepy and makes giant-sized creatures perfect for a Halloween game.

Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods (5e)The dire owl you see below originally appeared in the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods. Within you will find more giant animals like the bloodboar, the monstrous rat, and the dire lion—trust me, you really don’t want to face this guy. These monsters are perfect fodder for your fifth edition game, whether against the adventurers or for your group’s druid to summon with the conjure spells. Download this awesome book of monsters for your Fifth Edition game today from JonBrazer.com. You can also find this at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo and the OpenGamingStore.

Owl, Dire

Medium beast, unaligned
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 19 (3d8 + 6)
Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft.


Str 11 (+0) Dex 15 (+2) Con 14 (+2)
Int 2 (–4) Wis 13 (+1) Cha 5 (–3)


Skills Survival +3
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

Actions


Multiattack. The dire owl makes two talon attacks when flying.
Pellet Vomit (1/Day). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft.; one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a living creature, it must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned until the creature completes a long rest. While the creature is poisoned, all creatures (other than the dire owl) that are within 5 feet of the poisoned creature must succeed on the same saving throw or become poisoned as long as they stay so close to the creature. Creatures with the scent ability gain disadvantage on this saving throw.
Talon. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft.; one target. Hit: 5 (2d4) piercing damage.
Screech. An owl can let out a loud screech. All creatures within 10 feet that fail a DC 12 Con save are deafened until the end of the dire owl’s next turn.

5e: Young Spiderbear

With Halloween fast approaching, we thought it would be fun to share one of our favorite monsters, the spiderbear. It is our own take on classic D&D mashup monsters like the owlbear. It is creepy and dangerous, terrifying for being both a spider and a bear, and an all around evil creature. While this one is a challenge 1/2 monster, the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods has an adult spiderbear of challenge 3, and an elder spiderbear of challenge 7. Download this supplement today at the JBE Shop to get these and other awesome monsters for your game. You can also find it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo and the OpenGamingStore and get these and many more awesome monsters now.

Young Spiderbear

Small monstrosity, neutral evil Armor Class 13 (natural armor) Hit Points 16 (3d6 + 6) Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft.
Str 15 (+2) Dex 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Int 6 (–2) Wis 14 (+2) Cha 4 (–3)
Skills Stealth +5 Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 12 Languages Common, Spiderbear Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
Pack Tactics. The young spiderbear gains advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the spiderbear’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated. Spiders are always considered a spiderbear’s ally. Spider Climb. The young spiderbear can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check. Web Sense. While in contact with a web, the young spiderbear knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web. Web Walker. The young spiderbear ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.

Actions


Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft.; one creature. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 3 (1d6) poison damage.

Holidays in Gaming

Are you using holidays in your game? If you were like me when starting out as a game master, no you’re not. Yet holidays mark various places on the calendar, help recognize important persons and groups in your setting’s history, and much more. They give your game life where it otherwise feels flat, like there’s nothing going on in the world besides what the players are doing.

In the United States there are 10 major holidays and a near infinite number of lesser holidays. To break them down the major ones into more generic terms that are easier to use in your game, they are (in calendar year order):

  1. Start of the calendar year
  2. Recognizing the birth of a civil rights leader
  3. Celebrating nation’s leaders
  4. Remembering soldiers that fell on the battlefield
  5. Marking the birth of our nation
  6. Recognizing the common laborer
  7. Remembering someone that discovered this continent
  8. Remembering living soldiers
  9. Harvest
  10. Holiday for the nation’s largest religion

So how can you use these in your game? Some of these are quite obvious and able to be used without exactly as is: harvest, remembering living and fallen soldiers, start of the calendar year, etc.

How about celebrating a civil rights leader? Well considering that the most discriminated against races (uh, ancestries) of the game are half-orcs or tieflings, how about a day where their contributions to the nation’s society are recognized. Or turn it on its head. Make it human-rights day because the elven rulers are keeping the humans from having a voice in their government. Is the day marked with celebrations or protests? Are the town’s guards brought out to prevent pick pocketing or riots?

The way you name a holiday says quite a bit about the leaders. If you call Labor Day Peasants Day that shows the rulers as looking down upon their subjects. Peasants Day would have a much different feel than Labor Day.

If you want to make you location anything but generic, come up with some quirky holidays. Something like Groundhog’s Day, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Teacher’s Day, or Secretary’s Day. Try using something like National Health Day, a day where everyone goes down to the river and washes all the filth and grime off their bodies, which is perfect after a long winter of being inside. Or how about Hug a Gnome Day, the one day a year where gnomes are willing to sell in human markets, and the mayor wants them to come back more often so they are trying to spread good feelings among he gnomes. For the brutish types, how about Woodcutter’s Day. This day before the start of winter, all manner of trees that are unfit for being made into buildings or furniture are cut into firewood and sold to the people to help them last the winter. Naturally there would be lots of beer and other pleasures sold at such events, which can be a good cause for the reasons for the players to come together in the first place.

An important thing to remember is that while we all take the weekend (or some regular set of days off, no matter where in the week it resides) for granted today, the Five-Day Work week did not begin as a concept in the US until 1908. Europe was no better. For proof, Dame Maggie Smith in her role as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey once asked “What is a week end?” Before that, the only days off for the average person were on holidays. This is why the holidays we now consider minor were not so minor a hundred to a thousand years ago. Not overworking your people is important so holidays were frequent.

With Halloween coming soon, why not download the Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider adventure for Fifth Edition at the JBE Shop. You can also find it for Pathfinder right here.

5e: Enter the Temple of Luminescence

Some Just Want to Watch the World Burn! When the high priest of the sun goddess brings the planet and the sun closer together to spread his deity’s light to every corner of existence, the world begins to heat up dangerously. All attempts to breach the Temple of Luminescence and halt the magic powering this catastrophe have failed. The adventurers must perform an incantation known as the path of the sun and navigate the temple’s defenses to stop the high priest. But what appalling truths which led to this deadly incident will the adventurers uncover—and can they save the world before it burns? Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence is an exciting deluxe module in Jon Brazer Enterprises’ Deadly Delves product line, and is created for the Fifth Edition of the World’s Oldest Fantasy Roleplaying Game. This adventure is designed to heartily challenge a party of 15th- through 18th-level PCs and leave them with a memorable heroic tale. Inside these 51 action-packed pages, you’ll find:
  • 8 Fully-Statted New and Variant Monsters and 2 High-Level NPCs—keep your players on their toes by having them face off against an ancient solar dragon, a dwarven high priest, and new golems, elementals, and demons
  • 9 New Traps to keep your PCs on their toes
  • 11 New Hazards and Curses to make the environment unique and interesting as the sun’s power scorches all within the temple
  • 5 New Magic Items ideally suited to high-level characters
  • A New Type of Spell Anyone Can Cast which lets the adventurers pass as one of the temple’s own
  • A Beautiful Map with a GM’s version included in the adventure and a separate PDF that includes player-friendly versions of each map—perfect for play on your favorite VTT!
  • Enough content to get your group of 15th-level PCs to 18th level, or your 18th-level PCs to 20th level
Dangers Unknown. Treasures Untold. Adventure Awaits. Download Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence today at the JBE Shop. You can also find this adventure at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and coming soon to the Open Gaming Store.

5e: Ancient Solar Dragon

Last week was the first preview of our upcoming 5e adventure Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence by showing off the greater fire elemental. While that is great and all, that is hardly something amazing. Sure it is really good for wizards and druids that want to conjure one of these bad boys up 17th level or if they get their hands on a 9th level scroll of conjure elemental. Otherwise, a fire elemental is not exactly a terribly exciting monster. Well how about a new type of dragon. Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence features two new dragon types that Fifth Edition fans have never seen before. These dragons are from the stars and have abilities that reflect their extraterrestrial origins. Today we are sharing with the ancient solar dragon. This dragon is here because the Temple of Luminescence is an immense temple to a sun deity and a solar dragon is a living representative of the sun deity. Naturally, it would want to feel the warmth of the sun more and sharing that warmth with everyone on the planet would not seem reasonable to it, yes? That may just be the case in this adventure. Download Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence today at the JBE Shop. You can also find this adventure at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and coming soon to the Open Gaming Store.

Ancient Solar Dragon

Gargantuan dragon, lawful neutral
Ancient Solar Dragon by Brian Brinlee

Armor Class 17 (natural armor) Hit Points 261 (16d20 + 96) Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
STR 26 (+8) DEX 10(+0) CON 22 (+6) INT 21 (+5) WIS 18(+4) CHA 26 (+8)
Skills Perception +12, Persuasion +21 Saving Throws Dex +6, Con +12, Wis +10, Cha +14 Damage Vulnerabilities cold Damage Immunities fire Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 22 Languages Auran, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Elvish, Gnomish, Ignan, Sylvan, Terran Challenge 17 (18,000 XP)
Channel Radiation. When the dragon uses its action to Channel Life, it can instead release a wave of radiation. Creatures other than the dragon within the corona must make a DC 18 Constitution save, taking 10 (3d6) radiant damage and 10 (3d6) poison damage. Constructs are immune to this ability. Intergalactic. In outer space, the dragon can survive in the void and fly at incredible speed. Travel times vary, but a trip within a single solar system should take 3d20 hours, and a trip beyond should take 3d20 days or more if the dragon knows the way to its destination. The dragon can carry one rider of one size category smaller than itself, four passengers two sizes smaller, eight passengers three sizes smaller, or 16 passengers four or more sizes smaller. Passengers are protected from the void of outer space. Primal Fire. The dragon’s breath weapon ignores a target’s resistance to fire; targets who are immune to fire instead only resist the dragon’s breath weapon.

Actions


Multiattack. The dragon can use its Alien Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws. Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d10 + 8) piercing damage plus 9 (2d8) fire damage. Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d6 + 8) slashing damage. Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage. Alien Presence. Each creature of the dragon’s choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and can see it must succeed on a DC 22 Wisdom saving throw or become blinded for 1 minute. An affected creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon’s Alien Presence for the next 24 hours. Solar Breath (Recharge 5–6). The dragon exhales a solar flare in a 120-foot line that is 10 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 31 (9d6) radiant damage and 31 (9d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Channel Life (3/Day). The dragon creates a corona of sunlight in a 90-foot radius centered on the dragon. All living creatures within the corona regain 31 (7d8) hit points. Undead within the corona must make a DC 18 Constitution saving throw or take an equal amount of radiant damage and become blinded for 1 minute. On a successful save, an undead creature takes half as much damage and isn’t blinded.

Legendary Actions


The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The solar dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn. Detect. The solar dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check. Tail Attack. The solar dragon makes a tail attack. Wing Attack (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet of the dragon must succeed on a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw or take 15 (2d6 + 8) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its flying speed.

Lair Actions


  • On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), a solar dragon takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the dragon can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:
  • A searing beam of light strikes a creature within 120 feet of the dragon that it can see. The dragon makes one ranged attack roll (+6 to hit) against the target. On a hit, the target takes 3 (1d6) radiant damage and 3 (1d6) fire damage and is blinded until the end of its next turn.
  • A solar wind rushes through the lair in a 90-foot line that is 15-feet wide originating from a point within 120 feet of the dragon that it can see. Each creature in the solar wind’s area must succeed a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be pushed 15 feet following the direction of the line and take 3 (1d6) radiant and 3 (1d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage and isn’t pushed on a successful one. The solar wind disperses gas or vapors.
  • The moisture in the air rapidly dries out in a 60-foot radius centered on the dragon. Each creature within the area is overcome with an unquenchable thirst and must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, suffering a level of exhaustion on a failed save. Constructs and creatures immune to fire damage are immune to this ability.

5e/PFRPG: Wallpaper from the Temple

While I was preparing preview material for the upcoming 5e adventure Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence, I noticed that we never came up with wallpaper for the Pathfinder version. When I realized that, I knew I could not let that stand. The interior image by Jacob Blackmon is just far too awesome to let that go without being made into wallpaper for your computer. This image features Khol, our signature catfolk barbarian, walloping a sun dragon with his bare claws while Runa, our signature dwarven cleric is neutralizing the dragon’s attacks with her spells. I mean, holy cow is that awesome or what? In the middle of the room is a pillar of fire. This scene if featured in the adventure and is pretty awesome. Find out all the details about this fight inside Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence.
You, however, can snag this image for your computer desk. Download it now for Pathfinder and Fifth Edition. While you are at it, be sure to download Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence for Pathfinder or Fifth Edition. Download now.

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