Pathfinder: Orc Skeletal Champion

Image by Eric Quigley

We’re bringing you our Pathfinder blog this week on Monday instead of Friday like usual since last week was the GM’s Day Sale that occupied us. This week we are bringing you an orc skeletal champion. To make this one, we had to write a skeletal champion graft. We will be sure to include it in a future Pathfinder 1e monster book we create. We are after all first and foremost monster designers and making new monster books is something we can hardly stop ourselves from doing. We move creating these baddies so much that we just have to share them with you. Anyways, we hop you enjoy this monster in your game.

Be sure to check out all our Pathfinder books at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, the Open Gaming Store, Amazon, and Noble Knight Games.

Orc Skeletal Champion CR/HD 4

Init +7; Perception +12 (darkvision 60 ft.)
Size Medium; Speed 30 ft.


Defenses


AC 19 (touch 13, flat-footed 16); Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +5; CMD 20
hp 44; DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune cold, undead immunities
Weakness light sensitivity
Defensive Options channel resistance +4


Attacks


Melee +1 scimitar +8 (1d6+13/18–20)
Ranged composite (+4) longbow +6 (1d8+9/x3)
Attack Options combat reflexes, create spawn, power attack; CMB +8


Statistics


Str +4, Dex +3, Con —, Wis +1; Climb +12, Intimidate +9, Perception +12
XP 1,200; CE undead (orc) fighter


Special Abilities


Combat Reflexes (Ex) Orc skeletal champion can make up to 5 attacks of opportunity each round and can make attacks of opportunity when flat-footed,
Create Spawn (Su) Any creature killed by the orc skeletal champion rises as a skeleton in 1d4 days and is under the command of the orc skeletal champion. The orc skeletal champion can have up to 10 skeletons under its command at once.
Power Attack (Ex) Orc skeletal champion’s scimitar attack changes to +6 (1d6+22/18–20)

Poll: Where Do You Buy Your Pathfinder Compatible, 5e Compatible, and 13th Age Compatible Books and PDFs From?

Today we would like to ask you where you buy your books from, be they print or PDF. Please note, we are only asking about Pathfinder Compatible (so not Paizo’s books), 5e Compatible (so nothing from Wizards nor from the DMs Guild), and 13th Age Compatible (so not Pelgrane’s books). Vote for your top 3 answers. If you don’t see where you purchase your books and PDFs from, please let us know in the comments below.

Sorry Traveller, we would include you in this poll, but the license allows for only one place for Traveller MGT2e books to be sold at DriveThruRPG.

Thank you in advance.

GM’s Day Sale 2019 Is Here!

The GM’s Day Sale is here and it is better than ever. Get 20-40% off of our Pathfinder, Fifth Edition, 13th Age, and Traveller 1e books you have been wanting for a while now. Grab these books now while they are available at a great price. Which books you ask? Here are some highlights.

Fifth Edition

Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods
Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1
Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1 (For Fantasy Grounds)
Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 2
Book of Magic: 10 Warlock Invocations
Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider (2019 Edition)
Deadly Delves: Doom of the Sky Sword
Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin
Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven
Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence

13th Age Compatible

13 Fighter Talents and Maneuvers
13 Rogue Talents and Powers
Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races 1
Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races 2
Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin

Pathfinder

Book of Heroic Races CompendiumBook of Beasts: Legendary Foes
Book of Bests: Monsters of the River Nations
Book of Bests: Monsters of the Shadow Plane
Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium
Book of Heroic Races Compendium
Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness
Book of Magic: Dragon Spells and Archetypes
Book of Magic: Gemhancements
Book of Magic: Insurgency of Summer
Book of Magic: Patron Hexes
Book of the River Nations Complete
Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider
Deadly Delves: Doom of the Sky Sword
Deadly Delves: Nine Lives for Petane
Deadly Delves: Quests of the Sands
Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin
Deadly Delves: Rescue from Tyrkaven
Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence
Deadly Delves: The Chaosfire Incursion
Deadly Delves: The Guilded Gauntlet
Deadly Delves: To Claw the Surface
Treasury of the Sands
Shadowsfall: Shadow Plane Player’s Companion

Traveller 1e

Creatures of Distant Worlds Compendium
d66 Compendium
Foreven Worlds: Vehicles of the Frontier
Mech Tech ‘n’ bot: Fighters and Small Ships
Mech Tech ‘n’ bot: Mech Squadrons
Mech Tech ‘n’ bot: Warp Ships 1

Download these and other titles now at DriveThruRPG.

Pathfinder: Unleash New Martial Arts Styles for your Monk

The Martial Magic of Monks

Monks are the undisputed masters of of the mystical martial arts. Through discipline, determination, and years of practice, they can produce effects on par with the spells of mages. Within these pages are three new styles perfect for monks looking to rival the power of magic.

Inside the 7 pages of the Book of Feats: 3 Monk Styles, you will find:

  • Blurred Strike Style: attack so fast that few can dodge your attacks
  • Stone Mountain Style: harden your body to all but the most durable of weapons
  • Strand of Fate Style: interact with someone’s life-threads in the tapestry of time

Hone Your Technique for the Adventures that Await!

Download the Book of Feats: 3 Monk Styles today at the JBE Shop and DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Pathfinder: Blurred Strike Style

Monks simply do not get enough love. What magic items there are cost more, even though they are supposed to be impoverished. They have far fewer archetypes alternate classes and feats.

Well, we are going to do something about that last one right now. Below is a martial arts style perfect for the monk that loves to move so fast they are nothing but a blur. If you enjoy this style, be sure to check out Book of Feats: 3 Monk Styles at the JBE Shop and DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Blurred Strike Style (Combat, Style)

You dodge attacks at incredible speed.
Prerequisites: 1st-level monk or base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: You add your Wisdom modifier to your initiative instead of your Dexterity modifier. When using this style, you add your Wisdom modifier to your Reflex saving throws instead of your Dexterity modifier.

Blurred Strike Assault (Combat)

Your strikes are so fast, they are difficult to defend against.
Prerequisites: Blurred Strike Style, 6th-level monk or base attack bonus +6, flurry of blows.
Benefit: When one of your flurry of blows attacks deals damage to a creature, all additional flurry of blows attacks against that creature this round are made against the target’s flat-footed armor class.

Blurred Step (Combat)

Your enemies never see your strikes coming.
Prerequisites: Blurred Strike Assault, Blurred Strike Style, 11th-level monk or base attack bonus +11.
Benefit: If you moved more than 10 feet this round, all of your unarmed strikes are made against the target’s flat-footed armor class.

5e/Pathfinder/13th Age: Guide to Mini-Bosses

There’s a short story by Janni Lee Simner called Practical Villany that I particularly love. It’s from the villain’s point of view. The opening line is “The first thing I want you to know is that I drowned those kittens for a reason.” It’s a dark comedy about a villain talking to his latest kidnapee about his rebellious daughter that turned hero, betraying the family business. In the story, the author talks about how evil is a business while heroes are just one person. That is where mini-bosses come in. Mini-bosses are akin to mid-level managers. The real question is why would someone in a fantasy RPG world need them.

No matter which level-based fantasy game you play, you get more powerful by level. You are obviously more powerful at level 2 than level 1 and even still more powerful at level 3 and so on. The same is true for your main enemy. They didn’t try to take over the world at level 1. They worked to amass enough wealth and influence and easily outclass the adventurers at the start of the campaign. So why are they employing people that can’t hold their own against a plucky group of low levels?

1) Your Big Bad Has a Source of Revenue and Power that Must be Maintained

Your big bad has a source of income that still needs to be maintained, and they are busy with taking over the city/country/worlds. So the actual job of generating that income has to be in the hands of some trusted aid to oversee the operation. Whether that operation is a kobold mining company digging up gold, orc hunters that sell skins for leather armor, or an ogre timber consortium, they have to perform operations far to trivial for the big bad to do. The problem comes in when they interact with the humanoid races. Do the kobolds breech into a dwarven mine or a gnome village? Do the orcs kill the cows of a small hamlet? Are the elves upset the trees are being felled? The people doing the work need direction and someone to pay them for their work, someone that represents the big bad to the workers. That is a mini-boss. Remember, any good business has lots of moving parts to it (different managers in charge of different workers at different locations all doing the same job, different departments doing different jobs, etc.). That is a lot of different mini-bosses at a number of different difficulty levels. In this case, the employees are minions.

2) Your Big Bad Doesn’t Have Every Skill or Ability

The person at the top simply can’t have every skill or talent possible in the whole world. CEOs hire accountants and lawyers to help them navigate those arenas. Your big bad trying to take over the city/country/world needs someone to advise them on the way to the crown and how to finance it. So your mini-bosses can be advisers to the big bad in their specialty field. Other possible advisers include a cleric of an influential church and the big bad isn’t a follower of the deity or doesn’t have any divine casting ability, a public relations bard to smooth over incidents like the kobolds invading the dwarven mines, and a spiritual advisory monk.

The important thing to remember with advisers is that they should fill two roles: the official one and an unofficial one. The official one is the job for which they are known. This is their day job, how this adviser is presented in the public. The unofficial one should be the real reason that person in particular was hired by the big bad. Does the financial advisory funnel money from the crown to the big bad? Does the cleric get people (more minions) to act against their interests in the name of the religion? Is the public relations bard in charge of spreading disinformation? All of these roles a big bad needs done and these make great mini-bosses.

3) Dirty Workers

Bad guys are not known for fighting fair. Once the adventurers have been identified as disrupting some small plans, they should have someone to deal with them. Assassination attempts have been done and the players will see that coming. Instead, trying having the big bad hire the adventurers for a job they are not qualified, like killing a monster that is more powerful than they can handle. Have the public relations bard hire them, apologizing for any previous incidents involving low-level managers, and praise them for bringing such bad actors in their organization to light. The job is something like clearing out a cave where some new miners will be going soon. The adventurers aren’t told there’s a dragon in there. The dragon will be warned and compensated for it’s trouble. Naturally the dragon will have his own minions to soften you up in your way there. The idea behind this is that if the adventurers never return, no one will miss them or possibly figure they left for another problem elsewhere. As an added bonus, the public relations bard can claim they had bad information and apologize for their near deaths. By doing this, you turn what would otherwise be a single encounter into a night’s game session and they might even believe the big bad isn’t so bad.

Every mini-boss need minions and we have some excellent ones in the Book of Beasts series, available now for Pathfinder, Fifth Edition, and 13th Age. Download them now.

Pathfinder RPG: Carrion Bug

Last week, I write my first Pathfinder monster in quite some time and I remember how much I enjoy doing it. In fact you might even say I caught the “bug” again. So I couldn’t help myself and I created another one.

The image that caught my eye this week is a bug eating a long decomposing corpse. Naturally my first thought was to Shadowsfall with how useful this would be. Humans and other intelligent living creatures
would want to keep these guys around since they could be useful in devouring zombies and making sure their own fallen do not rise again as undead. Yet they would still be a problem, eating the things that eat the things that eat the things that become food for the players. So even if the forces of the living wanted them around, they would still need to keep their numbers under control. So thinning their numbers would be a solid low level adventure.

If you like this monster, please let us know in the comments below and take a look our other monster books here at JonBrazer.com, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Carrion Bug CR/HD 1/2

Init +0; Perception +2 (darkvision 60 ft.)
Size Small; Speed 30 ft.


Defenses


AC 13 (touch 12, flat-footed 12); Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +0; CMD 12
hp 11


Attacks


Melee bite +1 (1d4+1 plus disease)
Attack Options (DC 9) disease (onset 1d3 days, frequency 1/day, effect 1 point of Con damage, cure 1 save); CMB –1


Statistics


Utility Options mindless
Dex +1, Con +3, Int —, Wis +2
XP 200; N Vermin

Pathfinder: Ravager Wolf

I mentioned last month that we at JBE decided to continue with Pathfinder 1e support. Having said that, we decided to not continue on as business as usual. Since Paizo will be ending support for PF1 soon, we no longer feel the need to continue on in their footsteps; we want to do things our way. One of those ways is that we do not care for the core Bestiary monster creation rules. Personally, I never followed them. If anything, I did them backwards from the way the Bestiary described them. So all our monsters from here out will be using the Pathfinder Unchained monster rules. Today being Friday, I decided to make one for fun. Let me introduce you to the Ravager Wolf.

First a little background. The artwork was originally intended for the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane, however, we cut it for space. I always liked this image of a wolf with its guts cut out and felt bad we never used it. So today I am creating a monster around this image. The ravagers are corpses of animals that are consumed by the darkness and are reanimated into unlife. Each is more vicious than their mundane counterparts as they suffer from a constant hunter and an unquenchable desire to feed. Even worse, as they get more powerful, they get more intelligent. This one here is one of the weaker ones as well as one of the most commonly encountered. These creatures are without mercy and will attack as soon as see an opportunity.

Be sure to follow the JBE blog since we will be posting more monsters and other options while we are working on new Pathfinder 1e projects. Also, be sure to tell you friends that we at JBE are working on some awesome Pathfinder projects. We need your help in letting everyone know that plans to stick with 1e PFRPG that we are here for them.

We hope you enjoy this monster.

Ravager Wolf CR/HD 3

Init +5; Perception +11 (darkvision 60 ft., scent)
Size Medium; Speed 30 ft.


Defenses


AC 17 (touch 12, flat-footed 12); Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +4; CMD 18
hp 33; Immune undead immunities


Attacks


Melee bite +6 (1d12+4 plus bleed), 2 claws +1(1d4+2)
Attack Options bleed (1d6, DC 15 or any magical healing); CMB +6


Statistics


Str +4, Dex +1, Con —, Wis +2; Climb +8, Perception +11, Survival +8
XP 800; CE undead

The Big Meeting

There have been quite a good many decisions that needed to be made concerning the direction of JBE for the next few months. Yesterday, I decided that we needed a company-wide meeting to resolve them. That happened this morning. Here are the results:

  1. Focus on Fifth Edition, Traveller, and 13th Age for the next few months. This is to clear out the backlog of stuff we wanted to publish last year but didn’t because official Pathfinder support is ending. We have plans to continue supporting these games after the backlog is complete. We discussed adventures for Traveller and 5e, ships and monsters for Traveller, subclasses and more for 5e, and a PHB2-like print book for 13th Age.
  2. No final decision on Pathfinder 2e support. We are waiting to see the final rules and license before making a determination on that front.
  3. Continued support of Pathfinder 1e. That is right, JBE will continue with PFRPG 1e. We do not have anything ready to go immediately so do not expect to see anything from us before summer, but we love this game and will continue to support it and its fans. How this will interact with possible PF2 support is yet to be determined.

We are really excited about all of this and hope that you are on board as well. Tell us your thoughts and what you want to see from us in the comments below.

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