3 Keys to Reskinning an Adventure

As I mentioned, my “office” game is Tales of the Yawning Portal. Previously, I talked about reasons to use published adventures and how to turn published modules into a campaign. Today I want to talk about keys to taking a published adventure and turning it into what you need for your campaign. This process is called reskinning and it is pretty easy.

1) Figure Out What to Keep

The single biggest reason to use a published adventure at all is to save time. So if you are not using a published adventure as written, you have to ask yourself why you’re not simply using a different adventure. Some reasons include you like the map, or the story, or perhaps some unique monster. These are the things about the original adventure you will want to keep in your reskinned final version of the adventure.

This will also tell you what about this adventure you need to change. If you simply do not like the map, then all you need to do is draw a different map and perhaps change the read aloud text to describe the vicinity. If the level of the adventure does not work for you, figure out if can you just increase or decrease some of the numbers in the monsters/difficulties to make it work? This works best if the level of adventure is only 3 or less levels away the character’s level. Any wider a gap and the designers probably did not anticipate the capabilities of the characters (whether in their favor or not) to be able to complete the adventure. If some of the monsters simply do not grab you, then it is time to use those creative skills you have in you and craft a new one. Alternatively, you could just a monster book and switch out the offending monster with a new one.

2) Add New Reasons to Go In

Changing the premise of the adventure is the easiest thing to do. If the adventure is at the right level, features enemies you want to pit against the characters, and has a map you like but the reasons the module has for going on the adventure don’t work for your campaign, change it to something that does work for you.

When you do that, make sure to add multiple reasons for the characters to go on the adventure. Players and their characters are not monolithic. Seeking out a treasure horde does not always excite them. Similarly, serving the good deity if goodness is not always proper motivation. Having a handful of reasons means that everyone can find something. These reasons should be a mix of long term campaign reasons and some reasons specific to this adventure.

3) Just Use the Encounters

If you want to be dramatic and essentially throw out the adventure, there are still parts of you you can keep. Namely, the monsters and their proportions (aka the encounters). By using the encounters, you know the battles are already balanced; the math is already worked out. All you have to do from there is focus on the map, the descriptions, the reasons to go in, and maybe make a monster more or less difficult. Translation: do everything above.

This works great when you have an adventure that takes place that doesn’t work for your campaign—such as a volcano like in Deadly Delves: The Chaosfire Incursion—and you want it to take place elsewhere, like in a magical glacier. Well you will need new maps and will need to rewrite all the flavor text. However, you can keep all the encounters, simply renaming the monsters and changing fire damage to cold and the …. well that is a spoiler for the adventure.

The real advantage of doing this is you save time on crafting your own adventure, but you save some by using whatever parts of the existing adventure work for you. Plus you have a template for how the story should flow, giving you a basis for your own version of the adventure.

Download all of Jon Brazer Enterprises’ adventures for 13th Age, Fifth Edition, and Pathfinder at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

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.

Pathfinder: High Warpriest

When you are talking high level NPCs, their stat blocks can take quite a bit of time to create. Take the one we are featuring today, the high priest of Lirikellein, the goddess of the sun in this adventure: a high priest should be one that has accumulated quite a bit of abilities and gear. Detailing all that requires time, time a busy GM doesn’t have. Just like making high level adventures take quite a bit of time.

This is time we are happy to save you, just like how last week we showed off a very old solar dragon. With Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence, we have worshippers of the sun goddess using a ritual to pull the world into the sun. Yourdley, the high priest of the temple is one of those people involved in this endeavor. Now before you say, “killing everyone on the planet is evil,” let me ask you, is trying to bring people closer to a good deity evil? I mean, sure, most don’t take being “closer” to a deity quite so literally, but is it possibly just a good act that you may not like? If you said, “yes it is still evil,” you are right; it is still evil. But it is an act of one that is deluded into thinking that that is what their deity wants. Those that believe it can see it as an “ends justify the means” situation. Others might even believe that anything done to bring people “closer” to their god as good. What does Yourdley believe? You’ll have to read the adventure to find out.

One final point, keen observers will note that this NPC is of a CR equal to its character level. Normally the CR is 1 less than their character level but this NPC has far more gear than a heroic NPC of that level. As such, this NPC is more difficult than its heroic counterparts, raising its CR by 1.

Download Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence for your Pathfinder game at the JBE Shop. You can also find this 15th-level adventure at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

High Priest Yourdley CR 17

XP 102,400
Male dwarf warpriest of Lirikellein 17
N Medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13


Defenses


AC 27, touch 13, flat-footed 27 (+9 armor, +4 deflection, –1 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 216 (17d8+102+17 temporary)
Fort +19, Ref +6, Will +19; +2 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities
Defensive Abilities defensive training, fortification 50%, sacred armor (+4, 17 minutes/day) Resist fire 20; SR 29


Offense


Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 brilliant energy dispelling morningstar +23/+23/+18/+13 (2d6+12/19–20)
Special Attacks blessings 11/day (armor of flame, blinding strike, cleansing fire, fire strike), channel positive energy 9/day (DC 25, 6d6), hatred, sacred weapon (2d6, +4, 17 rounds/day)
Warpriest Spells Prepared (CL 17th; concentration +24)
6th—blade barrier (DC 23), harm (2, DC 23)
5th—flame strike (DC 22), righteous might, spell resistance, true seeing, wall of stone
4th—air walk, blessing of fervor APG, divine power, freedom of movement, spell immunity
3rd—bestow curse (2, DC 20), blindness/deafness (DC 20), daylight, invisibility purge, protection from energy (2)
2nd—align weapon, hold person (3, DC 19), owl’s wisdom, sound burst (DC 19), spiritual weapon
1st—bane (DC 18), command (2, DC 18), doom (DC 18), liberating command UC, sanctuary (DC 18), shield of faith, sun metal UC (DC 18)
0 (at will)—bleed (DC 17), detect magic, guidance, resistance, spark APG (DC 17)


Statistics


Str 18, Dex 8, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 24, Cha 10
Base Atk +12; CMB +21; CMD 29 (33 vs. bull rush and trip)
Feats Combat Casting, Critical Focus, Dazzling Display, Deadly Finish UC, Extra Channel, Great Fortitude, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Critical (morningstar), Improved Vital Strike, Sickening Critical, Shatter Defenses, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Toughness, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (morningstar)
Skills Appraise +0 (+2 to assess non-magical metals or gemstones), Climb +3, Heal +12, Intimidate +26, Knowledge (religion) +10, Perception +13 (+15 to notice unusual stonework), Sense Motive +12; Racial Modifiers +2 Appraise to assess non-magical metals or gemstones, +2 Perception to notice unusual stonework
Languages Common, Dwarven
Combat Gear potion of barkskin (CL 12th, used); Other Gear +1 moderate fortification adamantine half-plate, +1 brilliant energy dispelling morningstar, belt of physical might +4 (Str, Con), cloak of resistance +2

Pathfinder: Very Old Solar Dragon

The Pathfinder Bestiaries present dragons in 3 age categories—young, adult, and ancient—and give you enough information so that you can make it change age categories (and thus, change CR) up or down with only a little work. The thing is, “with only a little work” is more than opening up the Bestiaries and using what is there. So when Mike Welham wanted to include the full stats for a solar dragon that was of a different age category than the normal three, I was thrilled. This can be used by GMs everywhere, even if they do not run the adventure Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence. You already know how a solar dragon should look and act while still giving you stats for an age you didn’t previously have.

I am not saying what this particular dragon’s name is nor am I saying if this dragon’s alignment is the alignment in the adventure. I’m not saying whether I modified the skills, feats or sorcerer spells to be more in in line with the typical solar dragon. Dragons are individuals; they are all different. This dragon, however is exactly what you would expect from a a typical very old solar dragon.

Download Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence for your Pathfinder game at the JBE Shop. You can also find this 15th-level adventure at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Very Old Solar Dragon CR 17

XP 102,400
LN Gargantuan dragon (fire)
Init +4; Senses dragon senses see in darkness; Perception +30
Aura alien presence (300 ft., DC 29)


Defenses


AC 34, touch 6, flat-footed 34 (+28 natural, –4 size)
hp 310 (23d12+161)
Fort +19, Ref +15, Will +19
DR 15/magic; Immune fire, paralysis, sleep; SR 28


Offense


Speed 50 ft., fly 250 ft. (clumsy)
Melee bite +31 (4d6+18), 2 claws +31 (2d8+12), tail slap +29 (2d8+18), 2 wings +29 (2d6+6)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (20 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks breath weapon (120-ft. line, 18d10 fire, Reflex DC 27 half), channel life (9/day), channel radiation (DC 27), crush, primal fire, tailsweep
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 23rd; concentration +29)
At will—blight (DC 21), cup of dust APG (DC 19), detect magic, searing light
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 13th; concentration +19)
6th (5/day)—contagious flame APG, disintegrate (DC 22)
5th (7/day)—break enchantment, dominate person (DC 22), wall of force
4th (7/day)—charm monster (DC 21), dimension door, fear (DC 20), greater invisibility
3rd (7/day)—dispel magic, fireball (DC 19), lightning bolt (DC 19), protection from energy
2nd (8/day)—continual flame, resist energy, scorching ray, see invisibility, shatter (DC 18)
1st (8/day)—charm person (DC 18), color spray (DC 17), mage armor, magic missile, shield
0 (at will)—bleed (DC 16), dancing lights, detect magic, detect poison, flare (DC 16), light, mage hand, read magic, touch of fatigue


Statistics


Str 34, Dex 11, Con 22, Int 21, Wis 18, Cha 23
Base Atk +23; CMB +39; CMD 49 (53 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Maximize Spell, Multiattack, Power Attack, Quick Channel UM, Quicken Spell, Selective Channeling, Silent Spell, Spell Focus (enchantment), Toughness
Skills Diplomacy +32, Fly +12, Heal +28, Knowledge (arcana, geography, history, nature, planes, religion) +31, Linguistics +10, Perception +30, Sense Motive +30
Languages Auran, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Elven, Ignan, Sylvan, Terran
SQ no breath, starflight


Special Abilities


Alien Presence (Su) A creature that fails its saving throw against a very old solar dragon’s alien presence is blinded for 5d6 rounds (or permanently if it has 4 Hit Dice or fewer).
Channel Life (Su) A very old solar dragon can channel positive energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + its Charisma modifier as a cleric of 11th level. This energy can be used only to heal living creatures.
Channel Radiation (Su) A very old solar dragon can use its channel life ability to instead channel radiation that deals an equal amount of damage to living creatures. A living creature that succeeds at a Fortitude save takes half damage.
Primal Fire (Su) A very old solar dragon’s breath weapon can affect creatures normally immune or resistant to fire damage. A creature immune to fire damage still takes half damage from the breath weapon (no damage with a successful saving throw). A resistant creature’s fire resistance is treated as 10 less than normal.

Pathfinder: Some Just Want to Watch the World Burn!

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 a ritual 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 adventure for 15th-level characters and includes in its 40 action-packed pages:

  • 4 Fully-Statted New and Variant Monsters and NPCs—keep your players on their toes by having them face off against a very old solar dragon, a dwarven warpriest, an elven cleric, and a new type of demon
  • 10 New Traps and a New Haunt
  • 6 New Hazards to make the environment unique and interesting as the sun’s power scorches all within the temple
  • A New Curse that prevents any kind of resistance to fire damage
  • A New Ritual 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!
  • 3 New Magic Items ideally suited to high-level characters
  • Enough content to get your group of 15th-level PCs to 16th level, and approaching the level beyond

Dangers Unknown. Treasures Untold. Adventure Awaits.

Download Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence for your Pathfinder game at the JBE Shop. You can also find this 15th-level adventure at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Pathfinder: Jack-In-Irons

It was just last month that we released our latest Pathfinder adventure Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream. This amazing high-level Pathfinder adventure is a perfect way to move through he upper levels of play. It features high level challenges, monsters, traps, haunts and much more. We already shared one of those high level monsters—the godling. Today we are sharing with you another one of those terrors, the jack-in-irons.

This monster is nothing but a chain inhabited by a spirit—whether angry, confused, or in pain—making it an undead creature. It is difficult to hit, owing to the fact that a miss just passes right through the links. Atop a mound of hit points and resistance to spells and channeled energy, it can hit with a melee attack out to a range of 120 feet. this means that just about anywhere you can see is a potential place for it to kill something. It originally appeared in the Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes, a monster book for high level games. You run a high level game download this adventure and monster book from the JBE Shop today.

Jack-In-Irons CR 17

XP 102,400
CE Medium undead
Init +7; Senses bloodsense 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +34
Aura frightful presence (120 ft.; DC 29)


Defenses


AC 32, touch 17, flat-footed 25 (+7 Dex, +15 natural)
hp 273 (26d8+156)
Fort +16, Ref +15, Will +20
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, hardness 10; Immune cold, spiked chain, undead traits; SR 28
Weaknesses vulnerable to force damage


Offense


Speed 20 ft.; fly 20 ft. (poor)
Melee 6 spiked chains +28 (2d4+8/19–20 plus grab)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 120 ft.
Special Attacks chain command, rend (2 spiked chains, 2d4+12), sundering rend


Statistics


Str 26, Dex 24, Con —, Int 15, Wis 20, Cha 22
Base Atk +19; CMB +27 (+31 grapple, sunder); CMD 44 (46 vs. sunder)
Feats Bleeding Critical, Combat Refexes, Critical Focus, Disruptive, Great Fortitude, Greater Penetrating Strike, Greater Sunder, Hover, Improved Sunder, Penetrating Strike, Power Attack (–5/+10), Spellbreaker, Weapon Focus (spiked chain)
Skills Fly +32, Intimidate +35, Knowledge (religion) +31, Perception +34, Sense Motive +34, Stealth +36
SQ fighter’s iron


Special Abilities


Bloodsense (Su) A jack-in-irons knows if any creature within 60 feet has ever killed a living creature.
Chain Command (Su) All chains (including spiked chains) within 120 feet of a jack-in-irons are under this undead creature’s command. A creature wielding a spiked chain within 120 feet of a jack-in-irons must succeed on an opposed Charisma check against the jack-in-irons to attack with the weapon. On a failed check, the creature cannot wield its weapon in combat.
Fighter’s Iron (Ex) A jack-in-irons counts as a 19th-level fighter for purposes of qualifying for feats.
Spiked Chain Immunity (Su) A jack-in-irons is immune to damage from spiked chains.
Spiked Chains (Ex) A jack-in-irons’ spiked chains threaten a critical hit on a 19–20. These spiked chains cannot be disarmed.
Sundering Rend (Ex) A jack-in-irons can perform a sunder attempt with its spiked chains. If two spiked chains successfully deal damage to an object with a sunder attempt, they automatically deal rend damage to the sundered object.

Pathfinder: Godling

Continuing our series of monsters released every Wednesday, we bring you one this week from our latest adventure—Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream. This one is an aquatic blog of swamp mater that is worshipped as a god, where it gets its name from. This monster first appeared in our exceptional collection of high level monsters—Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes. Its original inspiration is from the Lovecraft story Call of Cthulhu where there was a creature in the Louisiana swamp that men worshiped as a god.

It was this creature that author Landon Wilkler took and make the initial source of problems that the players are investigating in his Dragon’s Dream adventure. I must admit that I love this adventure and not just because he is using more than one creature from my monster books. Landon did an amazing job crafting an adventure that your players will remember for years to come. At such a high level, I hope it helps you craft the story you want to tell on your way to level 20.

Download Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream, a level 16 Pathfinder adventure, today at the JBE Shop. You can also find it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Godling CR 17

XP 102,400
NE Huge ooze (aquatic)
Init +13; Senses Blindsight 240 ft.; Perception +40


Defenses


AC 31, touch 17, flat-footed 22 (+9 Dex, +14 natural, –2 size)
hp 264 (23d8+161)
Fort +14, Ref +16, Will +20
DR 10/bludgeoning; Immune acid, electricity, ooze traits, piercing; Resist cold 10, fire 10; SR 25
Weaknesses vulnerable to sonic


Offense


Speed 40 ft., swim 120 ft.
Melee 6 tentacle +23 (1d8+5/19-20 plus grab plus poison), bite +25 (2d6+10)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (60 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks dominating song (DC 23), swallow whole (3d6 acid damage, AC 17, hp 26)


Statistics


Str 30, Dex 28, Con 25, Int 19, Wis 36, Cha 15
Base Atk +17; CMB +29; CMD 54
Feats Alertness, Combat Expertise (–5/+5), Combat Refexes, Deceitful, Defensive Combat Training, Greater Feint, Improved Critical (tentacle), Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Skill Focus (Bluff, Linguistics)
Skills Bluff +35, Disguise +29, Linguistics +33, Perception +40, Sense Motive +40, Stealth +24 (+40 in swamps), Swim +18; Racial Modifiers +16 Stealth when in a swamp
Languages Abyssal, Aquan, Celestial, Common, Infernal plus 19 others; songspeech
SQ amphibious


Special Abilities


Dominating Song (Su) A godling can sing an enchanting song that dominates all intelligent creatures within 120 feet that fail a DC 23 Will save, as per the spell dominate person. A dominated creature receives a new Will each round to resist this effect. A creature that successfully saves against the dominating song is charmed, as per the spell charm person, for 1d3 rounds but afterwards is immune to this godling’s dominating song ability for 24 hours. This is a compulsion, language-dependent, mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Poison (Ex) Tentacle—injury; save Fort DC 28, frequency 1/round for 8 rounds, effect 1d4 Con plus stun, cure 3 consecutive saves. The save DC is Consitution-based.
Songspeech (Ex) When a godling speaks, it communicates in all languages it knows at once. A creature hears a language it knows while the other languages sound like a chorus singing musical notes.
Water Healing (Su) When a godling is touching water, it gains fast healing 10.

Pathfinder RPG: Dare to Enter the Dragon’s Dream

Enter the Dragon’s Dream!

When workers on an archaeological expedition unearth a dragon’s skull, the entire dig crew disappears soon thereafter. Their patron Count Larom seeks adventurers to find out what happened to his employees. Since the workers’ disappearance, strange and terrible songs have been heard coming from the vicinity of the excavation. What dangerous magic has their tampering unleashed—and why have guardians of the realm of the dead suddenly taken such an interest in this site?

Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream is an exciting deluxe adventure for 16th-level characters, and includes in its 47 action-packed pages:

  • 5 Fully-Statted New and Variant Monsters, keeping your players on their toes by giving them a new take on classic monsters as well as unique challenges they’ve never seen before
  • A New Haunt and A New Trap
  • 2 Beautiful Maps, 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!
  • 4 New Magic Items, ideally suited to high-level characters
  • Enough content to get your group of 16th-level PCs to 17th level, heading towards the level beyond

Dangers Unknown. Treasures Untold. Adventure Awaits.

Download Deadly Delves: The Dragon’s Dream, a level 16 Pathfinder adventure, today at the JBE Shop. You can also find it at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

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