Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1

So I was looking over my unfinished projects the other day and I ran across the expended list of monsters for the summon nature’s ally spells. So I decided to pick up where I left off and finish the list. If you want to see the list of expanded monsters for the summon monster spells, click here.

For those of you unfamiliar with this series of blog posts, the summon spells use monsters from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary because it was the only one published at the time. Since then there have been 5 other monster books, some of which have monsters better suited for the spells. So it only makes sense in my opinion that the spells should keep up and expand this list. We’ll talk about suggestions for doing so in future blog posts.

This list expands the summon nature’s ally I spell. This list includes monsters from B1-5. Much like the unchained summon monster I list, it doesn’t include B6 monsters because it doesn’t to have any monsters that low of a level that are suitable to be on the list.

Before we get to the list, let me just say that you can grab yourself the PDF version of the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store or the print version at DriveThruRPG and Amazon. This book has something for every spellcaster in Pathfinder 1e. Grab it today.

Table 1: Summon Nature’s Ally I

1st LevelSubtype
Dire rat
Fire beetle
Frog, poison
Giant centipede
Mite (gremlin)
Pony (horse)
Viper (familiar)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 2
Baboon (primate)
Compsognathus (dinosaur)
Giant cockroach
Giant maggot
Pugwampi (gremlin)
Snapping turtle
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 3
Antelope (herd animal)
Flying squirrel (familiar)
Ghost scorpion
Giant crab spider
Goat (familiar)
Kangaroo (marsupial)
Pig (familiar)
Raccoon (familiar)
Thylacine (marsupial)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 4
Giant flea
Haniver gremlin
Trumpeter swan
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 5
Flying fox (familiar)
Penguin (familiar)
Red panda (familiar)
Seal (familiar)
Image by Luis Antonio Salas Lastra

I recently ran into a forum post on the Pathfinder 2e boards asking Paizo to alter their adventure design. Reading it, I remembered similar complaints about Pathfinder 1e and a lesser extent D&D 5e. I don’t believe Paizo or anyone else is going to alter the way they create adventures because the product should be consistent. So what is a GM to do? Well, I have three suggestions.

1) Run Adventures Two Levels Lower than the Group

This isn’t just my suggestion but the suggestion from one of the designers. Honestly, this makes quite a bit of sense. A more optimized group should be able to run the adventure at level, while a group of players that are more casual players should be given some advantages. The easiest way to do that is to run adventures designed for lower-level groups. A level 5 group should have a level 3 adventure. A level 12 group should be playing level 10 adventures, and so on. If you find the adventure is too easy, the next module you run can be 1 level below, or even at their level.

2) Start The Group Off at Level 3

Just because the game starts off at level 1 doesn’t mean you have to start your adventurers off there. This gives them more hp to survive, more abilities to use, and more spells to cast. This way, the players can tell you how they got to level 3. Now they can say they did more than just “pick up my grandparent’s old sword and defended my village.” Now they can also talk about how they “joined in with the rest of the village and attacked the monster in its cave and was the only survivor, then traveled the road and saved a merchant who gave them this item as a reward and recommended I go to this tavern to meet up other adventurers.” It lets the players define their characters a little more.

3) Just Subtract 2

If are bound and determined to run adventures for a group of level 1 players that don’t know what they’re doing, then I recommend subtracting 2 from all numbers their opponents have. Attack bonus on the monster is +4? Nope. It’s a +2 now. AC is 14? Not anymore. Now it is 12. Spell or trap DCs? Same thing. This makes it just that much easier for the players to succeed.

Having said all that, in an ideal world, adventure levels should reflect an average group instead of a more optimized group, and a GM of an optimized group should have to go 2 levels higher for their group. Like I said above, however, they’re going to remain consistent. Because changing a product is never good for customer expectations. It would be like “New Coke,” failing because it is not the familiar product customers have come to expect.

If you are looking for more PF 1e or 5e adventures for your game, check out ours at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1

Previously when talking about the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 we shared the spells inside. So far we shared domination link as well as share skin and greater share skin. Today we want to show off some of the artwork within.

We wanted the book to appear like an ancient spell time that your characters might find in a dungeon. So we made the pages look like old worn parchment. That’s all fun but it can really break the immersion of the idea if we went with full-color art. So we opted for black line art with no white background. This gives the Spell Codex just the right feel. While the artwork of a number of artists graces these pages, the one featured the most is Dean Spencer. His images had just the right feel for this project. Check out the artwork of his we used below.

One other thing before we get to the artwork. We are JBE know how much people love to print out their books to have physical copies at the gaming table. First off, let me just confirm that a print version is in the works. We’ve already submitted off the files and they are going through the process. We figure it’ll be available in under a month. Secondly, we included a printer-friendly version, one without the parchment background so you can print your own version and use less ink or toner.

Spell Tome and Printer Friendly Versions

Download the Book of Magic Spell Codex Volume 1 today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store. Order your print copy today from Amazon.

Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 (PF 1e)

The Collected Knowledge of a Hundred Spellcasters

Bringing together all the spells from nearly two dozen companion sources, the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 has something for everyone. These spells have been updated for clarity and expanded to cover classes introduced after their original publication. Gathered together for the first time, these spells will give your character the edge you’ve been looking for.

Within these 96 pages, the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 contains:

  • Over 170 spells for all 26 spellcasting classes. From wizard to bloodrager, cleric to paladin, psychic to medium, you’ll find spells for your character here.
  • New short descriptions, making it easy for you to discover and find that perfect spell. 
  • Artwork to make this feel like a true spellcaster’s tome.

With this essential compendium, your character will be prepared for the road ahead.

Download the Book of Magic Spell Codex Volume 1 today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store. Order your print copy today from Amazon.

Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1

With the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 coming out soon, we’re talking about the spells you will find. Last week, we talked about domination link. Today, we’re talking about share skin and its bigger cousin—greater share skin.

Originally appearing in Blood of the Moon, the weaker of the two spells let the spellcaster take over an animal, much like how Harry Dresden lets Bob out of his skull to do a ride-along with Mister, his Cat. Except this spell would let Harry take over his familiar. Greater share skin works the same way except it lets you take over the body of the touched creature.

Both of these spells work similar to magic jar, but I personally feel that these versions are better spells. First off you don’t need that pesky gem or crystal. Sure it had to be worth a measly 100 gp but needing to have the focus item always made it feel like it was a less desirable spell. Plus there’s the fact that your body is left helpless for however long you are in the creature. Sure your party is there to watch over it, but that means they are not there with you while you are using the body. These spells, because your body vanishes, lets you use the creature you took over with your party at your side. Take over a dragon and your party can ride your back and destroy the big bad.

When expanding who uses this spell, obviously the hunter got in on the share skin. That class gets all druid spells of 6th-level or lower (and at a lower level if the ranger gets it at a lower level). So hunter was an obvious addition to the list. However, we also added shaman to both spells. This was an odd choice since it does not get magic jar. However, we felt that a shaman taking over an animal’s body seemed like it would be in the shaman’s wheelhouse. Heck, there’s a shaman archetype in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide that lets you do something very similar to this as a class feature. So we felt safe adding these to the shaman class.

Download the Book of Magic Spell Codex Volume 1 today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store. Order your print copy today from Amazon.

Share Skin

School necromancy; Level druid 6, hunter 6, shaman 6, witch 6
Components V, S
Range touch
Target one animal touched
Duration 1 minute/level or until you return to your body
You can possess an animal’s body in a manner that functions like magic jar, except as noted here. Your body vanishes while the effect lasts, and you don’t require a receptacle.

Share Skin, Greater

Level shaman 8, witch 8
Target one creature touched
This spell functions like share skin, except as noted here.

Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1

One of the main things we decided to do when we set out to do the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 was to update the spells for classes that came after the spell’s original publication. It simply isn’t fair to classes published later to not get access to certain spells simply because those spells were never republished in a hardcover book. So we decided to do that.

Take domination link, the spell below. Originally published in Blood of the Night, this spell focuses on vampires and how to fight them. Vampires always have had the ability to make someone do their bidding by simply looking into their eyes. That is pretty much a perfect description of the mesmerist’s main class feature right there. So fighting the domination of a vampire should like something all the occult classes should be able to do.

As you can see here, we also took the time to add in the other classes that were never mentioned in standard Paizo spell stat blocks. Take arcanist for example it just uses the sorcerer/wizard spell list. Well, here we actually call it out. Same with skald using the bard list. No more are these classes simply forgotten simply because they were not published in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. Here, each of these spells get listed along with every other class.

Download the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1 today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store. Order your print copy today from Amazon.

Domination Link

School divination [mind-affecting]; Level arcanist/sorcerer/wizard 3, bard/skald 3, inquisitor 3, medium 3, mesmerist 3, occultist 3, psychic 3, spiritualist 3, witch 3
This spell functions like detect thoughts, with the additional ability to find echoes of the thoughts of a creature mentally controlling the target. For example, if the target has been dominated by a vampire, you can use evidence left in the target’s mind to learn about that vampire. Each minute you concentrate on the spell, you can learn your choice of one of the following pieces of information.
Direction: The controller’s general direction and distance.
Emotion: The controller’s emotional state (gloating, sated, frightened, angry, and so on).
Image: A powerful iconic image relevant to the controller or its connection to the target, such as a symbol on a door or a name on a gravestone.
Location: The controller’s general location, such as “in a large city” or “on a ship.”
Name: The name by which the target knows its controller (if any).
All of this information is based on the last time the influencing creature linked itself to the target, either to issue a command or to receive sensory input from the target. For example, if at nightfall a vampire commanded a dominated victim to walk to a cemetery, this spell can reveal the vampire’s general location at that time, though it may have moved since then.

Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1

It is time I start talking about my secret project. The name is the Book of Magic: Spell Codex Volume 1. This book takes spells from a number of “companion” books, removes any campaign-specific details, and puts them all together in one place for you. This volume takes all the spells from 22 different books that never made it into one of the big Roleplaying Game hardbacks and reprint them in one place.

Back when I played D&D 3.5, my absolute favorite book was the Spell Compendium. I’d show up to games with my PHB and my Spell Compendium and I was good to go. It always baffled me that Paizo never came out with one, especially considering the people behind that book worked for Paizo. We gave them enough time for them to do it themselves and they haven’t. Now we’re taking the opportunity.

As a much smaller publisher, I don’t have the resources to do a sizable hardcover like that. What I can do, however, is a series of smaller books. 22 different books is nearly 2 years worth of “companions” that you don’t have to carry with you or hunt through to find the perfect spell for the perfect occasion.

Not only that, but we’re taking the opportunity to update the spells. Some of these spells are worded rather clunky and we’re fixing that. Spells published before the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide and Occult Adventures never added to any official list for these classes. We’re correcting that. Some classes say they just use another class’s spell list and are never listed in a spell’s description. Screw that. Every class gets listed that can cast it. Bard/skald? Yep. Arcanist/sorcerer/wizard? That’s right. Cleric/oracle/warpriest? Up to level 6, then it’s just cleric/oracle. Hunter? Listed. They’re all there.

I’ll be honest, I always thought it was insulting that some classes got listed and some didn’t. It felt like these classes just weren’t good enough to be called out. I get that it saves space, space that could be used for more spell description but it just never sat well with me. So we’re fixing that.

Download the Book of Magic Spell Codex Volume 1 today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store. Order your print copy today from Amazon.

Book of Beasts: Arcanist Codex Cover
Cover image by Enmanuel Lema Martinez

Earlier this week I handed the stat blocks for the Book of Beasts: Arcanist Codex off to the editors for checking over. While this is a huge step to getting this book produced, it is not the final step. As JBE’s two brilliant editors are making sure stat blocks are excellent, I begin moving to the writing of the flavor phase. Sure the skeleton of every character is there now, but now I am filling them out, giving them flesh as it were.

Of all the ones I have created thus far, Arcanist Codex was the toughest. Let me describe the process I used for Arcanist Codex. First I came up with the concept for all 20 of the NPCs included in each of these class codices. This ensures a wide breadth of character concepts. Then I build each character without their spells or magic items. Magic items core to the character concept come next. Choosing spells for prepared casters is a two-step process. First I had to choose the spells in their book. Then I get to add spells prepared that day. Once that’s complete, I’ll check over to see if all the choices made work together. You’d be amazed at how often that is not the case. Things like having a rather high number of touch spells sound great until you realized that the character lacks Weapon Fineese and other feats that would be rather beneficial to this build. From there, you have to decide if you need to change the spells out, which feats to lose from the character so you can add in more appropriate ones, or if you need to adjust the ability scores to make it more melee-focused. Do magic items need to be replaced? Once that’s all done, any remaining gold is spent, any unspent skill points are allocated, list all other spells in the spellbook (yes, we effectively list their entire spellbook), etc. Next comes the big question: does this NPC work as a whole? After all of this, if I don’t feel the NPC just doesn’t work, I’ll scrap it and start over with either a new concept, create a completely new NPC from the same concept, or just figure out if this one needs to be tweaked to make it shine. Then I had to check over all the stat blocks, looking for any errors or inconsistent presentations overall 20. It is only here that when these are all as good as they can possibly be that they get turned over to the editors.

Bloodrager Codex—the one we’ll be working on after this—promises to be much easier. There are significantly fewer spell levels. Plus it is a spontaneous caster so I only have to choose spells once instead of twice.

Be sure to get yourself the Arcanist Codex, the Bloodrager Codex, and all the rest as soon as they are complete by subscribing to the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription. Subscribe today at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Image by Brian Brinlee

One of my favorite monsters in the Pathfinder 1e adventure Deadly Delves: The Chaosfire Incursion is the 13-Headed Pyrohydra. So when I was looking at the artwork again, I couldn’t help myself but convert it over to PF 2e. So for all the fans of the game, I present this monster to your and your games. Enjoy.

Before we get to the stat block, make sure you check out our current PF2e monster book Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Forbidden Woods. available at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

13-Headed Pyrohydra Creature 14

Rare N Gargantuan Beast Fire
Perception +28; low-light vision, scent (imprecise) 30 feet
Skills Athletics +30, Stealth +24 (+26 in lava)
Str +9, Dex +5, Con +8, Int -3, Wis +4, Cha -1

AC 35, all-around vision; Fort +25, Ref +22, Will +19
HP 250 (body), hydra regeneration)
HP 18 (head, head regrowth); Immunities area damage, fire; Weaknesses cold 15, slashing 10
Attack of Opportunity [Reaction]
Head Regrowth A creature can attempt to sever one of the 13-headed pyrohydra’s heads by specifically targeting it and dealing damage equal to the head’s Hit Points. A head that is not completely severed returns to full Hit Points at the end of any creature’s turn.
A 13-headed pyrohydra can regrow a severed head using Hydra Regeneration. A creature can prevent this regrowth by dealing cold damage to the stump, freezing it. Single-target cold effects need to be targeted at a specific stump, but effects that deal splash damage or affect areas covering the pyrohydra’s whole space freeze all stumps if they deal cold damage. If the attack that severs a head deals any cold damage, the stump is frozen instantly. If all thirteen heads are frozen, the pyrohydra dies.
Hydra Regeneration The 13-headed pyrohydra has regeneration equal to 3 x the number of heads it has. If a 13-headed pyrohydra’s body is missing any heads and the remaining stumps have not been frozen, the pyrohydra attempts a DC 34 Fortitude save after it regains Hit Points from regeneration. On a success, one unfrozen stump regrows two heads; on a critical success, two unfrozen stumps regrow into two heads each. The pyrohydra can never grow more than double the number of heads it ordinarily has. The pyrohydra’s regeneration only fully deactivates if all its heads are severed and all stumps are frozen, at which point it dies.
Multiple Opportunities A 13-headed pyrohydra gains an extra reaction per round for each of its heads beyond the first, which it can use only to make Attacks of Opportunity. It can’t use more than 1 reaction on the same triggering action, even if a creature leaves several squares within its reach, and the 13-headed pyrohydra must use a different head for each Attack of Opportunity it makes. Whenever one of the 13-headed pyrohydra’s heads is severed, the 13-headed pyrohydra loses 1 of its extra reactions per round.

Speed 25 feet, swim 25 feet (lava only)
Melee [1-Action] fangs +28 (reach 15 feet), Damage 3d8+15 piercing
Breath Weapon [2-Actions] (arcane, evocation, fire) The 13-headed pyrohydra breathes a blast of fire that deals 1d6 fire damage for every head that the pyrohydra currently has in a 50-foot cone (DC 34 basic Reflex save). It can’t use Breath Weapon again for 1d4 rounds.
Focused Assault [2-Actions] The 13-headed pyrohydra attacks a single target with its heads, overwhelming its foe with multiple attacks and leaving almost nowhere to dodge. The 13-headed pyrohydra Strikes with its fangs. On a successful attack, the 13-headed pyrohydra deals damage from its fangs Strike to the target, plus an additional 1d8 damage for every head it has beyond the first. Even on a failed attack, the 13-headed pyrohydra deals the damage from one fangs Strike to the target creature, though it still misses completely on a critical failure. This counts toward the pyrohydra’s multiple attack penalty as a number of attacks equal to the number of heads the pyrohydra has.
Storm of Jaws [2-Actions] The 13-headed pyrohydra makes a number of Strikes up to its number of heads, each against a different target. These attacks count toward the pyrohydra’s multiple attack penalty, but the multiple attack penalty doesn’t increase until after the pyrohydra makes all its attacks.

I know that I haven’t posted much for Traveller lately. Have no fear my gamer friends, JBE is still very much creating material for this fun game. Take today’s blog post for example. I was trying to think of something really out there for a Traveller vehicle when it came to me, a mining vehicle that swims lava seas. Setting it near the Solomani Worlds means that calling it the Io Swimmer would make sense. With that, we present to you a new Traveller vehicle for your game.

Remember to check out all of our Traveller supplements and d66 lists at DriveThruRPG.

Io Swimmer

NameIo Swimmer
SkillSeafarer (submarine)
Speed (Cruise)Medium (Slow)
Range (Cruise)200 (300)
Shipping10 tons
Autopilot (skill level)3
Communications (range)1000 km
Navigation (Navigation DM)+4
Sensors (Electronics (sensors) DM)+2, 2.5 km
Camouflage (Recon DM)
Stealth (Electronics (sensors) DM)

Safe Depth 2,000 m, Crush Depth 6,000 m, Life Support 400 days, Communication System (Advanced, Satellite Uplink), Computer/5, Control Systems (Advanced), Fire Extinguishers, Fresher, General Purpose Laboratory, Insidious Environment, Manipulator Arm (Advanced), Navigation System (Advanced), Sensors (Advanced, Magma)