5e: Path of the Giant

Recently we released Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths for the Fifth Edition of the Worlds Oldest Fantasy Roleplaying Game. This book features 8 new paths for players that love to see their characters fly into a rage and destroy every enemy that comes into their path. Previously we shared with you the Path of the War Avatar. Today we are sharing with you a monster-themed subclass: Path of the Giant.

Higher level 5e and similar game adventures tend to focus around one of a few ideas: fiends, undead, constructs, and giants. With their mythological origins, giants make a wonderful enemy to fight as you advance through the game. Over the years, giant themed class options and races have become player options as well. This one barbarian subclass celebrates those old adventures and those races and class options available over the years. We hope that you will enjoy this offering as well.

Download Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths, for your Fifth Edition game today at the JBE Shop, the Open Gaming Store, and DriveThruRPG.

Path of the Giant
The blood of giants flows in you. At no point in time is that heritage more obvious than when you are raging. You grow larger and your reach becomes extraordinary. Feats of strength are nothing to you. None but a true giant can stand against you.

Giant Size

When you choose this path at 3rd level, you grow in size when you rage. While you are still the same size category as before, you are obviously taller and wider when raging. Additionally, your reach with melee weapons increases by 5 feet.

Giant Body

Also at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with Strength (Athletics) checks; if you already are proficient with this skill, you add double your proficiency bonus when making these checks. Additionally, you can now speak, read, and write Giant.

Giant Heritage

Starting at 6th level, you select one of the following giant types: cloud, fire, frost, hill, stone, storm. The type of giant you choose determines what ability you gain.
Cloud. You can cast the spells fog cloud and misty step once per day each.
Fire. You gain resistance to fire damage.
Frost. You gain resistance to cold damage.
Hill. You gain resistance to poison damage.
Stone. You gain the rock catching ability. If a rock or similar bulky object is hurled at you, you can catch the missile with a successful DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, thereby taking no bludgeoning damage from it.
Storm. You gain resistance to lightning damage.

Rock Throwing

Upon reaching 10th level, you can throw rocks like your giant forebears. You can make a ranged weapon attack with a rock or similar bulky object at a range of 30/120 ft. that hits one target. A successful hit deals 2d10 bludgeoning damage. Both the attack and damage rolls use your Strength modifier instead of your Dexterity modifier. At 14th level, this attack has a range of 60/240 ft. and deals 3d10 bludgeoning damage on a successful hit.

Powerful Attack

At 14th level, you can send your opponent flying after an attack. After you make an Attack action with a melee weapon, you can use your bonus action to make the target attempt a Constitution saving throw (DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier). A failed save pushes the creature 5 feet away from you. Failing the save by 5 or more means the creature moves 10 feet away from you and is knocked prone.

5e: Unleash the Barbarian Fury Upon Your Game

Devastate Your Enemies with Fury

Beware the raging barbarian, who can unleash destructive forces that few others can conceive, let alone achieve. Now you can play the barbarian hero you have always wanted to. Tap into your demonic heritage and conquer those that oppose you or show your passion and anger to win the day.
Inside the 14 pages of the Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths, you will find Fifth Edition subclasses like:

  • Pyrorager, wielding anger that burns so hot as to literally catch on fire
  • Skald, combining fury with inspiration and spells to bring ruin to enemies and boons to allies
  • War Avatar, blessed with rage as a gift from the god of war, becoming an instrument of divine savagery
  • And many more!

Be the Hero You’ve Always Known You Are With These Awesome Character Options Today.

Download Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths, for your Fifth Edition game today at the JBE Shop, the Open Gaming Store, and DriveThruRPG.

Pathfinder 1e: Animal Shaman

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide set out to hybridize a number of the existing classes in the game. Not only the new classes but they added archetypes for the existing classes as well. Paizo gave the fighter a mutagen, allowing the fighter to grow wings. They gave the barbarian bloodline-like powers making it more akin to the bloodrager. The cavalier received can turn his mount into a more dangerous animal. A paladin gains some ranger-like abilities, and the list goes on and on. Then Paizo released a number of new classes that never got hybridized with those classes previously released. This is one of the many ideas I have while working on this new series of archetypes for the ACG.

Today I bring you the animal shaman. We take the shaman class and mix in a little of the shifter. While the shaman does not fully shift into the form of another animal, those who take this archetype do take on aspects of an animal, letting them gain some of the creature’s advantages. This is a fun little archetype and we hope you stick around for more like it.

To help us keep making Pathfinder 1e products, download our existing PFRPG books, whether they are monster books, adventures, expanded races, or other class options. Download them today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo. If you prefer print, you can find our books at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and Amazon.

Animal Shaman

Most shaman speak to the spirits that are all around them. Some shaman, however, not only speak to the spirits around them but let them fill their bodies, taking on a small aspect of their power and nature.
Associated Class: Shaman
Replaced Abilities: Hex (4th, 10th, and 16th levels only)
Modified Abilities: Spirit (1st level only)
Spirit: The animal shaman must choose the Nature spirit at 1st level.
Animal Aspect (Su): At 4th level, an animal shaman gains her first aspect—a category of animal to which her body and soul have become supernaturally attuned. She can shift into her
aspect’s minor form (see Aspects in the animal shaman class in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness, Chapter 1) for a number of minutes per day equal to 3 + her animal shaman level. The duration need not be consecutive but must be spent in 1-minute increments. Shifting into a minor form is a swift action, while ending the effect is a free action that can be taken only on the animal shaman’s turn.
As the animal shaman gains levels, she gains more aspects; she gains her second aspect at 10th level, and a third aspect at 16th level.

5e: Greater Air Elemental

We at JBE absolutely love Fifth Edition. This game is one we enjoy every chance we get. Writing for it is fun and a challenge.

Today we would like to share with you a greater air elemental. This monster comes from the much delayed Book of Heroes: Conjurable Creatures. The book contains a number of monsters perfect for your character to summon with the various conjure spells in 5e.

Be sure to check out all our 5e titles at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

Greater Air Elemental

Huge elemental, neutral
Armor Class 16
Hit Points 133 (14d12 + 42)
Speed 0 ft., fly 90 ft.


STR 17 (+3) DEX 23 (+6) CON 16 (+3)
INT 8 (–1) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 9 (–1)


Damage Resistance lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Auran
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)


Air Form. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.

Actions


Multiattack. The elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.
Whirlwind (Recharge 4–6). Each creature in the elemental’s space must make a DC 16 Strength saving throw. On a failure, a target takes 30 (5d10 + 3) bludgeoning damage and is flung up 20 feet away from the elemental in a random direction and knocked prone. If a thrown target strikes an object, such as a wall or floor, the target takes 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it was thrown. If the target is thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone.
If the saving throw is successful, the target takes half the bludgeoning damage and isn’t flung away or knocked prone.

5e: Path of the War Avatar

After we released our first supplement of subclasses for Fifth Edition covering the fighter, we asked you over on our Facebook page and at Twitter which classes you want to see more subclasses for. One of those classes that got quite a bit of comments on was the barbarian. Well you asked for it and we delivered. We are working on our next supplement for 5e being the Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths.

Today we are showing off one of those barbarian paths: the Path of the War Avatar. The original inspiration for this path comes from none other than Robert E Howards. It is said that he believed that the spirit of Conan come into his body when he was writing down those very tales. From there, the idea of having a barbarian filled with the piece of the god of war seemed almost poetic. So raise a glass to Howard and enjoy this barbarian path.

Path of the War Avatar

You do not describe your rage as simple anger, but as a blessing from a god of war. You feel the connection to that divine entity radiating through you, causing you to pulse with divine energy as you battle.

War Strike

When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the ability to attack more often. After using the Attack action, you can make another weapon attack as a bonus action, gaining your full ability modifier to the damage roll. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Raging Strike

Starting at 6th level, you are divinely gifted with knowing where the perfect strike should land. The first Attack action you make after entering a rage receives a +10 bonus to the roll.

Divine Representative

Upon reaching 10th level, your connection to your deity gives you advantage on all Charisma checks made when conversing with celestials and fiends.

War Avatar Body

At 14th level, choose one of the following damage types: bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. You gain resistance against all nonmagical weapons that deal the chosen damage type.

Download Book of Heroes: Fearless Barbarian Paths, for your Fifth Edition game today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

Pathfinder 1e: Dragon Fist

Last week we posted a new swashbuckler archetype. We’re going to try to continue with this by posting a new Pathfinder archetype every Monday. We’ll be focusing on the newer classes (those in the Advanced Class Guide, Occult Adventures, Ultimate Intrigue, and Ultimate Wilderness), but we’ll be posting some archetypes to the older classes as we think them up. Today we are giving the brawler class a bit of a dragon theme with the Dragon Fist archetype. Not only that, the table found here can be equally applicable to sorcerers, bloodrager, and dragon disciples. I must admit, I was rather disappointed that the table for the bloodrager bloodline was not updated to include more dragon types. Well, we did it for you here. Happy gaming.

As always, support us bringing you new Pathfinder material by downloading our books at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo. If you prefer print, you can find our books at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and Amazon.

Dragon Fist

The blood of a dragon flows through you, making you a superb combatant.

Associated Class: brawler

Replaced Abilities: Unarmed strike, awesome blow, improved awesome blow

Modified Abilities: AC bonus, brawler’s strike, modified ability name (note: sort them by level, also note, the difference between these and replaced abilities is if the name of the ability changes)

Dragon Blood (Su): The power of dragons flows through you and manifests in a number of ways. At 1st level, you must select one of the dragon types. This choice cannot be changed.

Dragon Type Energy Type Breath Shape
Black, Brine, Copper Acid 60-foot line
Blue, Bronze Electricity 60-foot line
Brass, Infernal, Solar, Underworld Fire 60-foot line
Cloud, Dream, Sky, Time Electricity 30-foot cone
Crypt, Umbral Negative Energy* 30-foot cone
Crystal, Havoc, Sovereign Sonic 15-foot cone
Gold, Magma, Red, Sea, Vortex Fire 30-foot cone
Green, Nightmare, Rift Acid 30-foot cone
Lunar Cold 60-foot line
Silver, Void, White Cold 30-foot cone

* harm to living creatures only; this does not heal undead creatures.

Claws: Your nails grow and harden into claws. The damage you deal with your claws is the same as the brawler unarmed damage except it deals slashing damage.

AC Bonus: At 4th level, the brawler’s skin begins to grow scales in patches, granting a +1 natural armor bonus to AC. Also, you gain resist 5 against your energy type. At 9th, 13th, and 18th levels, your AC bonus increases by 1 (to a maximum of +4 at 18th level) and your energy resistance increases by 5 (to a maximum of 20 at 18th level).

Brawler’s Strike (Ex): Unlike other brawler’s, a dragon fist drips acid, scorches flames, tingles with electricity, or freezes with a touch. At 9th level, her claws are also treated as the energy type that matches the dragon type chosen with the dragon blood ability. The rest of this brawler’s ability affect her claws but otherwise remains unchanged.

Breath Weapon (Su): At 16th level, you gain a breath weapon. This breath weapon deals 2d6 points of damage of your energy type per sorcerer level. Those caught in the area of the breath receive a Reflex save for half damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 your dragon fist level + your Charisma modifier. The shape of the breath weapon depends on your dragon type (as indicated on the above chart). At 16th level, you can use this ability twice per day. At 20th level, you can use this ability three times per day.

Dragon Form (Su): At 20th level, you can choose to take the form of your chosen dragon type (as form of the dragon II, but with good maneuverability). You can use this ability once per day.

Pathfinder: Luckstealer Sword Archetype

Recently asked on Twitter and Facebook what 1e Pathfinder classes need more options. Replies came back and the answers were overwhelming. We are glad to see so many Pathfinder 1e fans still interested in the game, and we are here for you. Since your replies, I came up with this little archetype for swashbucklers. My editors haven’t polished this yet so please do not consider this final.

As always, support us bringing you new Pathfinder material by downloading our books at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo. If you prefer print, you can find our books at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and Amazon.

Luckstealer Sword

Luckstealer swords are swashbucklers that have no luck of their own. Instead they have to steal the luck from their opponents, dooming those that oppose them.
Associated Class: swashbuckler
Replaced Abilities: Charmed life
Modified Abilities: Panache
Panache: Unlike other swashbucklers, a luckstealer sword starts each day with 1 panache, although her normal maximum is still her Charisma modifier. A luckstealer sword can regain panache in the following additional way:
Setup: Each time the luckstealer sword performs an action that grants a bonus to an ally’s attack or penalty to an opponent’s defense—such as using the curse bringer ability, taking the aid another action, grappling an opponent, or helping a rogue perform a sneak attack—she regains 1 panache point.
Curse Bringer (Su): At 2nd level, a luckstealer sword’s attacks opens their target up to other attacks. Three times per day as an immediate action after successfully attacking a living creature, she curses the attacked creature with a –1 penalty to all saving throws until the start of the luckstealer sword’s next turn. At 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the penalty increases by –1 (to a maximum of –5 at 18th level). At 10th level and 18th level, the number of times she can do this per day increases by 1 (to a maximum of 5 times per day at 18th level).

5e: Doombat

Writing monsters is a simple joy that I do not do enough. I really should since new monsters are at the core of the much delayed Book of Heroes: Conjurable Creatures. This book when it is finally finished and released is for any spellcaster that utilizes the various conjure spells in Fifth Edition. As such this book is perfect for druids, wizards, rangers and those that can use the spell list from one of these classes. Plus it doubles as a monster book for GMs.

We really love this book and know you will enjoy it as well, just as soon as we finish it up. In the meantime, here’s the doombat—one of the monsters from this book—that I recently wrote. Not only is it useful for GMs but it is perfect for a druid casting conjure fey as a 7th level spell. As you can see in the link, there are previous few options for that spell in that level range, which is something Book of Heroes: Conjurable Creatures aims to fix.

Doombat

Huge animal, neutral
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 171 (18d12 + 54)
Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft.
STR 10 (+0) DEX 21 (+5) CON 16 (+3)
INT 5 (–3) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 6 (–2)
Skills Perception +5
Senses blindsight 120 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)


Echolocation. While it can’t hear, the doombat has no blindsight.
Keen Hearing. The doombat has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.

Actions


Multiattack. The doombat makes three attacks: one bite and two wing buffet.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 5) piercing damage.
Wing Buffet. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
Deafening Cry (Recharge 5–6). A doombat can unleash a scream that can cause any non-bats to recoil in pain. All non-bat creatures within a 30 feet radius that can hear takes a 45 (13d6) points of thunder damage and is deafened for the next minute. Any creatures that succeeds a DC 15 Constitution saving throw takes half damage and is not deafened.

Image by Nicole Cardiff

5e: Designing Warlock Patrons

With the impending release of Book of Heroes: Heroic Fighter Archetypes, I am setting up the framework for the next few installments. One if them is warlocks, because I love warlocks. It’s a solid class mechanically, and it has a back story built right in. My first 5e character (post playtest) was a warlock—Sir Tim von Daggerdale. He’s fun. I haven’t played him in years, but I enjoyed the fun times I had with him.

From the point of view of the in-game characters that choose to be a warlock, let’s moment and analyze the biggest choice for the character: the otherworldly patron. The PHB has 3 in there: the Fiend and let’s just call them Fey and Great Old One. Specifically, I am only looking at flavor reasons why a character would choose to make a deal with these; I’m not looking at the game mechanics.

Warlock

First just being a warlock means a number of things. You made a deal with a being for power. So you lacked the patience to study to become a wizard, the innate ability to become a sorcerer, the faith and devotion of a cleric or a paladin or any of the other prerequisites for the other classes. This deal is or power plain and simple. Without that deal you believe you would be simply average. The real question is, “Is that true or is the deal holding you back from what you are meant to be?”

Fiend

The deal you make with a fiend is never what you expect. Even if you think you found all the loop holes, you haven’t. This deal always benefits the fiend far more than it benefits you. So what does it say about a person that reaches out to a demon or a devil for power? It could say you are ambitious and are willing to make sacrifices to see that ambition come to fruition. It could say you desire to rule over others, stopping conflicts by making others see what is obvious to you. One could even choose the fiend pact out of a desire to preserve life, believing that taking such power is required to make others hear what you have to say. No matter what the reason, choosing the fiend pact is a far more complex option than simply believing that the devils have it right.

Fey

Harry Dresden made a deal with Queen Mab for power after he broke his back. She pursued him for a long time but it refused until he felt he had no option left except a deal with her. So what does it say about him and–back to the main topic–any character that makes a deal with Mab or some other great and powerful fey? First off unlike the other two you stand for life. Fiends and Cthulhu want the character’s soul (or the souls of others) while fey promote the natural world. So if you choose the Fey as your patron, you promote life not death. You may promote the life of animals and other non-intelligent creatures over humans but it is still life. You may find something appealing about civilization becoming a less potent force in the world. Perhaps you just enjoy being a force for chaos or a trickster.

Great Old One

While the cultist that is a true believer and wants to see the world end in fire or drown in water is the stereotype, it is far from the only kind of character that would make a deal with a Great Old One. I prefer a passage from the Roger Zelazny book A Night in the Lonesome October.

“I hunted rats and ate out of dustbins and saw my kittens killed and was hung by my tail and abused by wicked urchins,” Graymalk said suddenly, “before the mistress found me. She was an orphan who’d lived on the streets. Her life had been even worse.”

Here, Greymalk the cat is telling Snuff the dog why they support opening the gate and the Great Old Ones destroying the world. Greymalk and her mistress had terrible lives and the two want their own pain to stop, want the pain for others in their situation to stop and to make all those that inflict such pain to pay for their crimes. While a character in a 5e game might not want to go to such lengths, those in a position to be recruited by a Great Old One frequently have had something bad happen to them and it stayed bad for a very long time. Someone who has made a deal with an otherworldly being that wants to destroy the world wants to lash out, particularly at anyone causing pain. Those who take the power offered by Cthulhu and others of his kind may very well be good people willing to do bad things to bad people because of the pain inflicted upon them. So what does a deal with a Great Old One say about your warlock, that you’ve been hurt. Hurt quite a bit.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.

Help us produce more great articles like this by downloading our 5e PDFs like the Book of Magic: 10 Warlock Invocations at the JBE Shop, the Open Gaming Store, and DriveThruRPG.

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