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.

5e: Mites

Earlier this month, we released an updated version of our adventure Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider for the Fifth Edition of D&D. Inside are a number of new monsters and spiders do take up the majority of those new monsters. However, they are not the only new monsters inside. Today we want to show off the mite. These little fey are used to being kicked around. They get absolutely no respect and carry a grudge because of it. Despite their evil bent, they are not without their redeeming qualities. Find out what they are by reading this adventure today.

Download Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Mite

Image by Simon Buckroyd
Small fey, lawful evil
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 40 (9d6 + 9)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.


Str 6 (–2) Dex 14 (+2) Con 13 (+1)
Int 8 (−1) Wis 13 (+1) Cha 10 (+0)

Skills Perception +3, Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Deep Speech
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Innate Spellcasting. The mite’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 10). The mite can innately cast the following spells, requiring only verbal components:
At will: prestidigitation
1/day: bane

Actions


Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.
Dart. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 20 ft./ 60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.
Vermin Empathy (1/day). As an action, a mite can conjure a swarm of bats, a swarm of rats, a giant centipede, 2 giant rats, or a giant wolf spider. The conjured creatures attack the closest creature except the mite. The mite has no additional control over the conjured creatures.

5e: The Spiders Have Been Unleashed Again

These Spiders Aren’t So Itsy Bitsy

Giant spiders have overrun Mossdale, and every last villager is either dead and dessicated, or cocooned and abducted. But what were they after, and who coordinated the vermin to attack en masse? Could it have been the local ettercap or a crazed arachnophile druid… or was something far more sinister behind the attack? Can the adventurers rescue the missing citizens and foil the plans of the nefarious mind behind this dastardly deed before it is too late?

Along Came a Spider is an exciting adventure module in Jon Brazer Enterprises’ Deadly Delves series for the Fifth Edition of the World’s Oldest Fantasy Roleplaying Game. This updated 29-page adventure is designed to challenge four to five 1st-level PCs like no other content has to date. Inside this volume, you’ll find:

  • 6 new monsters, 2 NPCs, a unique trap, and more material for your Fifth Edition campaign

  • Three full-color maps, one of the ruined alchemist shop, another of the an ancient stone circle where spiders and worse horrors prowl, the final is in the lair of the deadly horror

  • Enough content to get your group of 1st-level PCs through a night of play with little preparation time required, bringing your group to 2nd level

Dangers Unknown. Treasures Untold. Adventure Awaits.

Download the updated adventure Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider for Fifth Edition today at the the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

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.

5e: Updating the Awesome

Yesterday, we rereleased Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider in PDF for Fifth Edition. The original was our first adventure we released for 5e and I think it deserves a mention as to why. The answer will give you a better picture as to who we are, the way we approach game design, and where we are going from here.

First some history. When we first released Along Came a Spider, there was no OGL or DMs Guild for 5e. If you were releasing products for 5e, you did so hoping you wouldn’t get into legal trouble with WotC. You had to be sure you were right, legally speaking. You had to know what you were doing or that might be the last thing you published. If you remember, the playtest lasted two years and it look another two years for the 5e SRD to be released. Add to that their slow release schedule. While it helped them sell books, it meant that if you didn’t want either of the adventures they released that year, you had no other options. So it was in that environment we decided to go ahead and publish for 5e without a net, so to speak.

Along Came a Spider was designed to be both a Pathfinder release as well as a 5e release. It was written by Joel Flank–a freelancer I trusted as being excellent with Pathfinder and like me and some of my editing crew switched to 5e during the playtest. We loved the new game and wanted to be apart of it right away. Heck, our adventure Rescue from Tyrkaven was written during the playtest and was converted to Pathfinder when some license wasn’t released for it right away, but that is a take for a different day.

When it came to making it a 5e module, we had a number of hurdles about which we had to make tough decisions. Everything from the monster stat blocks to the use of advantage and disadvantage had to be discussed. Ultimately, we decided to go with a Pathfinder-inspired monster stat block since we were using the Pathfinder OGL as our base. Doing so, however, meant that our monster stats did not look like 5e stat blocks. While not a big deal as all the stats were 5e stats and not Pathfinder, it was a barrier to using our module effortlessly. A core philosophy in our modules and any other GM-related products we create is to make the GM’s job easier. We decided that the benefit of a GM having the option of another module to choose from outweighed any barrier of having the monster stat blocks and similar legal hoops we jumped through to make this safe. When we decided to redo this module, fixing the monster stat blocks and similar barriers was at the to of our to-do list.

Then there is the issue of layout. The original version of Along Came a Spider appears almost identical our Pathfinder version. Having run far more Pathfinder modules than 5e modules at that point, I was quite use to having monster stat blocks right in the text and did not like having to flip to the back of the book for all the monsters. Since that time, we have heard from many 5e fans that said they prefer having their monsters in the back. Since those early days, I’ve run more 5e modules and I must say I like having all the monster together when I am running a module from a PDF because it means I can print out the monsters and not have to print out the adventure along with it.

There is one other major difference in this version over the original: a third map. Our budget for modules back in those days was pretty low. We had just enough for only two maps. We decided the maps should cover what we felt were the most critical and visually appealing fights. Ultimately, we decided to not have a map for the final few fights since they were in caves, figuring a cave map is pretty easy to come up with. All the reviews and comments we received concerning Along Came a Spider mentioned the lack of a final map and I knew that if we ever revisited Thai adventure, this would be one of the things we addressed. I am happy to report, those final fights have a map that we can be proud of that will inspire GMs and players in these final moments.

Download Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

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.

5e: Brass Golem

Next month, Jon Brazer Enterprises returns to gaming stores, and we could not be more thrilled. It has been about 5 years since our last book was shipped to game stores. We left because the logistics of getting a book to print on a regular basis was more than I could handle at that time. As time past, my circumstances have changed, and now I can bring all the awesome books we have been working on for the past few years to your gaming table via your local game store. We are kicking that off with the high level adventure Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence.

For those of you that do not know, our Deadly Delves line of adventures are designed to be easily dropped in to your campaign with little modification. Each adventure is self-contained. The Temple of Luminescence, as an example, can be added to any campaign setting by the GM changing one name to the setting’s Sun deity. Even then, if you are building your own setting, we included the deity and some details, making your job easier if you so desire.

Not only does the Temple of Luminescence easily fit into most games, it can even be a place where the adventurers go-to earlier in their campaign, seeing as how this location is associated with a major good-aligned deity and the majority of those inside are good (if misguided and deceived in this adventure). They could get to know the place and even work for the guy they will be fighting here.

One of the guardians of the temple is a brass golem. This high level monster is only one of the challenges your characters will face should they fight their way through the temple.

It is an interesting adventure that most gamers won’t see coming. Be sure to tell your local game store today that you want a copy. They can order it for you for release day in February.

Brass Golem

Huge construct, unaligned


Armor Class 17
Hit Points 189 (18d12 + 72)
Speed 40 ft.


STR 21 (+5) DEX 9 (–1) CON 19 (+4)
INT 3 (–4) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 1 (–5)


Damage Immunities fire, poison, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons that aren’t adamantine
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages understands the languages of its creator but can’t speak
Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)


Cold Sensitivity. If the golem takes cold damage from a spell or magical effect, it is restrained. At the start of each of its turns while restrained, roll a d6. On a 6, the golem is no longer restrained.
Death Throes. The golem explodes when it is destroyed. All creatures within 30 feet of the golem must make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw, taking 36 (8d8) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Fire Absorption. Whenever the golem is subjected to fire damage, it takes no damage and instead regains a number of hit points equal to the fire damage dealt.
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.

Actions


Multiattack. The golem makes two melee attacks.
Brass Falchion. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d8 + 5) slashing damage plus 14 (4d6) fire damage.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage plus 14 (4d6) fire damage.
Breath Weapon (Recharge 5–6). A cloud of smoke and cinders fills a 20-foot radius. Each creature in that area must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful save. On each of the golem’s turn, roll a d6. On a 6, the cloud disperses. Otherwise, it remains and deals damage as above to creatures entering the area.

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.

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