Unleash 13 New Barbarian Talents and Feats Upon Your 13th Age Game

Crush Your Enemies, See Them Driven Before You, Hear Their Lamentations

Cut down wounded foes with prejudice! Scream in fury as you cross the rubicon in the blink of an eye! Teach the teeming hordes the true meaning of fear and rage! Barbarians strike relentlessly and decisively, cutting through enemy lines before their compatriots can so much as nock an arrow or utter a cantrip. Now you can go beyond the core book and unleash your character’s berserk power in ways you’ve never done before.

13 Barbarian Talents and Feats is the latest in our 13 Class Options series for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game. Inside this 10-page PDF, you will find:

  • 9 New Feats spanning 6 of the existing barbarian talents in the core rules which offer players fresh spins on classic character choices
  • 3 New Adventurer-Tier Talents that will strike terror in your foes’ hearts, help you take severe punishment even when you’re unarmored, or let you swap targets on the fly to aid an ally in need
  • 2 New Champion-Tier Talents for enhancing your mobility on the battlefield and continually bolstering your defenses
  • 2 New Epic-Tier Talents to shake your opponents’ resolve or merge the power of the Icons with your own

Enter the Fray with a Blood-Curdling Howl in the 13th Age.

Download 13 Barbarian Talents and Feats for your 13th Age barbarian today at Jon Brazer Enterprises’ Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

13th Age: A Barbarian Charging into Battle

Few things are as iconic with barbarians as them charging headlong into battle with no fear of the consequences. Everything from the infamous Leeroy Jenkins charge to Conan running into battle and beyond, you point a barbarian at an enemy and they will charge straight at it and attack until it is D.E.A.D. Here we are giving you a talent to do exactly that. The new Champion Tier talent Bellowing Charge sees you going after a far away enemy while the feats make it more difficult for enemies to stop you. Is there a caster on the far side of the battle? Charge straight threw them and take it out. That is what barbarians do and with 13 Barbarian Talents and Feats you can too.

Bellowing Charge

One battle per day, you can move to engage a far away enemy and make a melee attack against them. Enemies between you and your target may still attempt to intercept you, however.
Champion Feat: Add the escalation die to your AC and PD until the start of your next turn. This bonus takes effect after you declare you are using Bellowing Charge, immediately before you move.
Epic Feat: You can now use Bellowing Charge once per battle. Enemies must succeed on a normal save (11+) to intercept you when you charge.

Download 13 Barbarian Talents and Feats for your 13th Age barbarian today at Jon Brazer Enterprises’ Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store. Be sure to check out last week’s preview with the Adventurer Tier talent Brutal Blow.

13th Age: Barbarian’s Brutal Blow

The barbarian class in the 13th Age Roleplaying Game was designed from the ground up to be “straightforward and easy to play.” Not only that, the designers come right out and say that the barbarian is “a good class for a new player.” While this is a great starting point, more experienced players may find the barbarian class to be a bit dull after a while.

That is where our new supplement 13 Barbarian Talents and Feats comes in. We are breathing new life into your barbarian character with a number of brand new talents. There is no better place to start than the Adventurer Tier Talent you can choose at character creation than Brutal Blow. This new talent starts off by letting one of your allies hit harder after you stagger an enemy. However, it really shines when you start taking the feats. The Adventurer Feat gives you a fear aura after staggering a non-mook. By the time you hit epic tier, you are a freaking aspect of terror for all enemies to behold and cower.

Brutal Blow

Whenever one of your attacks staggers a non-mook enemy, a nearby ally of your choice may add your Charisma modifier to their next attack roll.
Adventurer Feat: One battle per day, when you stagger a non-mook enemy, you gain a fear aura for the remainder of that battle. Your base fear threshold is the same as a normal monster of your character level, as shown in the Baseline Stats for Normal Monsters table under DIY Monsters (see the 13th Age Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, Chapter 7: Monsters)—add your Charisma modifier to the number given there.
Champion Feat: The threshold of your fear aura from Brutal Blow is now increased by the escalation die value. Additionally, your chosen nearby ally now adds double your Charisma modifier to their next attack roll when Brutal Blow is triggered.
Epic Feat: You can now gain a fear aura from Brutal Blow in every battle you fight. Additionally, you now double your Charisma modifier before adding it to your fear threshold.

Download 13 Barbarian Talents and Feats for your 13th Age barbarian today at Jon Brazer Enterprises’ Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

Pathfinder: A Pteranodon Shifter

We’ve talked in the past about what is inside the Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness. A decent chunk of it involves archetypes that require a specific race to play. However, there are quite a few options that can be taken by anyone, even if they are themed for a specific race.

New shifter aspects are a great example of this. Sure all the reptilian-themed options are listed under lizardfolk, but there is no reason why a human or a dwarf cannot take these. So let me show you one of these.

Pteranodon

The aspect of the pteranodon transforms a shifter into a dextrous dervish and a formidable flying combatant as well.
Minor Form: You gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC and a +1 bonus on Initiative checks. At 8th level, these bonuses increase to +2, and at 15th level they increase to +3.
Major Form: Your shape changes to that of a pteranodon. While in this form, you gain a fly speed of 40 feet (clumsy), low-light vision, and a +4 racial bonus on vision-based Perception checks. At 8th level, your fly speed increases to 60 feet (poor), your racial bonus on Perception checks increases to +6, and you gain a primary bite attack (1d8 damage). At 15th level, your fly speed increases to 60 feet (average), and you gain the Improved Natural Attack feat for your bite attacks as well as the Flyby Attack feat.

Download the Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness today at the JBE Shop for your Pathfinder game. You can also find it at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Running an Epic Con Game: Adventure Preparation

If you want to run a game at a convention, you want it to be epic and for people to remember both you and your game. Much of that has to do with what you do before you get to the table as much as what you do during the game. Previously, we talked about how you make pregen characters and set up the character sheets. Today we are looking at preparation for your adventure.

1) Decide What to Show Off

When you are running a game, the most important thing is showing how is this game different. If you are running what would otherwise be a Pathfinder and D&D adventure just in a different system, the gamers leaving the table will think they might as well have been playing one of those games. You need to show them what is different with this game to make them want to give up their regular game and play the game you are running.

Take Traveller for example. Unlike D&D/Pathfinder, the combat and skills are the same system and skills can switch their “attributes” depending on the situation so any introduction convention game should show these off. So firing a gun uses See Dex and the Gun Combat skill. However, if a player wants to perform a ballistics test on the weapon, that would use Intellect or Education. So I would make sure to show off how those skills can switch attributes. If your game lets magic users cast unlimited spells but have to make a roll, make the adventure that requires magical solution.

This does not have to be exclusively about system. Setting is just as important a difference to communicate. If your game makes dragons far more approachable and not be a bag of fire-breathing hit points, show that off in your game. If your setting has a major city made of giant mushrooms and pixies are in charge of construction, show that off. D&D and Pathfinder tend to take themselves seriously so an adventure and setting that was more light-hearted would be a welcome change. Show that off.

And with that we move to our second point.

2) Aim to Use 75% Of the Time

If you have a two-hour time slot, make a 90-minute adventures. Four hours? Make a three-hour adventure? If you run over your time, players are going to be unhappy with you and remember your game in a negative light. Players will be players and will screw around. Good. They should. If they do, that means they are enjoying your game. But that uses time you would otherwise use for your game. Leave time for them for sheer enjoyment. 75% is a good aim. If you finish with an hour to spare, they have extra time to wander the dealer’s hall; they won’t be upset. They will be unhappy if you are cutting into their lunch break or missing the start of their next game. Build in time for that.

My final point involves the adventure itself.

3) Structure a 4 Act Adventure

When you make a four-hour adventure, divide the adventure into four parts:

  1. Character Evaluation / Introduction
  2. The Hook
  3. The Twist
  4. The Finale

Character evaluation begins the moment you and a player get to the table. The players present get to start looking at the character sheets right away and pick what they want to play. Reward the early arrivers with being able to get the character they want.

Introduction is where you tell the players what the adventure is. This is when the wounded guard stumbles into the tavern reporting that the prince is taken before dying. Here is where the players get the mission before the message self destructs. Try to keep this part to no more than half hour.

Second part is the hook. Here is where the players go, “This is fun!” Show off what makes this game fun. The twist is pure plot, where something is revealed or discovered. These two parts should take 30 minutes to an hour in a typical four-hour game.

One of these two sections should be combat. The other should be problem solving. If both of these are problem solving, the players will get tired and worn out. If both are combat, it will be a slog and get to be boring. Making each different keeps them interesting and lively.

The final section is the climax. The finale should be a surprise to you let alone everyone else at the table. Sure you should have an idea of how it goes, but players should be allowed to do whatever they want. If the big bad is guarding a MacGuffin and you figure they are going to fight the big bad in a climatic battle and they instead decide to sneak past and steal it, don’t put unreasonable impediments in their way; let them do it their way. Forcing them to do it your way will make them think their choices have no impact on the game, and it will spoil their fun. Let them do what they want.

If you are looking for an excellent adventure to run for a convention game for Pathfinder or D&D 5e, grab yourself the adventure Deadly Delves: Along Came a Spider. Download now at the JonBrazer.com, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

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.

Running an Epic Con Game: The Character Sheet

It is convention season and we at JBE want to help every GM running a roleplaying game at the con—whether it is published by my company or not—run something that players will remember. For a publisher, an introductory con game is a chance to sell players on your product. For a home GM running at a con, it is a chance for you to get experience running a game and share your love for a game or an adventure or whatever with others. To help players remember you and the game you ran, you should follow some best practices to make this introductory experience epic for the players. This is the first in our series of Running an Epic Con Game. Follow the whole series here.

Today we are starting off with the most basic part of any game that all players interact with: the character sheet. In a matter of minutes someone who has never played a game before, lacking any knowledge of the basic rules of the system, has to determine which of these pieces of paper they should become for the next four hours. The ease of use of that sheet is going to be a huge part of whether they have fun a the table. If the player cannot understand how these numbers translate into a character, it gets frustrating fast. This bring us to point number one:

Have a Story Accompanying the Character Sheet

We all play role playing games instead of miniature games or board games because of the story. We want a story that we can remember and get into. So give us one right away with the character. Was this character a former circus performer that moonlighted as a cat burglar before becoming an adventure? Tell us what happened to make the person change professions. Was the character a war hero? Telling us about their part in the war is far more interesting than reading “Class: Fighter 2, Background: Military.”

And don’t just make it a wall of text. Have a paragraph or two of the charcter’s backstory and then finish it off with some bullet points for who should take this character. Going back to the cat burglar for a second, those points should read something like,

This is the character for you if you like:

  • Hiding from the authorities from above
  • Taking dangerous risks for a big pay out
  • Finding our the truth through less than legal means

Being able to weed through the characters the player is not interested quickly allows them to quickly find one they enjoy.

From there the player begins to make the character their own. The best way to make the character their own is allow for some customization. This brings me to my second point:

Allow for Customization

Traveller is great for this. In the game, you get skill points from where you grew up, the careers you have chosen, and from connections you have with other players. In Traveller con games that I run, I will have already spent the skill points for the character’s early years and careers. However the players decide how they spend the skill points for connections. This gives them an excuse to get to know each other’s characters right away and has the players thinking about their character sheet.

That’s the real trick right here: having the players think about their character sheets. Between a list of skills, equipment, and abilities, a character sheet can be bit overwhelming to those that never played the system before. If you have them focus on one part of it for a few moments and get them thinking about it, the rest quickly becomes more manageable. Not only that when we do play the game, the players are more familiar with their character and are able to make rolls quicker, saving the game time. So if you the system you are playing has skill points or dots or whatever, hold a few back and let the players choose how they want to spend them. You’ll probably be repeating the instructions on how many they can spend, the maximum they can have in any one thing, or whatever over and over again, but it is worth it to let players feel like they own this character.

Here is the most important customization of all: let the players name their characters. Unless there is some massively important reason why they cannot name their characters, players should be allowed to do so. This helps them to feel that this character is my own, making the adventure you are about to run more personal and thus more memorable. Even if you were doing and adventure like, “everyone is from the same family,” the players should still be able to choose their name. Perhaps someone is playing a cousin with a different last name or someone adopted by the family and never took the family name. The family member could have gotten married and taken their partner’s last name. Maybe they changed their name because they hated their parents. The possibilities are endless. Let players make the characters their own.

Speaking of players making their characters their own, this bring us to our third and final point on the subject of character sheets:

Let the Players Keep Their Sheets

If you are running the exact same game five times that weekend, make the character on a computer and print off five copies of the character sheet. There are usually a form fillable PDF somewhere on the web for the game (frequently at the publisher’s website). Hang on one moment.

*Opens the door to the publisher community*

Publishers, if you do not have a form fillable PDF of your character sheet downloadable from your website, make one!!!

*Closes door*

Where was I? Oh yes, if for whatever reason you can’t prefill a PDF and print off multiple copies, fill it out by hand and make copies of the character sheet. Every player should walk away from the game with a free character sheet. No exceptions. This is the memento from the game. This helps them remember their character and your game. This will help players remember your game long after you part ways with the players.

If you need an adventure to run at your next convention, may we suggest the ones on this last here for D&D 5e and Pathfinder 1e.

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.

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