Pathfinder 1e: Character Codex Coming Soon

If you follow Jon Brazer Enterprises on Twitter or Facebook, you may have seen the announcement that we are working on our next major 1e Pathfinder project. We call it the Book of Beasts: Character Codex. This book is going to be similar to the NPC Codex by Paizo in that it provides 20 NPCs—one for each level—for each class detailed in the book. This way you always have an NPC at the level you need for that class. Unlike the original Codex, this book will focus on classes not in the core rulebook. We will be covering classes detailed in the Advanced Player’s Guide, Advanced Class Guide, and Ultimate Magic.

The obvious question is, “Why do this now?” Pathfinder 1e is no longer supported by the main company and at least some portion of the audience has moved to the new edition. So why continue to support the older edition? First and foremost, we at JBE prefer the older edition. This is the edition we enjoy, and we want to continue supporting it. Why didn’t we do this book years ago when it was still the current edition? Honestly, I always expected Paizo to do it. I learned a strong lesson from the Book of the River Nations, where we took the OGL Kingmaker rules and reprinted them in a standalone book for players: namely “don’t do books that I expect the main company to do in the future.” While the book sold incredibly well at the time and is still one of our top 3 selling books of all time, sales of it essentially ended the moment that Ultimate Campaign was released. So we held off on a number of very good ideas for Pathfinder 1e that we expected to be done by the primary publisher. Now that they’ve moved on and we are still here, we think now is a good time to produce those books and adventures we talked about before. Watch this space for more Pathfinder 1e books and blog posts.

We will be releasing this book as a subscription and bundling it all up when complete. We’re borrowing this idea from some of our fellow publishers that the earlier you subscribe to this project, the lower the price will be. The price will go up as we add more PDFs to the subscription. So if you know you are going to want this, subscribe as soon as it comes out. What will subscribers get? They get the individual PDFs and a PDF of the final Book of Beasts: Character Codex Compendium as well as a coupon to order the final print version at a reduced price. As an added bonus, subscribers will also get the Hero Lab classic files of the characters. We will be selling them separately for those that are not interested in the full subscription, but subscribers get them included.

So what is the scope of the Character Codex Subscription? As mentioned above, we’re limiting the classes we’re drawing from the Advanced Player’s Guide, Ultimate Magic, and the Advanced Class Guide. We will be utilizing feats, spells and archetypes from these books plus the core rulebook, Ultimate Combat, and the Advanced Race Guide. That will provide you with some excellent NPCs from a diverse set of books. Some quick math though: 18-ish pages for 17 classes in those three books comes to over 300 pages for the NPCs. Note that doesn’t include any possible appendixes we know we’ll need (eidolons, mounts, familiars, etc) let alone any we haven’t thought of yet, nor anything else that will require pages (i.e. Title Page, OGL, etc). That is more than a little intimidating for a company our size. Currently, the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium is our largest book at around 250 pages and that took 2 years and a lot of sweat to finish. So we are thinking of covering 12 classes in this outing. That puts this project at around 200 pages before everything mentioned above. While still a stretch, it is considerably more manageable.

The question then becomes which classes do we include. The warpriest is almost ready to send off to the editors, and we have artwork picked out for the arcanist, magus, and slayer classes so they’re definitely in. That still leaves us 8 classes to pick. This is where you come in. Tell us what classes you want to see by voting in the poll below. If you don’t see the poll because of the browser you are using or various settings or if there are some classes you want covered above all others, please leave us a comment below.

Are you excited for this project, for additional Pathfinder 1e support? Is there something you want us to produce that is not yet available? We want to hear your voice. Tell us your thoughts. Post a comment and let your voice be heard.

Download all of JBE’s Pathfinder 1e books at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Pathfinder 1e: NPC or Monster “Codex” II?

After a number of conversations, I have hear a desire for either a spiritual successor to Paizo’s Monster Codex or the NPC Codex. I sat back, thought about it and it seems that such a product is not only possible but quite doable. I know I never did it before because I was always expecting Paizo to do such a book. Since that obviously never transpired and there appears to still be a desire for such a product, I would like to ask you for your opinion. Which appeals to you more?

Vote in the poll above and make sure to leave a comment below if you feel strongly about either book or some aspect of it. Perhaps you want it to focus on the Advanced Players Guide, it maybe you want Ultimate Psionic classes mixed in. Maybe you want more occultist minotaurs and shifter samsarans instead of elf witches or halfling inquisitors? Share your thoughts.

After voting, make sure you stop over at DriveThruRPG and grab one of our many adventures while they are in sale for only $5. This sale lasts only a few more days do head over there now.

Pathfinder 1e: 3 of Our Highest Rated Adventures

We at Jon Brazer Enterprises are proud of our Pathfinder adventures. We bring you high quality adventures with awesome artwork. Having said that, we’re obviously biased. We today we are sharing with you the opinions of those unbiased: reviewers. Here are three of our highest-rated adventures. With quality this good, Pathfinder 1e GMs looking for new adventures will want to download them now.

Deadly Delves: The Gilded Gauntlet

– Level 9

Two different reviewers gave Deadly Delves: The Gilded Gauntlet 5 Stars. The first, Endzeitgeist, had this to say about it:

“[I]t’s very hard to generate a module that challenges veterans, yet remains FAIR. The gilded gauntlet manages just that. This is one of the hardest dungeon-complexes I have ever had the pleasure to run, but it is hard without resorting to ridiculous amounts of save-or-suck tricks or unfair enemy/hazard placement, instead focusing on presenting a tightly-woven, intricate web of unique rooms and tricks, on showing what you can do with the format. In short, this is one of the best examples of a gauntlet-style dungeon I have ever seen…also thanks to its impressive use of blending terrain, strategy and cartography in its challenges.

“This is a module that requires both brains and brawn to solve and it will challenge even groups that usually waltz through published modules. In short: This is glorious. It may not win any rewards for its story, but it doesn’t have to – it is FUN. Yes, capital letters. If you and your group are bored, if you’re looking for a challenge that blends new-school tactics and strategy with old-school emphasis on smarts, then this is the dungeon for you. I absolutely adored this dungeon and consider it an excellent and uncommon option that feels like a refreshing breath of fresh air in the genre of new school dungeon explorations. The sheer diversity of the challenges posed herein and the clever use of the maps and terrain in particular elevate this adventure beyond its brethren. Hence, it is my pleasure to award this 5 stars + seal of approval – and this qualifies as a candidate for my Top Ten of 2017.”

Another review that gave it 5 stars also had this to say about it.

“There are… many out-of-the-box problems that need to be carefully considered. I really liked this approach- the information the characters require is readily available, but making sense of it is key. Further, the encounters mix monsters with hazards in interesting environments. There’s a lot of content for the price, and I look forward to using it.”

Download this adventure at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, the Open Gaming Store, or the JBE Shop.

Deadly Delves: To Claw the Surface

– Level 1

Deadly Delves: To Claw the Surface (PFRPG)Our next 5-Star rated adventure is Deadly Delves: To Claw the Surface. This adventure features the PCs falling down deep inside a cave tunnel and have to find their way back our again. But what did reviewer Endzeitgeist have to say when he gave it such a high rating? He said:

“What we have here, to put it bluntly, is excellence. The attention to detail and amazing atmosphere, the creative set-pieces that organically flow together, the blending and development of themes – they all fit together so well. It’s weird, really – the adventure is, for all intents and purposes, very technical in its craftsmanship. At the same time, though, it also manages to evoke a sense of atmosphere you only very rarely get to see. In fact, this felt in many instances almost like an OSR-module, with so much care poured into the details, the small bits. There is a subtle, playful artistry in this adventure, one that made me reminisce about Tomb Raider, about some survival movies, about classic dwarven-themed adventures and underworld exploration…but at the same time, the adventure manages to somehow transcend all these diverse influences, weaving them into something distinct, novel and exciting.

“I’ll just come out and say it: This is one of the best 1st level modules available for PFRPG. It’s, in fact, good enough to warrant checking out even if you play another system. This is a true gem, and will receive 5 stars + my seal of approval, granted without any hesitation. It also qualifies as a candidate for my Top Ten of 2017.”

Download this adventure at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, the Open Gaming Store, or the JBE Shop.

Deadly Delves: Nine Lives For Petane

– Level 12

The last one we’re showcasing today is the highest level of the three. Deadly Delves: Nine Lives for Petane takes place in a dungeon where the PCs are looking for the corpse of a specific person and have to resurrect them to find out which is which. They have a magic item that will help them in this endeavor, but it features a powerful curse for those that use it. When Endzeitgeist gave it his 5 Star rating, he had this to say about it:

“I wasn’t surprised to see this adventure sport pretty interesting and challenging adversaries. What did surprise me, though, was how well this adventure played. This is a dungeon that works better in play than on paper, and the tie-in with the easily replaced divine angles, demons and ancient cultures can make this work within the context of a ton of different settings[.] … The amulet, as a powerful angle, can provide a helpful change of pace for high-powered games and potentially provide a cool angle to go further planar.

“Beyond the stats and mechanical aspects, this module, as a whole, makes for one of the few rewarding high-level modules out there. All in all, this one does not necessarily reinvent the wheel, but doesn’t have to. It is a cool, interesting module that can, if you choose, provide a great transition towards the world of high-level gaming. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.”

Download this adventure at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, the Open Gaming Store, or the JBE Shop.

Pathfinder 1e: Errata Coming Soon

At Jon Brazer Enterprises, we pride ourselves on our quality of work. Our artwork is top notch and our writing is even better. We always strive to deliver the best role playing game books to you. That is the reputation we want and always strive for with every book we release.

The Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness was not our best work. A number of errors made it into the final text. Normally we would have fixed them, uploaded a new version, and moved on. However, we did not for this book. I made the less than wise call of not doing that since we were gearing up for the new version of the game at that point.

Since then, fans have continued to ask for an updated version of this book. We listened to you and are addressing those issues. We should make sure all our books are up to our high standards, not leaving any book behind. Permitting such mistakes to go unresolved regardless of edition is forthcoming is a blot on our resume that we do not want. Yesterday I started going through the book to address the issues with the book described in a review by Endzeitgeist. Once it is completed, we will release an updated PDF. We will also make the changes available as a viewable Google Doc for those with a print book to easily see what was changed.

If you have any other issues with this or any of our other books, please let us know over at our Facebook group, Twitter, or in a comment to our blog. We will work to insure our quality of work is high and your feedback is an important part of that.

Treat Yourself After the Holidays Sale

Didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas? Trying to figure out if you got more ugly sweaters or socks? Another “World’s Greatest” mug just not doing it for you this year? We at JBE understand and figure it is time you give yourself a little Christmas present. Whether you play Pathfinder 1e, D&D 5e, 13th Age, or 1e Mongoose Traveller, we have RPG PDFs just for you at 25% off their regular price at the JBE Shop.

Head over to the JBE Shop now to get all the races, class options, spells, magic items, adventures, monsters and more for your game. Any PDF that we have to download that is normally $2 or more, you can grab right now for 25% off. That is an awesome deal that you should not pass up.

This lasts only until the new year so grab these deals now. Head over the JBE Shop today.

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.

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.

Pathfinder 1e: Dark Soldier

Image by Matt Bulahao

The dark folk have not gotten much love. These underground dark reflections of the humanoid races rarely held the spotlight. So I am going to work to fix that. Below is a new entry into the society of of the dark folk, the dark soldier. These fighting legions keep their people safe from the greater dangers of the underground world, be they monstrous in origin or other humanoids. While open warfare is a rarity among the dark folk, dark soldiers frequently serve as body guards for the dark guildmasters protecting them from assassination attempts.

If you need more darkness-themed monsters in your game, check out the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane, on sale now at DriveThruRPG. Check out all of JBE’s Pathfinder 1e titles while they are 40% off their regular price at DriveThruRPG. Download now.

Dark Soldier CR/HD 3

Init +1; Perception +8 (see in darkness)
Size Medium; Speed 30 ft.


Defenses

AC 17 (touch 12, flat-footed 15); Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +2; CMD 18
hp 40
Weakness light blindness


Attacks


Melee 2 short swords +6 (1d6+4/17–20)
Ranged dagger +4 (1d4+8/19–20)
Attack Options critical striker, poison use, stun attack (Fort DC 7, stunned for 1 round, success negates); CMB +6


Statistics


Utility Spells at will—darkness, detect magic
Str +4, Dex +1, Con +2; Intimidate +11, Perception +8, Stealth +8
XP 800; CN humanoid (dark folk)


Special Abilities


Death Throes (Su) When a dark soldier is slain, its body combusts in a flash of bright white light, leaving its gear in a heap on the ground. All creatures within a 10-foot burst must make a DC 12 Fortitude save or be blinded for 1d6 rounds. Other creatures of the dark folk subtype within 10 feet are blinded for 1 round on a successful saving throw, due to their light blindness. The save is Constitution-based.

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