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Rising Phoenix Games is hosting May's RPG Blog Carnival. The theme for May is "At World's End", and you can find the introductory post at risingphoenixgames.com/blog/at-worlds-end/
I realize this is a slightly different post from what you usually find here, but I'd especially love to see Pathfinder Third Party Publishers and Designers/Writers/Artists/Cartographers represented, especially because 'tis the season of Paizo Con.
If you're a blogless writer who wants to participate, send me a PM and we'll see what we can do.
Enjoy the Apocalypse.
My guess it's the specific target number and the submission is expected to be as close to it as possible.
Having written for Wayward Rogues Publishing before, I'd agree with Drejk. They were well pleased when I hit the mark spot on.
I'd say it depends on skill/experience. I'd charge per page, since you're not writing the words and may have pictures on a page. I'd also break it down:
This is based on my experience as a web designer and some inDesign work I outsourced. My advice is to plan well and be in dialogue with your client.
A Dhampir would actually be perfect. For interest sake, has anyone tried the Cruoromancer archetype (from Advanced Race Guide)?
I'm a little confused with Experimental Spellcaster. I think I can choose any spell casting class? But I don't understand how I use the slots. Is it limited by my caster level in my current class? Undead is a 2nd level Cleric effect word, so am I just getting a bunch of free 2nd level spell slots?
The Undead Master feat (ultimate magic) says that your caster level counts as +4 higher for how many undead you animate, but does not mention how many you can control. If it only counts for animation then it's completely useless, but if it counts for both animation and control it's very powerful.
I take it that if you're using animate dead, the undead you animate are also controlled. Like you say, it would be useless otherwise.
Animate Dead's Spell Description wrote:
The undead you create remain under your control indefinitely.
I'm building a level 7 Pathfinder necromancer. The GM says any Paizo hardcover is allowed. I want to min max him for animate dead, so I can have a legion of undead soldiers.
Any good ideas regarding feats? Since I only get Animate Dead at level 7, I don't think a metamagic feat will help much until later. I could multiclass to get desecrate, but then I loose animate dead... what's a necromancer to do?
Our second session happened a few weeks ago. My wife's character started on her naming quest, only to gain an unlikely ally (Rugio, a well known troublemaker) and encounter the ghost of her long dead sister.
Exploring a dark cave system, Rugio suddenly disappeared just before my wife's character was attacked by a monster. The battle was going badly before Rugio struck from the dark, a sneak attack saving the day. Rugio had been pretty annoying up till that point for her, but he's developing into an important support character with a deep backstory.
Again, we used no minis or maps. Actually, I pretty much only looked up the monsters stats and the only tool we used was the Star Wars Dice app from Fantasy Flight. We didn't even use a character sheet!
I think that's one of the nicest things about roleplaying; you can get by with very little.
Don't get me wrong, I've got a huge collection of minis, maps, books, dice, props, everything a GM could need, but it was nice to simply play. I don't think I could GM at this level without a deep understanding of the rules though.
Neil Spicer wrote:
Your proposal spends a lot more time outlining how the PCs need to amass the alliances, knowledge, and resources to effectively combat the latter moreso than the former. And, in many ways, the thunderbird comes off sounding like it's the "villain" rather than the allied hags. So, your proposal doesn't quite do justice to the hags enough that they pervade the plot and the locale in a way that puts them front-and-center.
Question. Surely the suspicion mechanic does a lot to keep the hags as the central villains? Sure, there's a big fight with the thunderbird, but the suspicion mechanic makes the hags pervasive. I understand that you're talking about the write up, but I think Nick has managed to engage the players here in a way that makes the hags stand out?
I love the strong image of Hyrantam, the city in the spires, that got me really excited.
I also think you brought a very strong design approach, with both sand box and scripted elements. This makes your adventure a resource as well as an adventure, which is why I would pay my hard earned money to add this to my collection.
Your sea dragon is nice. It's funny how we often think of success or failure and not success or greater success. This guy rewards careful players in a way I really like.
Jetstream bow, yes please. Thematic and useful.
I loved your pitch overall, well done and good luck.
Well, the giant monster template will be very useful. Giant dire rats, giant snow lions, that sort of thing.
You can also check out the Monsters by Terrain page on the PRD for more ideas. Especially check out Plains (Cold).
For the World Wound, I highly recommend reading Dave Gross's King of Chaos. It's not a reference book, but packed with cool ideas.
The mummy ooze gains temporary hit points equal to the five times amount of constitution damage dealt.
The mummy ooze gains temporary hit points equal to five times the amount of constitution damage dealt.
Nit picked :-)
Also, don't specifically mention the bodies in the opening line... there may be no bodies around it at all.
Good points Wolin, all of them! Thanks for the feedback.
Here's one of my earlier concepts (because I'll keep the better ones for next year).
I did a few quick mockup sketches, then I did this digital mockup in MS Paint. I would have then done a proper pencil drawing on grid paper, inking and followed that with a clean up in Photoshop.
The basic concept is that the PCs, starting to the south, must take on a boss type who is standing on the magically supported platform (a chunk of floating rock). His minions surround him, attempting to stop the PCs advance. In the end I figured this would be too simple for the contest, and I couldn't tie it to one place that could really use a volcano map (Droskars Crag was my thinking, but that has a bunch of maps already).
Another issue was the elevations. Make it too steep and you bog down the game, too shallow and it gets boring. So this map works great at lower levels, but when everyone and their uncle can fly it looses much of its usefulness.
Thanks again Amanuensis! That enraged template is great.
I combined the two consume powers into one, which I think makes loads more sense and is more in line with my original concept:
Seething Aggression (Sp) a seething slime is empowered by the aggression of others. When a creature within 30 feet of a seething slime attempts an attack, uses the barbarian's rage ability, makes an Intimidate check or otherwise acts in a hostile manner, the seething slime gains 2 temporary hit points. For every 10 hit points gained this way, even if they are subsequently lost, the seething slime gains a +1 bonus to its Strength and Constitution. For every 2 points of Constitution gained, the seething slime gains 2 hit points per Hit Dice. A creature can attempt to calm their emotions by making a DC 14 Will save once per round, preventing this ability from triggering. Attempting this save also ends a barbarian's rage. The spell calm emotions removes all bonuses gained from seething aggression and represses this ability for the duration of the spell, but does not otherwise affect the seething slime.
I posted an updated version of the seething slime on the blog at www.risingphoenixgames.com/blog. Happy blog carnival!
Another monster approaches!
I'm wondering about its special abilities and weaknesses. My concept is that it's an ooze that grows stronger from aggression. For weaknesses I thought good or mithril would be great, but too hard to come by at a low level, so I went silver and sonic instead.
Viscous slime forms disparate shapes within its semitransparent green mass.
Seething slimes seek out the violent and hateful places of the world, feeding off the ire of those around them.
Neil Spicer wrote:
...you really need to start investing in the tools and knowledge which will allow you to do it in a professional, responsible, and prepared manner.
If I hadn't bought my hardcover copy of the Inner Sea Guide I'd be quite lost. And yes, there are some great wikis, but the Guide is the guide that guides! (It also has maps!)
Certainly many of you have more experience than I do, but I do think that design, by definition, is an iterative process that requires “feedback”. That feedback takes many forms, such as testing, gathering of opinions and research, which is fed back into the design. Managing this feedback effectively, while maintaining their “personal voice”, is a critical skill for a good designer. After all, we’re not designing in a vacuum; we’re designing for an audience whose opinion is important.
Feedback is already such an integral part of the contest; RPG SS would be nothing without the judges giving their feedback after each round. If feedback is really hurting the process, the contest or masking the true ability of the contestants, then that’s going to come to light at some point. Rather, I think that whatever feedback contestants are receiving from their pit-crews they’re assimilating and it’s making them better designers overall.
I know there are a bunch of people playing 1-on-1 campaigns, and I'd love to hear about your experiences. What worked, what didn't, what would you try differently?
My wife and I started our 1-on-1 campaign yesterday. Honestly, we’ve been talking about playing for ages, but things finally fell into place. I knew I didn’t want to go rules heavy, even though my wife is an experienced player (her PFS character is at least a level above mine). So, for our first session, we didn’t even touch the dice. I’m hoping this also means we can quickly pick up the game at any time, just using the apps I have on my phone.
We started out with a Q&A. What did her character do? Did she have any family? How old was she? What was she good at, what was she bad at? Did she have friends? What about enemies? This built up the backstory, but it also helped us stat up her character. Taking a huge departure from the norm, we decided I’d keep her character sheet; she’d be playing blind, according to what she thought her character was good at, not what’s on the paper.
The questions quickly developed into a story. When my wife couldn’t quite decide on a name for her character, I said “Well, that’s because the day of your naming quest is fast approaching, upon which your name shall be decided.” Spiced with the sudden revelation of an unknown sister who had vanished during her own naming quest and the guilt of parents who had kept this a secret for so long and BANG, we had several plot hooks.
NPCs and pivotal monsters were also developed in the same way, all becoming firmly linked to the characters life and the story we’re telling.
It also rescued “mistakes”. At one point I introduced a character, Rujio, who it was later discovered would be taking his naming quest on the same day as my wife’s character.
This process made the whole game much more collaborative, so we’re both deeply invested in it after only a few hours of what was essentially character creation.
Rusted Iron Games wrote:
Thank you to everyone who submitted your ideas. There were many more good ideas then my budget allowed me to select for development. I encourage everyone who submitted to continue pursuing freelance game design opportunities if that is your goal.
Thanks Russ! Good luck with the project!
it doesn't make a lot of sense and it raises some issues (How do the individual creatures know to which swarm they belong? How do I know which swarm I'm attacking if two or more share the same square?).
I see it as a necessary abstraction, I usually keep my swarms adjacent to each other to make them one whole, and never in the same square (something I'll have to address specifically too). But the D&D Boardgame handles things a little differently, using one miniature, even a medium sized one, to represent a swarm that fills a 4 x 4 inch tile (YAY, spiders swarms in the Legend of Drizzt), so certainly your point is valid.
Thank you so much! I wasn't quite sure how to word the main attack or where to find more info, now I do.
Racial bonuses confuse me a little. I assume I just decide what racial bonuses to add in and write them up? How should I go about calculating this?
I really like the sight-based attack as an extension to this concept, something I’ll keep in mind.
Ha, expect the unexpected. Seriously though, I suppose the name is misleading. Maybe Brain Fly Swarm…? I’ll have to think about it.
Mechanically, many swarms act as one big one, or at least that’s what I understand from the line in the swarm subtype:
Thanks again, this was very useful feedback!
Chris, I had to give your map a shout out on my blog. Your concept really leaves me feeling inspired. I think it's because I could easily see this location as the hub that connects to all the other places in a campaign. I think that didn't exactly work in your favour here, but I'm sure it will inspire other GMs in their own campaigns.
Push it to the max next year and blow everyone away.
Here's my next one. Not that I really have the time, but I'd love to work my way through the CRs.
This creature is similar to some existing creatures, but I like that it provides a variation on existing concepts at a lower CR.
A dreadful hum of buzzing wings emanates from a dark cloud of flying insects.
Plague flies were likely a foul byproduct of long standing necrotic manifestations and the meddling of powerful necromancers. Individually, the flies are a nuisance, ever present where death lingers. When left unchecked, however, swarms of plague flies can quickly bring nations to their knees. More than one conquering militia has had their victory soured as legions of their enemies arose once more to do battle, surrounded by a roiling black cloud of flies.
Plague Fly Zombie
A plague fly zombie is a rotting creature infested with tiny flies that roil beneath its skin. Treat a plague fly zombie as a standard zombie, although it must contain an infestation of plague flies, which multiply as per the Rapid Multiplication ability, as described above. A randomly encountered plague fly zombie contains 1d4 plague fly swarms.
Suz, you have an idea you love and obvious passion. That's a great place to be. My two coppers, as someone who's had great ideas and passion and has learned to steer things better through trial and error:
Start small. Break your massive idea down into pieces. Find that one brilliant piece and make that. Make it yourself. If others like it, they'll want to help you. And you'll have proven your concept to them.
Write a Design Document. There are loads of great tutorials and blogs that explain what this is and how to use it. Write this first, and keep updating it as you go. It really, really helps to keep your aim straight and true. You'll probably find that you start steeling from this document to make your actual adventure.
Don't use Paizo's setting. Find a setting you can use, or make your own. I created Avernos for this purpose, and it has been a great ride. Kyrt-ryder certainly has a good idea too.
Get a compatibility license and self publish or find a third party publisher who likes what you've done. Sell your product (for real cash). The reason isn't the money. The money is your indicator of how much people like what you've done. Money also means you can make a more awesome product at the end of the day, market it properly and, to be honest, it's a great motivator. It also means that people will take you more seriously.
Good luck and keep us in the loop!
All the fun of RPG SS Season 9 has me inspired, so I decided to make some monsters of my own, which I'll now release into the wilds (mwahaha!!!). Please feel free to critique and post your own monster ideas. I figure any CR is fine, let's just practice what we've learned from Season 9.
My first monster is kind of a poor mans homunculus...
Spider like mechanical legs and a needle sharp probe jut out from the rim of a glass jar. Within the liquid, a single eye swims about.
Eye in a Jar CR 1/2
----- Defense -----
----- Offense -----
----- Statistics -----
----- Ecology -----
----- Special Abilities -----
Many a suspicious mage has constructed an eye in a jar to watch over his lieutenants, sacrificing one of his own eyes for the ability to keep a constant watch on his affairs. Shrewder mages, however, prefer to use the eyes of trusted subordinates, or even monstrous allies, to ensure a constant vigil over their domain. A common punishment for a hapless watchman who neglects his duty is the removal of both eyes to be placed in separate jars. Should the unwilling donor die in the process of removing the eyes, the eye in a jar, although much less useful, can still be used as a sentry, in which case they are often instructed to trigger traps against any intruder.
Consummate spies, an eye in a jar is the perfect substitute for a casting of arcane eye, due to their longevity and their ability to travel to other planes of existence while maintaining the magical link to their donor.
I've got a question, which I'm sure has been answered elsewhere, but how does the copyright work for our submissions? Could I, for example, post my submission on my blog once the issue comes out? Assuming of course that my submission was accepted. I appreciate that Wayfinder is free, and thus easy to share, but could I re-use anything I create (of course, without infringing on Paizo IP)?
I love this, although I do think that there should be some mechanical tie in with the junk covered shell.
Also, how easy is it to remove an item once it's stuck to the shell? Especially after coral has grown over it.
I really like the living treasure chest aspect of this beastie, which would establish the scrapshell as a staple of any underwater adventure.
I've often wondered how I could tie all my player's character backstories together in a way that would really add value to the story and the campaign as a whole. A buddy of mine wrote a great post that addresses this, so I thought I'd share, especially because his solution would work perfectly with Pathfinder:
Captain Phoenix wrote:
Six of the eight maps I voted for made it through, and I'd say I'm not overly surprised by the 16 that got into round 3, they're all great. Okay, actually there's one I would have swapped out for another that didn't make it, but that just proves that there were many great maps, a great round! Surely the bards will sing of Season 9 for years to come.
By "bards" I mean Brigg ;-)