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Mephit

Chuck Wright's page

Layout and Design, Frog God Games. 1,287 posts (1,578 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.



Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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The title says it all. Please follow my link to the Frog Blog!

"Dunes of Desolation" Art Preview!

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

http://froggodgames.com/blog/fgg-welcomes-john-ling

It's great to have you aboard, John!

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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The Lost Lands: Sword of Air Kickstarter

Currently, this epic tome (estimated page count 500+) consists of several parts:

1. The Hel’s Temple Dungeon—kind of like Tomb of Horrors on crack. This six-level, trap-and-puzzle infested dungeon formed the basis of Bill's game through his high school and college years. Clark Peterson’s very own Bannor the Paladin spent several real life months in the place, and, sadly, finished the objective. This is where the fragments of the fabled Sword of Air can be found…perhaps.

2. The Wilderness of the Lost Lands extending to the humanoid-infested Deepfells Mountains and providing detail about the nearby Wizard’s Wall. This so-called “wall” was raised by the archmages Margon and Alycthron harnessing the Spirit of the Stoneheart Mountains to raise the land itself, creating a massive escarpment to block invaders from the Haunted Steppes. These archmages are actual player characters from the early 1980s who live on in the legends of the Lost Lands. Over 70 unique encounter areas are detailed, and each one is a mini-adventure in itself. New wilderness areas may be added based on bonus goals described below!

3. The Ruined City of Tsen. Legend has it the city was destroyed by a falling meteor. This place forms an aboveground dungeon area the size of a city, with over 100 detailed encounter areas. It’s a very dark place…even at noon.

4. The Wizard’s Feud—This campaign-style adventure pits the players in a long-running series of intrigues and battles between two archmages. Which side will they take? Their actions all play into the overall quest, and could well determine which side wins. Law and Chaos are not always what they seem, and if the wrong decisions are made, the entire ordeal could fail. Remember, one of the wizards WANTS Tsathogga to win.

5. New monsters, new demons, new spells, and new rules for various aspects of play.

6. [Bonus level—see bonus goals below] The Tower of Bells. This dungeon is the result of the workshop Bill ran at PaizoCon 2013, where the participants assisted him in building an old-school dungeon. Visit the tower and discover the secrets of the “artist” within. Beware: those entering may never come out!

7. Character-killing Session (Bonus Module! See below). This adventure is a sequel to Wizard’s Feud, and was first survived by a party in Dallas this June. This is what happens to the players should they choose the wrong side in the war between the wizards; a sort of “second chance” should they fail. The adventure itself harkens back to 1980 or so—even so, no one ever lived through it until recently.

8. [Bonus Map—see bonus goals below] A fold out map of the entire Lost Lands

9. Bill Webb’s Book of Dirty Tricks. This utility will allow Bill to share some of his infamous secrets of play in the Lost Lands. It contains many nasty adventure hooks, fake leads and other tricks that a Judge can spring on his players; and it’s keyed with some links to this adventure.

The bonus module titled Character Killing Session will be added to the book; estimated page count 32 pages. This book will only be available with this Kickstarter at certain pledge levels. Bill Webb’s Book of Dirty Tricks will be available later for purchase.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

In the Capstone thread Ryan Dancey wrote

Ryan Dancey wrote:
My opinion is that Role merit badges should not be perquisites for anything. They're a recognition of accomplishment, not a way to help you keep accomplishing.

This got me thinking that displayable titles would be a fantastic extension of the Merit Badge system. I don't want to think of it as "achievement" system because that's more along the lines of "Killed one of every tribe of Orc" or some such. Titles would be an outward indicator to others of how you wish to be viewed.

This would also allow the concept of "Prestige Classes" to be simply enter the game. Do you want to be known as a Mystic Theurge? Then attain 10th merit badge in an Arcane casting class and 10th merit badge in a divine casting class, then you can announce to the world that you are starting to master both of those avenues. Perhaps there are specific abilities that you would have to train up to a certain level as well, abilities that would reflect specialties about the prestige class. It's hard to speculate because I don't get to sit in on the Dev meetings. :)

Another idea that popped into my head because Mr. Dancey almost always refers to them as Role Merit Badges is that there is the possibility of Merit Badges based on the other game systems (Harvesting, Processing, Crafting, and Building). Having titles granted for Merit Badge acquisition will also allow people to simply and effectively advertise what they are focusing on and willing to do at a given moment.

For example - I'm going to create a character and I wish for him to be a Ranger and Harvester, Crafter, and Builder with wood. When I'm adventuring, I set my title to "Ranger" once I've earned it. When I'm crafting I set my title to "Woodworker/Fletcher/what-have-you", and so on.

Thoughts?

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

It's hard to get this idea in a quick thread title.

This game will take a substantive amount of real time to fully master one class. 2.5 years is a far cry from 2 to 4 weeks as you find in some other games. I'm guessing that it will take longer if you do things besides adventure.

However, in reading through the blogs it seems to me that the intent would be for this world to live in perpetuity, even on the hardware end of things. So that if GW wanted to upgrade the engine/graphics/what-have-you, players wouldn't be forced to make the decision to move on to the cool new shiny and giving up their beloved characters, it would all just carry over.

I know that this is something so far in the future development-wise that it's nothing more than a passing thought... just wondering if that passing thought is what I'm gleaning from my blog-reading.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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But I do have some questions and at least one misgiving...

My misgiving is that I can see strong griefing potential in the looting of player "husks" rules. Of course, I suppose that is put in to discourage solo adventuring. That's fine.

Questions as I'm reading the blogs...

1) I see that there are crafters, builders, and combatants. Can I advance in all three effectively at the same time? (For instance, I like the idea of being a Druid who is crafter/builder using wood with the ability to heal/buff/otherwise assist the defenders of a watchtower that I'm helping to repair if need be.)

2) Can I (or an organize group) build a "dungeon"?

3) Is this a game for people who can't afford to sink a lot of time into it and still find some enjoyment from participation? (Say, someone who can only play 10 to 15 hours a week.)

4) What happens if a PC settlement is abandoned? Will the NPC creatures that spread out make use of it?

5) Is "Player housing" a possibility at some point?

6) Will there be (or are there thoughts of) some sort of capstone-like abilities for those who focus on crafting or building?

7) I like the harvesting to processing to crafting design philosophy. No question, I just had to say that I'm really impressed with that presentation. It seems very feasible for a character to be a harvester who sells to processors and then uses those profits to buy processed items to craft.

8) Will crafters have any control over the final look of a crafted item other than what the item is? For instance, could all of the swords I make have a blue leather grip?

9) One of the blogs says that I can't use racial slurs. I guess I'll have to excise the words "dorf" and "dandelion eater" from my vocabulary. ;)

10) Will you forgive me for being skeptical? It looks like I'll be on board and killing evil-doers as soon as they let me buy an account.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

As the time approaches to start putting together the massive Slumbering Tsar Saga more and more people are asking about the final format and how the maps will be presented.

Now, we are already moving forward with a PDF with the "Player Maps" which is, at this point, intended to be a free download. It would be a simple matter to create another downloadable PDF for "GM Maps". So we'll see.

What I would like to ask is how folks would like to see the maps done in the final product.

A) Inserted into the pertinent area of the adventure.
B) Compiled in the back of the volume.
C) Both
D) Map Dictator - NO MAPS FOR YOU!
E) Other

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Bill Webb is on vacation and why you should care (if you're a fan of FGG).

Bill Webb wrote:

February 6, 2012

Frogs On Vacation!

Hey all, its mid February, and the cold weather is making us all go dormant. The Frog Family vacation is near, and it is IMPORTANT that everyone realize we will be gone for the next month. All orders processed after Tuesday night will not be filled until mid-March (that’s right, a whole month in Costa Rica!).

In the news Tsar 14 is in layout, which means Greg only has to complete the bonus chapter, and we will be off to press in early April. We are sold out of Northland Saga 1, however, when I return, I will have limited reprints available. Castel Baldemore (Saturday Night Specials) and Hex Crawls 5-6 are also in layout for when I am gone. Rappan Athuk is progressive nastily, and I imagine I will get some great ideas while visiting the venomous snakes, frogs and other critters in Central America for the next 5 weeks.

I apologize in advance for those of you who read this late, or have to wait for books, but the Frog God has not had a month off work since 1976, and he needs it badly. We appreciate your business, and I look forward to returning and getting everything caught up with all that restored mana (e.g. energy) that I will have following this trip.

I still have limited numbers of Tome of Adventure Design, Black Monastery and Tome of Horrors SW version; get them while they last!

I shall miss you all, and look forward to hearing from you when I return. Again, the order deadline is 2/7/12 at midnight!

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

I would like to start out by saying that I love variety in gaming. My gaming group and I always jumped around systems and were eager to learn new ones.

That said, the two things that jumped out at me as very positive.

1) They want to listen to the fans and do an open beta.

I've heard grumblings along the lines of Paizo having done it before WotC. All that tells me is that there are people among the "powers that be" at WotC/Hasbro who are willing to learn from their mistakes and change their game-plan accordingly. It's simply smart business to recognize a winning strategy by your competitor and adopt it.

2) They want make the game modular. According to the ENWorld article, the next rule set will have a basic system with more rule systems that can be stacked on to that basic system. I have seen this done with a few other gaming systems and it is one of my favorite approaches. My hope would be that the basic system will allow for genre-specific rule modularity.


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That they intend the game to allow murder and robbery (What Ryan said on the crafting thread implied that there will be full or partial looting of corpses. On other threads, he has indicated support for non-consensual PvP.)

I will have to pay Goblinworks to perform a second job in fantasy life-simulator.

When I'm paying for entertainment, I want to play a game. Not watch a virtual economy to know what price I need to set to sell a chunk of iron for. I don't want to explore an uncharted area and be more worried about asshats running around murdering other players for yuks. That isn't realistic, it's just virtual bullying.

Thanks for the announcement of a game, but if this game is going to have a basic familiarity with EVE Online, this fan has to say "No thanks and good luck!"

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

It is now available for order at the Frog God Games website.

The third installment "The Death Curse of Sven Oakenfist" has received final art and will be in layout tomorrow!

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Slumbering Tsar 11 (The Hidden Citadel Part 3 — The Throne of the Demon Prince—) is out for a final proof and then to the printers! Hopefully the PDF will be up by this weekend.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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Bill Webb wrote:


FGG-The Big Announcement

The background of the big announcement goes all the way back to 1978, when I read a small book by Gary Gygax detailing the use of outdoor and wilderness adventures in D&D. This book, along with what has affectionately been termed the “Skull Dungeon” of John Holmes fame, formed the basis of my thinking when I began to write my own vast dungeon that I called Rappan Athuk.

A decade ago, I released the first few levels of Rappan Athuk as a book, which was followed by a series of releases of different parts and pieces (29 levels in the first 3 books, and another 7 or so later in Rappan Athuk Reloaded).

To my surprise, even though I expected it to be a success, Rappan Athuk turned out to be one of the major hits of the Third Edition decade. Even though it’s not the largest dungeon that was ever published (it might be this time!), it quickly picked up a reputation for being one of the deadliest, and if you haven’t heard, “Don’t go down the Well” or “Beware of Purple Worms,” you probably weren’t attending gaming conventions or reading the RPG internet during the Third Edition years.

Rappan Athuk Reloaded, which contained a lot more of the original dungeon, became an immediate collector’s item. With only 1000 copies of Rappan Athuk’s expanded version in existence, many players unfortunately could never get a copy. This was probably fortunate for a lot of player characters, but it means that many people who wanted to see the dungeon’s broader scope never got to see what they were missing.

Well, it’s been almost 10 years since I wrote the last few chapters of Rappan Athuk Reloaded. As you would expect, I haven’t been idle during that time. In fact, over the last few hundred gaming sessions I’ve run, I have continued to write up my notes from levels that were never published, and add new levels as adventurers continued to explore. Many of the mid-level areas have been fleshed out (the ultimate adversaries, of course, remained the same), and several new upper levels have been added as adventurers avoided “The Well” and “The Mausoleum” in attempts to delve deeper into Rappan Athuk’s depths. I have been mulling over what to do to get this monster out to all of you. So here goes…

Weighing in with over 50 dungeon levels and dozens of wilderness areas, Rappan Athuk will be released next summer as a hardbound, library-stitched book in both Pathfinder and Swords and Wizardry formats. The book contains 18 more levels even than Rappan Athuk Reloaded, as well as the outdoor adventures supporting them. I am also working on a leather cover (or faux leather) for the binding.

This thing is truly the granddaddy of all dungeons. It represents years of play testing, years of adventure, and hundreds of player character deaths. Many parts of my campaign that have transpired over the years are included in its pages from the dead remains of fallen heroes, to marks left on walls, to cryptic scribblings left by lost or dying adventurers.
Just like the dungeons of the early 1970s played by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, Rappan Athuk is like a living being, big enough to be used for thousands of hours of play. From the Goblin city of Greznek to the Hall of the Titan Cyclops, from the Well of Zelkor to the Mithril gates, and from the Well of Agamemnon to the Abyssal pocket-plain and to the throne of Orcus himself—this terrifying place will create memorable experiences for all players and Game Masters.

This Tome represents the completed manuscript, including the wilderness surrounding the dungeon, three villages nearby, and the dreaded Temple of Tsathogga, where the sinister, evil priests of the frog-demon seek dark secrets and dark powers lost when the army of light destroyed the temple of Orcus at the site.
This book will be available for pre-order in March or April 2012. Retail price and page count are still to be determined (though it will probably be about $125 and 1000 pages or so). The pre-ordered copies will contain bonus material as a pdf enhancement that were cut from the final manuscript and will not be available after the pre-order period ends.

So once again, in this new decade of gaming, we will have the chance to say, “Don’t go down the Well.”

Huzzah!

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Tome of Adventure Design is now available for Pre-order at www.talesofthefroggod.com!

It’s Friday night, 6 p.m. You haven’t prepared an adventure and you still need to get to the store and buy snacks.

The group is heading over to game in 2 hours.

What do you do?

DON'T PANIC

Frog God Games is proud to present to you a comprehensive guidebook for designing your own fantasy adventures.

The Tome of Adventure Design by Matt Finch presents advice and tables on topics ranging from villainous motives to monster design to dungeon creation.

Whether you’re a veteran game master or a total beginner at the fine art of creating adventures, you will find that the Tome of Adventure Design is an invaluable resource when it’s time to prepare for the game.
Whatever you need for your adventure, you’ll find ideas and tables for it in this book.

You’re on your own with the snacks.

Available for the low price of $42.00

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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This week the top selling products from other companies includes the Tome of Horrors Complete at #3 making it the number one selling non-Paizo-published book in print!

Congrats also to Jon Brazer Enterprises and Gamer Ingenuity for having the only other two print products on the list (with JBEs Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG) being the only other book on the list).

Most excellent news!

~steeples fingers~

yeeeessssss

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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So I was awakened today by one of the Boys in Brown (that's UPS for those who live where they don't exist) and was handed a nice, heavy box.

What's this? Oooo... it's from our printer...

~SCRABBLE~SCRIBBLE~YANK~RIP~TEAR~

~divine music rings out as I open the package.... light spills forth and casually melts the face off of a nazi.... I intone the three little words of access and lift out THE TOME OF HORRORS COMPLETE~

As I cradled our 8-pound bundle of horrors the nurse said "Congratulations, it's a book!"

What a great way to wake up!

-----------------------

On a serious note - When I opened the Tome I found something missing - there were no creaking noises from the spine.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

I remember the day like it was yesterday.

Every week I would go to the mall with my mother and I would check the book store for any new RPG hardcovers.

One week... there it was... all bright-red with this monstrosity on the front reaching for... are those adventurers flying?

Oh! Oh! I WANT this! I NEED this! Mom! I'm 5 dollars short! Can I have an extra 5 dollars? THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

--------------

So begin my love-affair with my most precious book - Manual of the Planes.

I've read through the original so many times that it's burned into my subconscious. I quite often have to check if an idea is an original or if Jeff Grubb more than planted the seed there.

Now, I love all of the planes, but the ones that caught my attention were the inner planes and I would pour over that portion of the book, my imagination swimming with the ideas of what I could do to an adventuring party.

To this day I lament there being no real, in-depth treatment on the elemental planes, the apparent lack of concern about the loss of the quasi- and para- elemental planes... an almost complete lack of treatment on non-evil Archomentals (or most of the evil ones) and the pre-occupation that everyone has, when the elements are touched-upon, that it's.... ALWAYS.... fire....

*sigh*

Anyway. That's my favorite.

What's yours?

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

As the other thread became exceptionally focused on one topic once it was brought up I wanted a fresh start for the other mentioned taboos that The World's Most Famous Role Playing Game has run across over the years.

It was mentioned in the original post of the aforementioned thread that words like "demon" and "devil" weren't in the 2nd Edition but it wasn't mentioned why.

For those who didn't live through the time when simply playing a roleplaying game meant that you had to defend yourself from accusations of being a satanist from not only people with extreme points of view, but.... well... most people had only heard of it because of those extreme points of view. So if a kid did something violent, stupid or whatever and he had a Monster Manual in his room it would be mentioned.

People were blaming the ills of the world when it involved children on RPGs. Much like they (still) do with movie/television violence and video games today.

So I've alway been under the impression that the alternate names for evil extra-planar beings came about simply as a way to distance the game from "satan" or simply to remove ammunition from extremists.

Is that type of attitude still about for today's kids (18 and under)? Or did aggressively ignoring the idiots who spouted nonsense work? :D

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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Here you go guys! Hope that it makes the wait a little more unbearable.

<evil grin>


Yes.

Yes it does.

Even if the baby's name is Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot.

Evil begets evil, even in the real world.

Soldiers fighting for the "right" cause oftentimes commit atrocities. They live with the consequences of that their entire lives.

Killing someone, justified or not, has an intense impact on one's psyche.

I'm sure that mucking about with forces beyond mortal ken also has an intense impact on a character's psyche.

Staring into the abyss will eventually turn you into a monster who thinks that summoning demons or creating undead is an awesome idea to solve all your problems.

It only doesn't make sense if you are using the reasoning of a disassociative psychopath.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

[Pulled from my post on another thread so it isn't buried there.]

Tome of Horrors Complete Cover mock-up

I call it a "mock-up" because I'm going to have to adjust and configure things a little differently for the print cover. Although that WILL be the cover for the Pathfinder Tome of Horrors Complete .PDF.

This link take you to the picture our Facebook account (it's the only way I can get it on the web quickly). You should be able to see it even if you don't have a FB account.

*crosses fingers*

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

I realized today as I was putting together yet another Section 15 that my life has been made much easier in this effort by something the D20PFSRD community must do under the terms of the license.

Post every Section 15 of every product that they use in one area.

And here's their Section 15 page.

It doesn't have everything, but it has a lot of the resources we commonly refer to.

Thanks again, John!


Am I missing something here or are the rules for having multiple companion animals basically gimping the character who takes them?

Simply put, I didn't see anything that compensated for the fact that two 10th-level animal companions simply aren't anywhere equal to a 20th level companion.

Am I wrong here?


I love UM, but I've got something that's really bothering me (and couldn't find it with a board search).

Why do they affect reptiles? Just to get pedantic about it, it should be avians as the dinosaurs had far more in common with their modern descendants in terms of known behavior.

The decision further perplexes me because I'm dead certain that the good folks at Paizo know this fact.


I've noticed that there has been a desire for digital formats other than PDF to be supported by Pathfinder (which I feel they will be supporting soon).

My question is how do consumers feel about 3PP doing so as well?

If you are interested, would it sway your decision in favor of purchasing a book?

What's the main interest in EPUB formats? Low file size for maximum "bookage", and if so, how much art would you want/expect to be excised from the books? (Would you want an EPUB monster book without the art to save on file size, for instance.)

Would you expect the EPUB to come as a freebie if you order the hard copy (like Paizo and other companies are currently doing with PDFs)?

Please let us know what you think! Any other 3PP publishers please list your own questions.

Charles A. Wright
Frog God Games


Have they shared this at all, yet? I'm currently working on a project converting monsters for other people to use so I can't wing it for what works in my game. As I'm going through and checking monsters that Paizo has already converted I'm noticing things like the fact that monsters no longer have a full attack option. This has caused changes like

Axebeak 3.5
Attack: Claw +4 melee (1d6+3)
Full Attack: 2 claws +4 melee (1d6+3) and bite +2 melee (2d6+1)

to

Axebeak Pathfinder
Melee: bite +6 (1d8+6)

so . . . Are they simply using the groundrules that they've set up for monster creation or was there another set of guidelines for the conversions?


In searching Pathfinder products I noticed an adventure on the City of Brass and The Great Beyond - A Guide to the Multiverse.

What I can't tell about The Great Beyond is if it has any kind of treatment on the Elemental (Inner) Planes or if there are any other resources that deal with what is the "default" cosmology of the Pathfinder RPG?


In the PF Bestiary the elemental subtype says that elementals are composed of just one element. Does this mean that the old-school Para- and Quasi-Elementals would be reassigned to one of the classical 4 elements?

Since there are only 4 elementals listed in the PFB I checked out the next-best thing to delve into the minds of the creators (MWA-HA-HA!). I checked out the Mephits and found two prime examples in Salt and Steam.

Per 1st Ed. AD&D Manual of the Planes (which is still my planar bible) the quasi-elemental planes of Salt and Steam are at either end of the Elemental Plane of Water. Salt near the Negative Energy Plane and Steam near the Positive Energy Plane.

Per the PFB. Salt is Earth-related and Steam is Fire-related.

I understand that completely and have no problem with it. I'm simply wondering if this is the shape of things to come for the true elementals.


If I were to theoretically have a game where no magic items were available at all, when would the CR system begin to break down?


Sorry for the big "suck up" post, I normally never do them, but I'm just so damned happy about Pathfinder. (The last I gushed like this was for Necromancer Games back when 3rd came out.)


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