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Skeleton

John Benbo's page

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8. RPG Superstar 2013 Dedicated Voter, 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,302 posts. 16 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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This was my first time at PaizoCon and despite spend 4 hours on the tarmac in Boston before a 6 hour flight, I had a great time. I've heard how it's much "bigger" now but it still felt like it had a very intimate feel to it where you could actually engage the Paizo employees in a real conversation vs. the frentic pace of GenCon with its mobs of people (still a great con, though). I'm definitely looking forward to future PaizoCons and hanging out again with all the wonderful people I met there. Great job, everyone!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Over the weekend, my father gave me my great grandfather's sword from his time in the Coast Guard. Maybe I'll keep it in my BMW just in case...mine's a gun metal grey color so it could easily be mistaken for some sort of rock troll. And one of my players does frequently run around in armor at local events...

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mike Welham wrote:
I hope it wasn't my map that sent the last cartographer off screaming.

The one I did for Wolverton was pretty intense. My hand was so cramped doing all those little buildings that I had to apply multiple cold cans of beer compresses to it afterwards.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

3/15- Today over at Shadows over Vathak, I discuss how to use one of my favorite movies, "13th Warrior," as both inspiration in depicting the evil bhriota and as an adventure.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good luck, Sean. I'm glad I got to meet you at GenCon last year and I was surprised that you remembered who I was!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hi, this is John Bennett. I've recently taken over Lead Design duties for Fat Goblin Games's Shadows over Vathak campaign line. Rick Hershey and I have a lot of cool products planned for the year. Therefore, if you have a Facebook account, I encourage you to like our Facebook page Shadows over Vathak to get all the latest updates on upcoming products and other information regarding Shadows over Vathak. On Wednesdays, I plan to discuss upcoming products and on Saturdays, I'll be posting different books/movies, etc. that provide excellent inspiration for a Vathak campaign. You can click on my profile here to see some of the work I've done for other 3PP companies or visit my personal website to learn more about me and resume. I hope you join us!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You can hear Endzeitgeist talk about It Came From the Stars in his very words in this podcast! The RPG Review Room. Thanks, Endzeitgeist!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I keep tellling myself that I won't have as much time this year to devote to voting as I did last year, but I think I'm forgetting how addictive it was.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for all the reviews...and your website. I check that daily now, not just for reviews, but also to see what's out there and what other people are doing. It's very convenient! Looking forward to next year and a review of "Against the Cult of the Bat God," my first foray into adventure writing. Happy holidays!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Congrats, Jeff! And also, congrats to fellow Raging Swanners- Eric Hindley and Mike Welham for making the top 5.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats, everyone!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good luck to all who enter!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

And booked...this will be my first PaizoCon!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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I hope people find my modest contribution- Project Outlining helpful. While I've only been freelancing 2 1/2 years, I've done a lot of other writing and for me, personally, a solid outline is usually the difference between completing a project and frustration that ultimately leads to abandoning it. Plus, getting into the habit of doing outlines will help you in whatever field you write in (as hundreds of pages of graduate papers I had to write can attest to).

What would be really awesome is a mobi version so I can keep it on my Kindle along with my Kobold Press game design books.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh joy of joys! Abita Turbo Dog has finally made its way to NH. Picked up a six pack of it during my dinner break. Also grabbed the Ommegang (sp?) Game of Thrones beer- Take the Black Stout. Finally picked up a beer called "Peeper" from the Maine Brewing Co.. A coworker of mine is raving about it. Can't wait to get home tonight.

Recently had Goose Island's Sixth Day, described as a festive brown ale. It's ok, a little heavy, but it's at 8.3% percent.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Finally got my review up! Great job on this one. One thing I didn't mention is that I listened to the new Black Sabbath album, Thirteen, a lot while reading this as the music accompanied the book very well.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just also wanted to point out that Raging Swan has been putting out articles, one or two a week, for a few months now, so there's quite a few of them to check out, covering all kinds of topics- gamemastering, freelancing, and publishing. Lots of excellent advice!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats!

The Village Backdrops book is quite cool. Not only do you get 12 unique villages, but included are rules and charts to help you create your own village plus a short section on incorporating the 12 villages into the kingdom building rules found in Ultimate Campaign. Though, I expect that my PCs will probably just bulldoze Thornhill (now located in the north of the Hooktongue Slough).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Nice, now I want to paw through my old (and flattened) Ravenloft box set for Halloween. Just got a copy of Rule of Fear in the mail today in preparation to running Carrion Crown when my Kingmaker campaign wraps up next year.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Awesome review, Endzeitgeist, thank you! And thank you to everyone else who has reviewed this or commented here. Congrats to Scott and my fellow designers on such positive feedback so far. During RPG Superstar 2011, my round 4 entry, Apep's Head, got a lot of negative feedback for mixing sci-fi with fantasy. I hadn't really ever talked to other gamers outside of my circle of friends so that opinion really took me by surprise. The success of this project, how much people are enjoying it, helps to make me feel vindicated :).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That is pretty wild! I've been running Kingmaker augmented with a lot of Raging Swan stuff but I'm not actually that familiar with the downtime rules yet. My players, however, are almost at a point where they'll be done adventuring for a bit and settling back down with the kingdom building/downtime rules. I bought all my players a copy of Ultimate Campaign so that they could learn the rules and teach me instead of the other way around (for once!).

I know Creighton at one point was musing about a web supplement, so perhaps if there is enough demand for one we could do a supplemental appendix. First, though, I have a much bigger project for Raging Swan to finish.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

When I saw the Living Monolith, I knew I had to use it. That thing was brutal! I think my players had just a little more difficulty with that than the Mire Brute.

Battle Report

Spoiler:
The problem was the fire cleric kept rolling low on his checks to overcome its SR, finally having to toss his flaming scimitar to the ranger while he and the oracle just channeled like crazy. It came down to the wire- either the PCs were going to kill it that round or they were in trouble (the oracle was already in its stomach). A low rolled negative energy channel followed by a low damage power attack/vital strike brought it down to 2 hit points. The grappled ranger could only attack with his short sword, inflicting 1 point of damage. With 1 hit point left, the final PC to act, the fire cleric, finally rolled high enough on his SR check to kill it with a burning hands.

In short, I love my TOH monsters!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ran Pett's adventure a couple of weeks ago. For an adventure called "Sorrow", we sure laughed a lot. A great time was had by all and the gnome alchemist almost made it through the "dance" during the feast (he did better than the two PC barbarians)!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.
terraleon wrote:

John-- Sorrow is an excellent prelude to Courts of the Shadowfey, and the Status benefits in Sorrow were specifically modified in consideration of Courts.

You're welcome. ;)

-Ben.

Thanks, I'll definitely have to keep the status's in mind, then! And Ben, it was nice finally meeting you in person at Gen Con after the Kobold freelancing seminar.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Purchased after reading Endzeitgeist's review (and it arrived already today from Amazon, love two day shipping...). This Sunday, I'm running Sorrow from Tales of Midgard as a side adventure in my Kingmaker campaign. After two years in the current campaign, my players are looking forward to trying out different characters for a night. However, this looks like a good continuation and something I can run on/off again and easily insert into my ongoing campaign.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

8 and my brother was 6. After I got the 1e Player's Handbook and Monster Manuel, 2nd edition came out shortly after. Oh, the nerdrage of a 10 yr old child!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good ideas there and I'm doing some similiar stuff (ie, tokens linking to Nyrissa).

My PCs just dealt with the Armags- in my campaign, one of the PCs has a weapon called, "Bramble." Bramble is an intelligent magic weapon, able to take human form, and is the younger sister of Briar, created as Nyrissa's weapon in case Briar is ever turned her against her (not yet known to the PCs). Armag's sword, then, was Nyrissa's first attempt at creating a weapon. She presented Armag with a powerful sword and when he died, infused his spirit in it. She was unhappy with the results, however. This idea worked pretty well in my campaign because the PCs at first thought maybe the barbarians were searching for Briar.

Right now, the PCs are in the Hooktongue Slough. I've replaced the boggards with Raging Swan's "Lizardfolk of the Dragonfang", part of their TRIBES line. The Dragonfang leader is a sorcerer with the black dragon bloodline so I'm saying he's descended from Ilthuliak and I have him working for Nyrissa as one of her many pawns.

If you are looking for some cool NPCs to slot in, I recommend checking out Rite Publishing's "Faces of the Tarnished Souk" NPC line. They feature some very unique NPC builds at three CR levels (low, middle, high). For example, Po'Kesteros (a half-elf fey template luckbringer alchemist ninja) is a dark, gothic, Peter Pan like character that's been perfect for my Kingmaker campaign. Nameless Nil is another one that adds a sense of bizarre.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

No Jacqueline Carey? The Kushiel books are hit and miss for me (I really liked the first one but the rest that I've read have varied). However, I really enjoyed "Banewreaker" and "Godslayer", her take on Lord of the Rings. Highly recommend if you would enjoy a retelling of LoTR from Sauron's point of view (not really Sauron, but her story's version of Sauron).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can't believe no one has mentioned the 1e "Oriental Adventures" book. Want to be a ninja? Not at first level, and not unless you multiclass and keep your identity secret. I think I loved reading that book more than playing it- I always kept losing honor, but then again, I was probably 10 or 11.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This looks very cool. I'm especially interested in the cavalier archetype for some NPCs in my current Kingmaker campaign.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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Nice job on this, Mike! I finally got a chance to read through this this past weekend. I really like the open/sandbox nature of the adventure- a good mix of investigation and dungeon crawling.

Shameless plug, but if you want to add even more weird to the adventure, I recommend checking out Zombie Sky's "It Came from the Stars" Campaign book- chock full of player and GM material to add a little bit of the weirdness from space to any campaign. Mike was also one of the many talented designers on that project.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Glad to see this get some limelight. The project came out awesome and I'm happy people seem to be digging it so far. But now I'm wondering what happened to all my old Calvin and Hobbes books...

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.
taig wrote:
Christina Stiles wrote:
An adventure by that awesome Christina Stiles in 2014. The weirder, the better.

Pitch something!

If it doesn't feature hamsters wearing laser-death-ray helmets as the BBEGs, I'm sure Steve will be happy to put you on the schedule. :)

Not all of us can write as fast/be as prolific as you! :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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Rite Publishing wrote:

Endzeitgiest reviews is where I go to find what I want!

I am known to be a big fan of The Time Thief by Super Genius Games.

ShadowcatX, thanks for the mention I love the Taskshaper as well, expect to see it compiled in The Secrets of Adventuring in Sept.

Elorebaen thanks for the mention (that's a high recommendation!)

Thanael thank you! I am very proud of Coliseum Morpheuon and love that it has stood the test of time, Kaidan is the little engine that could, and that is high praise for Adventure Quarterly!

While designed for the Coliseum Morpheuon, Rite's "Faces of the Tarnished Souk" line are awesome NPCs that can really be inserted anywhere. For example, I use them quite a bit (Po'kesteros being my favorite) in my current Kingmaker (Paizo AP) campaign.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

C'mon, you got to lead in with "Smoke on the water..." first :). Congrats again, Mike.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Looking forward to this, Mike. Already preordered from my local FLGS.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, in Hosford, the reeves tend to disappear...so perhaps you could stat up 5 backeup reeves.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Cool idea and I like the idea behind the industry pro perk since I'll be at GenCon for the first time this year (though I consider myself more of an industry padawan- not quite a pro yet, but not a total newb either).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can only speak of my personal interactions with Creighton. I graduated with a degree in film production and spent a few years writing screen plays and trying to get someone to read them. I sent over a hundred query letters and was only met with negativity or offers to pay out hundreds of dollars before agencies would read my scripts. Oppose this to the Pathfinder 3PP community which has been nothing but encouraging and positive.

After I wrote a fan-inspired alternative opening to one of Raging Swan's newest modules, Dark Oaks, Creighton gave me a very positive response. He then encouraged me to pitch for an opening in his Tribes line; this was the the first time he made an open call to bring new and untried freelancers into the Raging Swan fold. He shepherded me through my first assignment (which as my first, I was very nervous about), taking the time to show me the ropes based on his years of experience as a professional freelancer for both Paizo and Wizards of the Coast.

Since that first assignment, Bugbears of the Frozen Tears (which has garnered multiple 5 star reviews due to his stellar guidance), Creighton has acted as a personal mentor for me in the 3PP field, offering on multiple occasions to write referrals and send copies of my work to other 3PPs that I've been interested in writing for. In addition, he made me one of a handful of Raging Swan design partners where he continues to offer advice and helps develop me as a freelancer. He has always been open to my ideas for new products and my desires to branch out into different aspects of game design, affording me opportunities to stretch my design muscles.

I admit to holding a bias to 3PPs from my 3x days, but Raging Swan products were the first to open my eyes that Pathfinder 3PPs were different. The quality of Raging Swan products made them the first company on my list that I wanted to work for. I have worked with Creighton for over 2 years out of the 3 years that Raging Swan has been in existence. Therefore, from my personal experience as an insider in Raging Swan, I find any insinuation of review impropriety, of scheming to increase sales through such controversy utterly without merit.

I've always found Creighton to maybe even be too humble in promoting himself and his products. However, he is a person that lets the work speak for itself. For me, not just as a designer, but as a fan, Raging swan has throughout the years continuously earned my respect and dollars for putting out quality products that not only keep me coming back as a consumer but also as a writer.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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Rite Publishing puts out "Pathways", a free monthly Pathfinderzine that runs adds. Wayfinder magazine comes out twice a year and I know they sell add space. Fat Goblin Games has started releasing a monthly magazine. I haven't seen it, but I would imagine they run adds. Lastly, Gygax magazine comes out quarterly. I just read issue 1, and there were quite a few adds, some were for Pathfinder 3PP.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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Look forward to reading this, Mike.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations to the top 4, and to the top 8, I feel your pain. However, and this goes for all the competitors, if you got bitten by the design bug while competing in the contest, be sure to regularly check the Compatible Products from other Publishers forum for freelancing opportunities. Also, joining patron projects or Kickstarters that offer some design opportunities are also good ways to get started if you want to do some freelancing.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Fernandez wrote:
Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:
I think they feed you to Treerazer or something.

I can vouch for this.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Glad to see this item made it in. My players could have used these when fighting a piscodaemon awhile back that kept casting stinking cloud on them!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good luck to you all. I'm excited to see what items made it into the Top 32. There's a couple of items I'm really rooting for.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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I appreciate the reviews, not just of my own work, but others as well. New reviews are always the first thing I look for on the Paizo website when I log on.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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Alright, even though I'm at work, I snuck onto Facebook and posted the Kickstarter link on the gaming group page of my local FLGS (Jetpack Comic). Mostly wargamers post there but there is the occassional Pathfinder post. Even it just snags a few bucks, it's worth it. Tried sweetening the deal by saying I might run it at the store if it gets funded.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Eric Hindley wrote:
I agree with all this advice. I find the best items tend to pick one or two things and do them in a cool and unique way.

I just saw one that did this. Tight, evocative writing that stuck to two core ideas and didn't use the extra wordcount to add on more fluff or junk abilities. Great item and the first time I've seen it this competition vs. one item that I don't really like that I've seen 3 or 4 times tonight already that goes on and on and on.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just keeping adding books (one PF for, one PF for a friend, and one S&W cuz darn it, I'm going to make my players play S&W one of these days when we're finally done with Kingmaker).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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Upped my pledge to add another book and some character pads. I wanted to get a S&W copy but then I remembered one of my friends making the mistake of saying that he wanted to try GMing and maybe doing a pirate themed campaign as something different. So even though it looks like I'm getting a copy as a gift for him, I really have ulterior motives which is ok as I hardly ever get to play as a PC (and I really want to try out a changling witch/gunslinger). Also, I want this thing funded so we can start digging for treasure!

On another note, now that you have Vaughn's "Slumbering Tsar" out and you're working on Logue's (with Lou Agresta) "Razor Coast" any plans to finish this trilogy of terror with an opus from Mr. Pett? A "Pettopus?"

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