Monsters and Dragons and Pirates, Oh My!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

After over a year and a half of hard work, today is when we at Roll For Combat launch our Kickstarter for the RPG Superstar Battlezoo Bestiary, the culmination of the RPG Superstar contest from last year finally assembled in hardcover book format. However, we didn’t stop there! Not only are we launching the Bestiary, but we’re also launching the new Monster Parts System, the Battlezoo Ancestries: Dragons hardcover book, and the new level 1-10 Jewel of the Indigo Isles Adventure Path, all for Pathfinder Second Edition!

However, rather than discuss these new books myself, I thought the authors of these projects should speak for themselves.

Stephen Glicker
Roll For Combat Publisher and Developer


Defeat Monsters. Craft Gear. Imbue Magic.

Mark Seifter, Author of the Monster Parts System & Battlezoo Ancestries: Dragons

Hi everyone, Mark Seifter here, talking to you today, not in my role at Paizo, but as the author of a brand new system for treasure you’ll find in the upcoming Battlezoo Bestiary, which you can get at http://kickstarter.rollforcombat.com/. With monster part crafting, you can replace or enhance the default treasure distribution system for Pathfinder with an all-new take that allows you to upgrade your items with monster parts from the creatures you defeat so that they level up along with your character and gain new powers.

Whether you want to use the new system exclusively, just a little, or somewhere in between, I built out three different variations so you can choose the one that’s right for your group—and I did all the math, so you don’t have to! I generated new tables that let the GM know how to hand out monster parts in a way that allows plenty of cool upgrades but is also fully balanced with Pathfinder under the normal rules. I also included sidebars if you want to combine the system with other variant rules that alter treasure, like relics and automatic bonus progression. For a sneak peek, check out this quick start guide for players, taken from the book itself:

BattleZoo Bestiary Quick Start guide. Step 1: Slay Monsters! Step 2: Gather Ingredients. Step 3: Craft Item! Step 4: Imbue Item with Magic!


As if that’s not cool enough, there are also a few neat rules options for characters who use monster parts to power their abilities, which you can use in your game whether or not you’re using the monster part system. The big ones are the monster mage archetype, which lets you learn and cast spells from defeated monsters, and the vestige hunter archetype, which enables you to take feats to gain special abilities used by the monsters you’ve defeated. The vestige hunter can incorporate the defeated monster’s vestige into their equipment or into their own body. For instance, if you took the feat to gain a breath weapon from a defeated monster, you could bathe in the dragon’s blood to gain a breath weapon or build a dragon head onto your shield so that it can unleash a breath weapon... and that’s not a random example! You can actually see the iconic monster mage in her blue robes and the iconic vestige hunter with his dragon head shield on the cover of Battlezoo Bestiary!

Adventurers sitting with a dragon around a small campfire, working on their crafts

So what types of items are you thinking of refining out of monster parts? A sharp blade made from a tyrannosaurus’s teeth? Resilient armor forged from the slag of a defeated iron golem? Let us know in the comments below!

Play a Dragon, a Real Dragon!

I’m also writing Battlezoo Ancestries: Dragons, which will allow you to play dragons as PCs. I know allowing dragon PCs in the game sounds like it could be overpowered, but I’ve carefully balanced them with other options using archetypes to allow you to spend both class feats and ancestry feats to unlock additional draconic abilities. I’m so sure that the dragons won’t be disruptive that if that isn’t the case, you can contact me on my Arcane Mark Twitch channel or Discord, and we’ll figure out how to make it work. Players, you can tell your GMs that too if they’re uncertain! So come along with me on this journey as I pursue my passion project to bring the dragon ancestry to life and explore the myriad possibilities with 40 different dragon heritages based on the 39 true dragons of Pathfinder and one brand new dragon native to the Indigo Isles!


Jewel of the Indigo Isles Pathfinder Second Edition Adventure Path

Adventurers run through a dense jungle from a number of different monsters


Patrick Renie, author of book #1, Search for the Missing Map (for levels 1-3)

One of my favorite movies growing up was Hook, Steven Spielberg’s wonderful rendition of the story of Peter Pan. The movie seemed readymade for nostalgia tripping—nearly every millennial of a certain age can vividly recall the scene in which Peter must use his imagination to conjure the neon-colored “neverfood” at the Lost Boys’ banquet dinner. Rewatching the scene, I was pleased with how accurately I’d remembered the radioactive hues of the fantastical goop, which the boys raucously fling at one another in a food fight for the ages.

The g’mayun, Jeffrey Anderson’s prize-winning entry to the 2020 RPG Superstar competition, evoked the same feelings of boisterous bonhomie and motley mayhem I experienced while watching Hook all those years ago. Like the Lost Boys, g’mayuns are merrymaking pirates of a benign yet bacchanalian bent, unwilling to “grow up” or submit to the rigid rules of other societies. The cultural legacy of g’mayuns—a history of demonic corruption and divine redemption—is both tragic and triumphant, similar to the bittersweet story of the grown-up Peter Pan. Yet, their parrot-like bodies, rainbow-hued irises, and carefree way of life are as delightful as Spielberg’s technicolor neverfood and the Lost Boys’ jubilation.

Gmayun, a humanoid, parot ,bird-folk with bright blue feathers. Wearing leather armor and wielding a dagger

After developing the g’mayun for Roll For Combat’s Battlezoo Bestiary, I could hardly resist devising a Pathfinder campaign populated with these beautiful bird-folk. Brainstorming the series’ story and setting with Stephen, Linda, and Ron, I had as much fun as a kid at a food fight. The result, the Jewel of the Indigo Isles Adventure Path, is everything a Hook-loving mischief-maker could ask for: a thrilling journey of grand adventure, high-stakes challenges, and bountiful buried treasures. The characters start their adventure with a seemingly simple goal—find the missing fortune of the famous pirate Poppy von Barnacle—but they soon find themselves at the center of an epic swashbuckling tale spanning the tropical Indigo Isles. All the while, the party will meet countless monstrous foes and unusual friends, each drawn from the 100+ new monsters in the Battlezoo Bestiary, along with a horde of new creatures we’ve written specifically for this campaign.

Jewel of the Indigo Isles is the kind of fun, colorful story that makes me feel like a kid again, and I can’t wait to share it with you. I hope you find this series as rejuvenating as I do and that, above all, it ignites your imagination.

Ron Lundeen, author of book #2, Voyage to Runaway Reef (for levels 4-6)

Greetings! I’m Ron Lundeen, and I have the pleasure of writing the second adventure in this campaign, “Voyage to Runaway Reef.” I love having an adventure that calls back to the classic stories of sailing through dangerous waters in search of a greater prize, like Homer’s Odyssey and the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor. I’m old enough to have run the D&D adventure M1: Into the Maelstrom, which was, I later realized, mostly a fantasy reworking of the Odyssey.

In these classic tales, the excitement is in the fanciful places the heroes visit, and “Voyage to Runaway Reef” is no different. The heroes visit Bluebell Island, which contains the town of Seaview and the lively orpoks, a new ancestry that I know people are going to love. The heroes must also visit other islands, including the ominous Moonshadow Island and, of course, Runaway Reef, populated by another new ancestry, the chochori. The adventure contains a lot of island-hopping fun, but I get to provide even more of it in the volume’s gazetteer showcasing the Indigo Isles. Time to set sail for adventure!

Orpok; A humanoid pig-folk dressed in a red jackets and striped pants

Linda Zayas-Palmer, author of book #3, Battle at Barnacle Bay (for levels 7-10)

I’m excited to be working on the third volume of the Jewel of the Indigo Isles Adventure Path. Without getting into spoiler territory, I can say that this part will be full of cinematic adventure and opportunities for your motley band of characters to show off just how strong they’ve become. My experience as a GM and author up to this point has mostly been in the world of Golarion, so it’s fun to be part of building a setting from the ground up. In this new world of Alacar, all gods are part of a paradigm known as the Balance.

Through the Balance, gods exist in groups, usually pairs, representing connected concepts such as Life and Death or Fire and Water. Though these gods of opposing forces may come into conflict, they must also ensure that their counterparts’ strength does not dwindle too much. Whenever a god dies, their partner in the Balance dies as well. Among mortals, the Balance is more than just a matter of discussion for theological scholars; the ideology also helps define how people interact with the divine. For just as the god of Water could not extinguish the god of Fire, so too do the followers of the god of Water know that nothing good can come of attempts to quench the god of Fire’s influence.


Wild fire leshies, armored and glowing internally


Finally, all of the adventure authors have the chance to create new monsters, lore, and player-facing rules. I could hardly pass up a chance to expand upon my favorite ancestry. As a part of my section, I'm making new leshy content, including the wildfire leshy, a new heritage in the Battlezoo Bestiary, along with a pack of leshy ancestry feats.

Go to the Kickstarter.

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Tags: Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition

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Playing as a dragon… very cool!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Pledged and stoked!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I love the Orpok! I've been wanting a Sus inspired Ancestry for years. I've really missed the Orcs of old, which were porcine in appearance. Had planned to make my own, but this does the work for me!


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I don't know if it's going to make it's goal... It's got 31 more days to get to 20,000 and it's only made 63,000 so far. ;)


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Here’s hoping there’s a way to get those new Ancestries other than by buying an AP I probably won’t have much use for - the g’mayun are what I expected from the shisk!

Happily backed for the dragon ancestry, though; I can’t wait to play an outer dragon

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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I know it's weird to spend my RPG Superstar prize money on a Kickstarter to get the hardcover of a book that has my monster. But this is an awesome project made by awesome people! The ancestries look amazing and the monster part system sounds super fun. I'm totally looking forward for this release.


Q: Does anyone know what those snake-like humanoids are? (The ones pursuing the wildfire leshy, g’mayun & ladybug-sprite?)

Please & thank you.

--C.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think they are called Snakedead, but I may have misread.


Cyfer wrote:
I think they are called Snakedead, but I may have misread.

Thanks!

(^_')=b

--C.


The monster parts system seems reasonably useful as a way to allow the players a bit more control of what gear they wind up with, and to even out loot distribution, while still having more flavor than "have some coin, kid. The magic shop's over there." So that's cool.

It seems to be selling the idea that it's offering more overall flexibility than the standard PF2 loot tables. Is that true? Is it offering more options there?

Also, as an honestly very specific question, it mentions flexibility in making shields. For those who actually want to shield block with any regularity, it seems like your only real option in the standard set of magic items is Sturdy Shield... which, ironically, means that the people for whom shields are most important are the ones that have the least interesting shields. Does this address that particular issue in any way?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sanityfaerie wrote:

The monster parts system seems reasonably useful as a way to allow the players a bit more control of what gear they wind up with, and to even out loot distribution, while still having more flavor than "have some coin, kid. The magic shop's over there." So that's cool.

It seems to be selling the idea that it's offering more overall flexibility than the standard PF2 loot tables. Is that true? Is it offering more options there?

More flexibility, definitely. You don't just get version 1 of an item and then have wait 4-6 levels to get a better version. You get one almost immediately for a lot of it, like 2 levels later immediately. More options? Sort of. Certainly more options when it comes to property runes and skill items, which the system basically replaces.

For example, in vanilla, if you want a fire sword, you have the flaming rune at 8, greater flaming at 15 and the two versions of flame tongue. The end.

With the monster part system, your sword can deal fire damage at level 2. In addition to the pure damage of the might path, you also have the technique (cc, persistent damage and stuff) and magic (spells) path. Each of these 3 is basically a separate property rune that scales with level. Exactly how it scales I don't know, but I'd guess a new version every 2 levels for this one (they said some options have up to 10 "tiers"). All the way up to 20, so basically 30 runes in the rune system. You can build your own flame tongue, but earlier (probably at 10 and it'll obviously be worse, but still) and it'll scale. When you put in the technique path at 16, boy howdy... . Provided you have the parts, ofc.

And keep in mind, you don't actually have to give up the options vanilla already has. I'm pretty sure that the "light" version of the system doesn't replace anything, so you can have everything at the same time.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
Also, as an honestly very specific question, it mentions flexibility in making shields. For those who actually want to shield block with any regularity, it seems like your only real option in the standard set of magic items is Sturdy Shield... which, ironically, means that the people for whom shields are most important are the ones that have the least interesting shields. Does this address that particular issue in any way?

The idea is that we get a basic shield template for either every level or every second level. That shield then has one property slot into which we can put one property - one of which is sturdy. We don't know quite how effective it'll be, but with that we will apparently be able to build shields that can do something cool, while still not disintegrating if an enemy looks at it funny. Or a more incrementally scaling sturdy shield if you are into blocking all the things.

Maybe Mark can give a more concrete answer earlier, but I can definitely tell you more when I get the pdf later next month.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Reeeeaaaallly hoping character gen software gets on board toot sweet!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WatersLethe wrote:
Reeeeaaaallly hoping character gen software gets on board toot sweet!

They are expecting pathbuilder support and have confirmed foundryvtt support at the very least, so we are golden :D

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