Kyuss Spawnling

Four Horsemen—Famine's page

54 posts. Alias of Steven T. Helt (RPG Superstar 2013).


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Folks, we're just a short way from the next stretch goal, where the Four Horsemen will have a say in how we think daemons should kill your player...ummm...impact your campaign! Ask your group to pitch in and get a print copy for your table!

Also, we headline today's Paizo Blog. Go check it out and give us some mention. Your support will create momentum that will give you more content for the pledge you've already made!

Thanks so much for featuring us! With 6 days to go we're hoping for as many stretch goals as we can reach, including the addition of daemons and the universal monster rules and unique creature abilities from other Pathfinder bestiaries!

Use our unique system to quickly build any creature you can imagine from the ground up! Make your Pathfinder games new again by reskinning your encounters and sing a system that makes infinite bestiaries possible!

The way I understand it, Lorathorn, Kickstarter wants your contribution to be pledged during the campaign. You can certainly pledge $10 and increase it on your last day if that helps you.

Pledging up front helps several things. Helps them keep what they earned from their product straight, helps us with marketing and momentum, and of course helps achieve stretch goals, which benefits everyone.

We're grateful for your interest and if you need anything answered to decide how to back us, please ask away!

We're only about $600 away from the next stretch goal, and things start to get even more interesting after that! CHeck us out and help boost the signal!

My fault! I got a little excited. I'm hoping we have so many stretch goals achieved that we have to supplement the base book with others.

I will go back to my old argument with Pestilence over why GMO hysteria is better for us than antivaxxer hysteria.

Rainzax, at the $30 backer level, you'll get all the pdf products from stretch goals as well as a pdf of the base Talented Bestiary, including creatures and the system. You'll also be able to order a single copy of the book in print-on-demand. At the estimated $19 for print cost, you'll be getting a full color print book and three pdf products for a total of $49, which is pretty great value. Consider that a regular hardback bestiary is $40-50 without the flexible system, player options, monster classes, or templates.

And of course, at $20,000 you'll get additional products for added value.

JiCi wrote:
stuff about the original French water dragon

I say you get the book, build the mythological creature, and show it off on our page. I think that would be fun.

Psion wrote:
Other than the flurry of (cool sounding) monsters you churned out, how does this compare/contrast with the Unchained monster generation system?

The Unchained system is literally quick and dirty encounter design. If you're just looking at both systems for the first time, Unchained probably is a little easier and faster for getting a creature encounter that's 'good enough' to go for tonight's game.

But with a little practice, the Talented Bestiary system is far more flexible and just as quick. It has some biug advantages that stand out to me.

First, Unchained creatures aren't really Pathfinder creatures. Of course they are useful in a Pathfinder game, but they don't have the full function of feats and abilities. Power Attack means something different figured into their easy-version stat block.

Second, the Talented Bestiary is very useful for PCs. Not only are we releasing cool PC options as our first stretch goal, but a group of players could make a balanced party of creatures with racial hit dice and each be totally different. The Unchained system is essentially just for GMs to create NPCs that may have to fight or minions so they only have to spend time fleshing out a complete boss. It's not really suitable for players to create their own.

Third, the Talented Bestiary offers ways to create brand new abilities. I don't remember this being possible with the Unchained system. If you want to create a wholly different aura, spell-like ability, gaze attack, etc, the Talented Bestiary allows for that pretty easily. When you all see the new auras and other stuff we created for (light spoiler) the four apocalyptic nightmares we made, you'll for sure want to start tinkering your own unique abilities.

I am a big fan of Pathfinder Unchained. My favorite parts are the class treatments, automatic bonus progression, skill unlocks, and background skills. I like the quick and dirty tool for monster creation if there weren't a better, more flexible system. Back in my 3.x campaigns I would have loved that. But I think once you see the two systems side by side you have to agree the Talented Bestiary allows your whole table to do more with it.

Dover Pro wrote:
The ability to devise fresh, variant monsters cannot be understated.

Right on. I'm fond of saying that the Talented Bestiary will make Pathfinder and 3.x games brand new again, because so much about creature design is known and taken for granted. This takes the foregone conclusions out of as many encounters as you want!

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Quandary wrote:

If Archetypes can now grant full spell-casting,

it just seems ridiculous to insist they can't alter HD, BAB,
or alter existing (base) spell casting progression...

So...there was design space available for some badass to tinker with the basic chassis of the game like you're talking about.

Until Stephen Rowe and the Four Horsemen got ahold of it. Now it's written and waiting for a certain event to get out there to the public.


And if you add the Construct Companion or the Genius Guide to Gruesome Dragons, let us know on the Four Horsemen Facebook page and we'll get you additional free content from our Free Content Documents on Google Drive!

Owen KC Stephens wrote:
A Gruesome Fiends book is much more likely,

We shouldn't have to say this, but just in case....


Thanks for your support everyone!

Readerbreeder: Some fantastic products you might not have that are available at Paizo include:

The Construct Companion

The Genius Guide to Gruesome Dragons

Advanced Races: Lizardfolk

These things all have 5-star reviws, so we're grateful to fans and reviewers. But while you're waiting for the new products to hit Paizo, maybe consider 1-2 of these!

Our weekly product this week is very exciting! Four Horsemen Present Abstraction Golems reveal the secrets to crafting golems from more powerful, conceptual qualities like fate, hatred, and war. That's right...your artificer PC or clever GM can create a WAR GOLEM, infused with the trapped spirit of an inevitable bound to influence war, or any of the several lofty ideas included in our suite of abstraction golem templates.

Don't hesitate to grab this whether you're a player or a GM. And we promise our player fans, we will help you become a fantastic, golem crafting, erm...machine!

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Silver Griffin wrote:
The talented bestiary you mentioned sounds interesting. I don’t think I have heard about it before so can you tell us a bit about it?

Good to see you again, Griffin!

We are really proud of the Talented Bestiary. The book presents a system for creature design that allows GMs and players to craft new races and monsters from the ground up.

Suppose you wanted to play a PC that has a few racial HD, like building one from the ARG but a little more meatier with racial HD? Or suppose you want your dragons to be unique, or you want to build a mind flayer or beholder for Pathfinder for your home game? By declaring a role and key combat abilities for the creature, you can swiftly build anything you want, and even mix and match types or subtypes to get the flavor you need for your encounter or PC.

That's the Talented Bestiary. We cast aside assumptions about creature types and static abilities, and give you the power to make absolutely anything. And once you know the system, it's actually wicked fast.

That book isn't quite ready for layout, but we anticipate a final turnover within the next few weeks and then we'll begin marketing in advance of its release. It's a big book, featuring a re-imagined version of almost every creature in the Pathfinder Bestiary.

Keep an eye on it!

Today, the blog launches week four, wherein I give away a miniature campaign to highlight how I use horror in campaign and session planning. Tell us what you think!

We're really pleased to have him. He looked me dead in the eye and said "If you want me, I want to do it. No kidding."

What's a Harbinger to say?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

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I don't generally approve of cake.

EDIT—Ugh. That was supposed to post as "Four Horsemen—Famine". Every year it gets me.

The Four Horsemen are have teamed up with our favorite third-party publishers to host our inaugural Four Horsemen Open team tournament.

Want to get enough prize support to make your ticket free, just for showing up? Suppose that support only came from publishers or designers you already recognize? Suppose you and your friends sat down for a game at Gen Con and your GM turned out to be the owner of a quality publishing company, and actual Horseman, an RPG Superstar, or an Iron GM World Champion?

Bring your gaming friends form home and advance to our final round to get prize support from Paizo, ROgue Genius Games, TPK Games, Kobold Press, and Sit before the owner of these companies and more as you battle your way through encounters hoping to be named the Four Horsemen Grand Champions!

Tickets for this event are available at, and the event code is RPG 1568710. We look forward to seeing you!

Of course, try to solidify your party, ask us questions, or comment below!

2 people marked this as a favorite.

For everyone paying attention to this project, I have some simple instructions for you to get in on the fun for free!

Step One: Go to the Kobold Press Facebook page.

Step Two: Scroll until you see the banner with the darakhul art (ghoul looking dude with the scepter).

Step Three: COMMENT "Famine rules!" in the comments. You know. Because Famine and ghouls.....

Step Four: LIKE and SHARE that post because ghouls rock and pansy breathing creatures are merely food.

Do these things and I promise great things in your (soon to be undead) character's future!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

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GM_Beernorg wrote:
Also wonder if Owen is big in Cheliax, and does he give out nifty black robes with disturbing embroidery? ;)

Cheliax? Isn't that where they worship..."Him"?

I could spit.

Uh....pretend that was posted by Four Horsemen—Famine. Oops.

Thanks, Marc! Would you mind linking the page that shows that list? I can't find it.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

Steven T. Helt requires the following offering before revealing his bio and image to the masses:

* One holy sword, disenchanted, melted down, and molded in the image of a fiendish locust,
* The fasting of a mythic antipaladin, and
* the conversion of three good oracle, clerics, or paladins into ghouls.

Give me these things, and he will reveal himself to you all.


Aw.....on the Superstar forums, I can't post as Famine. : (

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

Always rifle through past years to check! : }

We've partnered with our friend at Rogue Genius Games to offer another in the "Gruesome" creature line of books—the Genius Guide to Gruesome Dragons.

We're very proud of this book, and you can get it here for a discounted price at!

As always, any book we write that succeeds in terms of sales and buzz gets free additional content, some of which our fans are already privy to!

Please grab a copy of the book, and then send us a message at so we can give you access to free Pathfinder design work!

I wanted my first blog entry with my friends at to be vintage Famine.

A hazard is best described as challenges that don't really qualify as creatures, but still have stat blocks. Poisons, traps, haunts, land slides, green slime. Those things are all hazards according to our definition.

This is important because if you and all your friends back this kickstarter at a high level, we'll write a very cool guide to adventuring in a post-poc setting. Survival rules, curses, and more designs will challenge players for multiple campaigns including higher levels. And we'll let some backers in on the action.

But tell your friends! Kicksarter campaigns need momentum as we are no different. We have got to get well past that initial $8k level to give you these guides, and even a BONUS ADVENTURE.

And of course, if we reach a certain stretch goal, some of those designs could be published alongside the Four Horsemen in the high-level hazard guide!

Jeff is kind to mention the accolades for a couple of our authors, but each one of them is someone you should all watch and support. These authors are knocking it out of the park.

And don't let Jeff sell himself short. He's been on time and easy to work with. He delivered exactly what I asked from him and now we're just tweaking the first adventure of FIVE.

Back us at the $36 today, and then decide if you want to increase it to get the stretch goal products. Imagine, a full adventure path, in your hands, for $36. Plus free web content from the Four Horsemen. You don't find a deal like that often, and you won't see a story as unique and gritty as this for a while.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

Victoria is part of our Cross of Fire adventure path from Louis Porter Jr. Games. As author of the saga's second adventure Havoc of the Mind's Eye, the reigning RPG Superstar gets you deep into a post-apocalyptic story where survival is still a struggle for 9th level characters.

She's done a great job with this, and reinforced my belief that the best horror stories are also incredibly heart-tugging. Come to our KS page and back her, and two other Superstar names as well!

I have to say, we are very excited to work on this project for Louis. I've been acting as developer for the Four Horsemen as we tackle some fun ambitious projects, but developing this saga and working with other high-caliber authors makes it even more fun!

Tying the adventure themes into a seamless plot that helps describe a terrifying, post apoc setting, that was the challenge,we signed on for, and developing the plot was one of the,most exciting mestings we've had.

Please be,ready to back this project, and trust that the finale will be a tough, grisly game worthy of its predecessors, and inspired by the most murderous of old school adventures!

You mean this, Owen?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

Thanks for your support, everyone. The big book gets a lot of design attention from our various authors every day. While you wait for us to finish that and commission art, please consider getting our Guide to Gruesome Giants. 23 pages of templates, feats, and playable classes for only $4.99!

This book will let you know what to expect from the Four Horsemen and the "Gruesome" line of products. It will also be handy to have when we start producing adventures for Rogue Genius Games!

Anyway, let us know what you think, and we'll all be right here rooting for you during the 2015 competition!

We have a 5-star review at RPGNow!

This book was fun to write, the interiotr art is awesome, and the next Gruesome book is already finished!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You're gonna love this book, my friend. It will exactly present alternate takes on a lot of monsters, most a little more powerful, some a little less to create skirmish or footsoldier versions. In every case, the goal is to challenge the assumptions about the original creature, or to focus on an iconic aspect of it.

I'll tel a brief story: We decided to have a little contest, a pair of the designers and myself. Pestilence dropped the rules on Facebook and we raced to completely finish our CR 6 monster's stat block from the ground up.

Little confession, I got excited and didn't pay attention to the rules, so I finished first, and even wrote some fluff and descriptive text, before realizing I'd made the wrong kind of monster. So I started over with a brand new monster and built him again from the ground up.

Now, I finished third out of three because of that, and the guys gave me a hard time. But what's important is three of us scratch built four complete CR 6 monsters from the ground up in about half an hour.

So destrachan hunter killers? phase spider king? great wyrm chimera? marilith godslayer? The book will present a system for making anything you want intuitively and quickly.

And writing this book is the most fun I have had in design. I love Pathfinder and I'm proud to make planning easier and fun for the GM.

While you're waiting on the next offering in the Talented series, we here in Abaddon would like to know what you'd like to see in a Talented Bestiary. Our system is done and we're designing monsters. What's a take on a classic Pathfinder monster you think has been missed?

As an alternative, what do you need to throw at your players that you just haven't found somewhere else?

So....let's have a mechanical tease. What would make a giant most gruesome and scary to you as players?

Maybe it rips the arms off your friend and savagely beats you with them.

Perhaps it's incredibly stealthy for its size, able to contort itself into small space with ease. It's 12 feet tall and weighs 2,000 pounds...but it's still hiding in the shadow behind your door.

Maybe you're a power gamer and themes don't scare you. Maybe you'll respect a giant because it's spells are larger and more powerful simply because the caster is larger and more powerful.

Sure, these things and much more are in the Genius Guide to Gruesome Giants. But what would it take for a giant to scare YOU?

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