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RPG Superstar 9 Season Dedicated Voter. Organized Play Member. 1,041 posts (2,915 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 9 aliases.


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Hi! I'm J Gray, from Fat Goblin Games. We license Castle Falkenstein from R. Talsorian. I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Pondsmiths and their team at GenCon this weekend. Here's what was said, specifically, on current plans:

* Witcher is almost done. There are final edits to do and then they ship it out to Poland for approval from CD Projekt Red. No release date has been announced because they aren't sure how long it'll take CPR to go through the book and if changes will be requested.

* Cyberpunk Red will be Cyberpunk 2020 1.5. Some small rule changes and an update to the technology so it makes more sense from a modern perspective (your real world cellphone shouldn't be half the size of the cellphone your character uses in game. They're hoping to release that within a year. A Cyberpunk 2077 put out to coincide with the video game is possible but there are currently no promises there.

* I am told most of Mekton Zero is written and it sounds pretty darn neat to me. I can't speak to specifics as I didn't sit in on the Mekton seminar but I believe they are hoping to have the books to backers by the end of the year. The other promised rewards, such as the minis, might take longer.

* No specific word on Cybergeneration or Teenagers from Outer Space.

* Castle Falkenstein is currently in the hands of Fat Goblin Games. We're producing new material for the Great Game and have put out six products thus far: Curious Creatures (the definitive bestiary), Firearms and Margarine (a political murder mystery Adventure Entertainment), Babbage's Engine (a one to two session Adventure Entertainment written by Steve Kenson), and three Variations: optional plug-in rules which allow Hosts and Players to customize the Great Game. We have another Adventure Entertainment and a new Variation on the way. The next really big release is Miss Peril's Guide to Paris, a sourcebook for living and adventuring in the City of Lights.

I hope this helped!

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Canadian Bakka wrote:
Anyways, I loved the product - I just wished there was more examples or a guideline on building your own library (not like the Downtime building, but more like an actual library that you could use with similar benefits for research purposes or reducing research costs).

Guidelines for building libraries are in Ultimate Intrigue (which we can't refer to by name in the actual book for legal reasons, at this time). If you mean "build my own library" we're discussing a project which might be helpful there in the future.

I was also hoping for some more magic items or spells with a library or literature theme (like the old lenses of speed reading that I recall from 1st/2nd edition D&D), but I am glad you guys did a chart with a fairly updated list of PF types that are in someway related to books, libraries, and/literature.

I know what you mean. I'd have liked to have included a bit of that myself. Space limits. :)

The artworks are gorgeous but I can't help wonder if some of the art are actually photographs?

A few are, yes. There's so many beautiful pictures of books, codexes, and tablets we couldn't help but use a few.

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Thank you for the review!

Sorry, all. My fault for this. Winter just...

... was winter. You were fantastic players.

A trip to the money changer and you can make 50 dinars per gemstone. How many do you want to sell?

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Just a reminder... several people (hopefully) got free copies of this book. While reviews aren't required in return, they are appreciated.

About 150 dinars. You might want to cash in that gem at the money changer. :)

"It is a three day trip north, through the desert, to Shapeir. If those of you capable of riding purchase a saurus the trip will be cut down to a mere two days. The trail is well marked. Assuming you do not deviate from it, you likely won't encounter too many dangers. Giant scorpions, much smaller than the one you brought this stinger from will not hunt large groups. Jackalmen and brigands might but not if you look well armed. Ghouls will attack at night but generally not a camp with a well tended fire."

Those of you who have been in Raseir for more than a week will know no one rides horses here. Instead, they ride a bipedal lizard known as a saurus.

"I believe I have the supplies I need." the Apothecary tells Felitcia, her voice softening slightly. "However, I would appreciate you playing messenger for me. I have a note which must be delivered to the Astrologer."

The Apothecary hands over an envelope, sealed with wax.

"When you give him this note, please tell Abu al-Njun I think of him still."

The apothecary holds out her gloved hand. When she is given the fungus to examine she brings it up under her robes. The group can hear her sniffing at it. Perhaps tasting it, then immediately spitting whatever she tastes out.

"These are common in Mordavia. They grow in places where the fae gather and hold just a touch of their magic. This has been twisted, though. Changed. The faerie magic enhanced and changed by fire magic. Magic in Shapeir is often elemental in nature. You might travel north, to the city of Shapeir, and speak to Aziza the Sorceress who specializes in water magic or Keapon Laffin, the magic shop owner who works with air. They might be able to tell you more."

The Alchemist leans forward and examines the stinger.

"The size. Remarkable. The largest I've ever seen."

She draws out a long, sharp metal spike. Something akin to an oversize hatpin. Then with suddenly violence she thrusts it down into the stinger. A moment later, she draws the spike out and examines the liquid residue.

"And full of venom. Beautiful! I will happily pay you two hundred dinars for this prize."

The trip through the alleyways of Raseir, cleverly shaded against the harshness of the sun, takes little time and, fortunately, you have been here long enough to not get lost in the winding, narrow ways. You emerge in the Fountain Plaza. Waterskins are refilled and the smell of freshly cooked koobideh fills the air. Lamb, tenderly cooked and flavored with a beautiful array of spices.

The Apothecary welcomes those who enter, her form again completely covered from head to toe in a burka, making it impossible to see just who she might be under the dark cloth.

"Welcome and good return, friends." she says as she motions towards the giant scorpion stinger., "I see you have brought me something fascinating. Please, please. Place it on the counter."

With a payment of six bright yellow gemstones the party makes their way back out into the sunlight.

To the alchemist?

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It is, indeed, likely "Ponyfinder" for said show.

Jenrick sees a young man, not much older than he was when he first began adventuring, approach the Guild. He eyes the son of Zeus, and the stinger nearly as large as he is, cautiously and then steps past. Inside, the young man looks around with large eyes and then quickly hurries over to the Adventurer's Log to sign his name.

"Return to me soon, my heroes." Nawar says with a wink before she rises and spreads her arms.

"Welcome, adventurer! By signing the log you have taken your first step into a greater world. Come, let me show you the quest board where you can find a task suitable for your first adventure. I do believe the Astronomer is seeking someone to recover sand for him from a specific site in the desert..."

The tea is left behind to be finished and your quest continues.

"The Emir (may she always shine with the intensity of the sun) and I had speculated as much when last we enjoyed each other's company." Nawar begins pouring tea for those present. She kisses each cup before setting them before the gathered adventurers.

"Check with the alchemist. Pursue what you find. Return to me in all your glory with details. The proclamation can be rewritten if needed but if there is someone out there capable of controlling giant scorpions that is a danger to all of Shapeir. Only so much trading can be done by flying carpet. We need our caravans to be safe."

She draws out a bag from... somewhere on her person and works it open. Six bright yellow stones, perfectly cut, are removed. She kisses and places them, one by one, upon the table.

"Your payment for deeds the poets will write verse about and I will sigh over." Nawar insists. "There will be further payment and my eternal admiration and gratitude for your aid to our city and our sultanate of course."

Morning arrives and the sun wavers and shines as it rises above the Shaperian desert. The giant (giant!) scorpion has been vanquished but it is clear it was under someone's control. The Sultan's proclamation was not found.

Following the cliffs, the party reaches the gates of Rasier with little trouble. Stopping briefly to quench their first from the cool, fresh waters of the central fountain they continue on until they reach the Adventurer's Guild where Nawar awaits.

"My heroes have returned!" Nawar says. She is wearing no less cloth than she did yesterday but, somehow, her outfit seems even more revealing. "In triumph, I hope. I blush with excitement knowing what dangers you may have faced."

Sorry about that. It seems like these freaking rounds of colds get worse every year.

Jenrick, always the chance to RP or always the skip ahead?

Do you want the chance to RP or shall we skip ahead?

The cold is dangerous, as is traveling in the dark but the real danger is the undead. There are ghouls who roam the sands at night. Add to that the fatigue of not having slept yet and it isn't something you'd recommend doing if you can avoid it. Once the sun rises you should be able to make it back to Raseir before lunch.

The scroll fragment has no lingering aura. The wand is evocation magic, most likely a magic missile spell, and seems fully charged. The pills have a faint magic conjuration (healing) magic to them, which makes sense. They are what they appear to be. The mushrooms have an enchantment (charm) aura lingering about the edges, as if they were being prepared to be used in something but hadn't yet been fully acclimated to the magic. You also find hints of faint conjuration (teleportation) magic near the bed.

[i]You find no secret doors or tunnels but you do find a charred scroll rack with ashes inside which indicate there were once scrolls held in it.[i]

Sorry, folks. Busy couple of days. To not draw this out, I'll sort of fast foward things a bit...

The party finds no monsters, no fiends, no ghouls, not a soul, living or undead, of any kind in the caverns. Instead, they find two additional chambers.

If you look at the map it is has been entirely revealed. Room 1 is the entrance tunnel. Room 2 is a large, empty cavern.

The room marked 3 on the map.

There are large beds of straw here as well as the dismembered remains and bones of dozens of corpses, both human and animal. Spoor on the floor suggests this was once home to the giant (giant) scorpion. Buried among the remains, Hektor finds a tattered cloth bag which contains a ceramic jar of the sort used by the apothecary. Inside are five healing pills (each is the equivalent of a cure light wounds potion) as well as 120 dinars.

The room marked 4 on the map.

This cavern is the source of the smoke and the cause becomes evident quickly. Once this was obviously someone's quarters. The burning remains of a bed, a workbench, chests, and various other furnishings can be made out through the smoke... which is multiple colors, suggesting the items burning aren't just wood. Already, the fire is beginning to die out fuel is consumed and the flames find no purchase in the rock.

Perception Checks:
Hektor: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Trathing: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Rhiastra: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Jenrick: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Felitcia: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27

Again, Hektor's eyes prove sharp as he pushes aside the smoldering remains of the goosedown mattress and finds a wand seemingly carved from ivory and adorned with arrows, each painted a different color.

Felitica, meanwhile, explores the remnants of the workbench. Whomever lived in this case was certainly an expert in some arcane art or another. An alchemist, perhaps, or a wizard. She discovers a fragment of paper upon which is written a number of symbols she doesn't recognize as well as a metal box. Inside the metal box are cuttings from the same mushroom which seemed to have infected the giant scorpion.

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Cassandra takes a deep breath and chants a strange sequence.

"D times S squared equals negative open parenthesis alpha squared minus Beta i times Beta to the power of i closed parenthesis times d times t squared plus 2 times beta i times d times x squared times d times t plus y i j times d times x squared times d times x to the power of j!"

And with that, space warps and folds... and the foursome find themselves on the opposite shore.

No mention of the Norns, Xagunder. In fact, while a World Tree is rather Norse in concept, the flavor here is much more Greek as a home for an amazonian race.

Trathing and Felitica:
You smell it first. Smoke. Something ahead is on fire. Not the sort of fire that comes from simply burning wood for warmth or cooking fuel but a mixture of different chemicals, all mixing together.

As you round the corner, you peer into a large cavern. Time has worn away at the walls but, again, you can see this was once crafted with evidence of stone work, carefully carved, here and there. It is empty except for the odd stalagtite or stalagmite. There are two tunnels away from the cavern, besides the one you stand in, both in the northern wall. Smoke billows out of the right one. Something down that tunnel is on fire...

Map has been updated.

Those who are currently near the mouth of the tunnel can feel the cold settling in as the sun finishes setting. Outside, the wind blows. Inside, you can smell the faint scent of smoke coming from further in the tunnels.

I've updated the map to reflect your new surroundings. As soon as I know what everyone is doing, I'll note what Trathing and whomever follows him finds.

With the sun setting, the moon rises and the stars begin to shine. Those of your party who can see in the darkness see it seems natural at first but further inspection shows the walls are simply overgrown with calcification. Elements of worked stone can be seen, here and there, under the creeping of perhaps centuries worth of rock.

The tunnel seems to go on for nearly one hundred feet before curving northward.

It is the work of hours. Sweating. Toiling. Digging. Conjuring. Tying. Hauling. Only the ability of the spellcasters to bring life quenching water from seemingly nothing keeps the group from working to death. In the end, however, as the sun begins to dip down below the desert floor, the task is done. The group hauls and strains and the giant rock comes crashing down to reveal a tunnel leading deep into the cliffside. Wide enough for even Rhiastra to trot through.

Just a quick show of hands. Is everyone willing to take the time to take 20 on this?

If you're willing to take the time, primary rollers can take 20. It will mean you're going to be in the desert towards night fall, however. It gets cold and dangerous then.

Okay. I'll take a K (nature) check to guide wetting down the sand properly and effectively and K (engineering) to secure the rope. You are free to work together

You can see scratch marks in the stone where it seems the scorpion grasped it with both claws and then lifted it. They are uniform, suggesting the scorpion did this many times and grabbed in the same spot each time. You can find no smaller doors or entryways. Which means if there IS something else in there, either they have another way out... or they are now trapped.

Careful examination of the stone from the perspective of military engineering tells you can move it but it would be difficult. Sand is particularly difficult to dig into as holes fill back in rapidly which makes trenching beneath it to unbalance the stone harder. A magical solution might be more viable. Back when you were regular legion, you remember a wizard attached to the unit occasionally performing tricks involving turning stone to mud and vice versa.

Marche will be NPC'd for the time being. At the moment, she is being quiet as she sips water.

Jenrick Fort: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Hektor Fort: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Rhiastra Fort: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Trathing Fort: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Felitcia Fort: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22

The group follows the tracks for over an hour. By the time the cliffs of the mountains come into view, and cast welcome shade upon the party, Jenrick and Hektor are sweating buckets and feeling the effects of the desert heat.

Hektor and Jenrick, until you rest for an hour out of the sun you'll be at a -1 to all d20 rolls.

The tracks lead straight to the cliffs and a large, flat stone which must weigh quite a bit blocking what seems to be a cave of some sort. Further examination of the stone shows it to be fifteen feet high, ten feet across, and at least a foot thick. The sort of stone a giant (giant!) scorpion might be able to move if it could think enough to make itself a door...

Just double checking. Everyone is following Rhiastra?

That works. Rhiastra, you're pushed up over for that.

Survival DC 25:
Following the tracks of any giant scorpion is hard. They burrow and are nearly impossible to follow once underground. However, there is a faint line in the sand, as if it were collapsing in on itself. It might be possible to follow it. It leads to the south, towards the mountains.

The centaur shaman's healing energy feels much like a Medditerrean breeze and is certainly a welcome, but brief respite from the oppressive desert heat.

GM foo:
Hektor Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
Rhiastra Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Jenrick Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Trathing Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Marche Percpetion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16

As the giant (giant) scorpion's shining corpse gleams in the unwavering heat, both Hektor and Rhiastra notice a strange growth on the back of its now unmoving head.

K(nature) 10:
The growth are mushrooms, specifically white fairy mushrooms which are native to the forests of Speilburg Valley and Mordavia and unlikely to thrive in a place like Shapeir. They grew most often on dead and rotting logs, not on the heads of giant bug monsters.

For someone lacking proper horse parts, anyway... :)

With Rhiastra's healing, the poison is neutralized in Marche's body. The scorpion's stinger, big enough it requires not one but two people to properly detach it, is removed.

I did mean Jenrick, yes. :) Sorry.

Almost as one, Hektor and Felitcia strike. The giant (giant!) scorpion staggers once and falls to the sand. Its tail twitches and then it, too, falls. The party has ended the life of the monster which threatened the caravans of Shapeir, although Marche still has the poison coarsing through her body.


Everyone is under the effects of bless. That bumps Marche up to a 24, Hektor up to an 11, and Trathing up to a 15 on their attacks.

Hektor avoids attack but time spent with the shield is not time spent swinging. His own attacks prove ineffective. Marche proves to be silent but effective as her blade strikes in the same spot twice and removes the giant scorpion's leg nearly entirely. It screams in pain, a sound none of you will soon be forgetting. So intense is it, the beast barely notices the rime of frost forming on its midsection as Trathing continues to pump cold energy inside of it.

Initiative Order: Scorpion, Trathing, Rhiastra, Jenrick, Felticia, Marche, Hektor.

Current Damage
Trathing: 0
Rhiastra: 0
Jenrick: 14
Felticia: 0
Marche: 18 + poisoned for 6 rounds
Hektor: 14
Scorpion: 34

I moved a few people on the map in accordance with their posts. Everyone, you're free to move yourselves on the map as well. You should be able to.

The scorpion rears as the feeling of intense cold sinks into its flesh. Rising up as it does causes Hektor to misjudge his strike and his blade tastes nothing but air. Marche has more luck and his swing cuts cleanly into the giant monster's claw.

Scorpion takes a combined 19 points of damage from attacks in round one.

Jenrick Fortitude save w/ antitoxin: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32

Jenrick feels the antitoxin sink down his throat. The magic contained inside spreads instantly and he literally sweats the poison from his pours. Black liquid oozes up onto his skin and drips down to the ground below even as the green glow of Rhiastra's healing light sinks inside of him.


Claw attack on Hektor: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Claw attack on Trathing: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
Sting attack on Marche: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Sting damage: 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Marche Fort save vs poison: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17

The scorpion, feeling the sting of its prey, unleashes its attacks. Claws sweep outward, attempting to break Trathing and Hektor with their massive crushing force but both dodge out of the way. Marche is not so lucky and the stinger of the scorpion jabs into his thigh. Poison flows into his body.

Marche, you take 17 points of damage and are poisoned. Poison starts dealing damage next round on the scorpion's turn.

Felticia Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
As Felticia weaves around to the rear of the scorpion she notices something growing from the back of its head. It looks almost like a cluster of the poisonous mushrooms which spring up overnight on dead logs back home in Mordavia.

Initiative Order: Scorpion, Trathing, Rhiastra, Jenrick, Felticia, Marche, Hektor.

Current Damage
Trathing: 0
Rhiastra: 0
Jenrick: 14
Felticia: 0
Marche: 18 + poisoned for 6 rounds
Hektor: 14
Scorpion: 19

Thanks, Jenrick. I appreciate it.

Your AC on the tagline doesn't match the AC on the sheet.

Surprise Round Over
Round 1 Begins

Please make sure your tagline matches your character sheet. Jenrick, your's does not. I'm assuming your character sheet is correct and not your tagline.

Those of you who swallowed the antitoxin are now have a +5 bonus to Fortitude saves vs poison for the next hour.

Scorpion sting: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Scorpion sting crit confirm: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16 No crit.
Scorpion sting damage: 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Jenrick Fortitude save: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

The scorpion's tail darts forward, plunging into Jenrick's neck. Venom pumps into his system before the tail draws back and the scorpion drops the demigod to the ground.

Jenrick, you take 14 additional points of damage and are now poisoned. I start rolling for poison damage on the scorpion's turn in round 2. For the record, you land on your feet more or less and are not prone.

Scorpion claw 1: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Scorpion claw 1 damage: 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Scorpion claw 2: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17

Dropping Jenrick and seemingly confident the poison will finish him, the scorpion turns to other threats. One claw swings out, slamming into Hektor and denting the Nova Roman soldier's armor... not to mention his ribs. The second claw jabs at Marche but the Mordavian's own armor deflects the blow. Barely.

Hektor takes 14 points of damage.

Initiative Order: Scorpion, Trathing, Rhiastra, Jenrick, Felticia, Marche, Hektor.

Current Damage
Trathing: 0
Rhiastra: 0
Jenrick: 25 + poisoned for 6 rounds.
Felticia: 0
Marche: 0
Hektor: 14

Please let me know if your movement passes within three squares of the really giant scorpion. Its got a very wide threat range. If you attempt to tumble through, the difficulty is 20.

I've never played or run Jade Regent before. I only vaguely know it involves Ameiko the awesome tavern lady possibly being empress of not-China in Pathfinder world... I'll read up.

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