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Letters from the Flaming Crab is Flaming Crab Games' showcase series. Each volume is roughly 6,000 words exploring a different topic. The books are also a chance to for new writers to jump into RPG writing.
The first three volumes are out and for sale here in the Paizo store, over at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow, and on the d20pfsrd store.
Volume 1, Winged Cavalry, introduces a new alternate class for the cavalier that focuses on flying mounts. There's also five new cavalier orders, all centered on flying mounts, and mounted, flying combat rules.
Volume 2, Culinary Magic, introduces a new magic crafting system centered around cooking magical meals that give fun but useful bonuses. There's feats, traits, magic items, and two new archetypes (Kitchen Witch and Performing Chef) to support the system.
Volume 3, Haunted Place, is exactly what it sounds like. There are four new haunts (and one loci) for you to play with. There's also a new spirit for the medium (the Child), and three new archetypes (for the mesmerist, spiritualist, and anti-paladin respectively).
And that's what's out so far. We're already at work on the next two volumes.
Volume 4, Wheel of the Year presents a number of pagan holidays that can be easily slotted into your campaign world. There's information on sacred deities, common rituals, and a new spell for each holiday. The book is fully written and going into layout now. We plan for a release later this month.
Volume 5, Iconic Princesses takes three famous fairy-tale princesses and turns them into iconic characters, Pathfinder style with traits for 1st, 7th, and 12th level. We'll also be including new options to support the princesses that could include magic items, feats, traits, and other materials. We just hired the writers for this book and we plan on a December release.
And that's what's going on for Letters from the Flaming Crab through the end of the year.
What would you like to see us tackle next? What subject do you wish was better covered? Part of the purpose of the Letters is to explore the strange and the unusual and the little explored.
So, please, give us your ideas and support the line! Thanks!
Sidekicks. Leadership is probably the most bannable feat in the game and for good reason. You're mechanically entitled to NPCs within one feat, one of which is a cohort that gives you access to an entire different class, and unlike animal companions there's no structure to keep it in check. You can just cherry pick the best support options in the game and have access to them with that one feat. You could give access to pre-existing NPCs through leadership but its such a strain on the GM and mechanically its uninteresting even if it has value on the flavor. One thing I've been working on as a homebrew was what if cohorts and followers were more codified and mechanically interacted with the PC. Using some of the logic behind Animal Companions and NPC classes I started making cohorts and followers that not only advanced as your leadership score goes up but gained changes that reflect what the leading PC is teaching them. For you guys I think having ready-made cohorts with notes on what they start off with at what leadership score would work out. And better yet, teamwork-like feats that are exclusive to cohorts that make them interact with their leader or cohort exclusive abilities that reflect that they are raw recruits.
Another topic that is interesting is hazards and environments. One thing that makes a game a bit more fun is when the environment is more dynamic making players have to make some choices other than, run up and hit it or cast a spell. But with hazard books the actual hazards doesn't have to be the end of it. One thing that is often lacking, especially when it comes to non magic characters are options to overcome hazards, like new skill uses, feats that make you more dynamic on an unstable battlefield or combat options to weaponize a dangerous environment. Whenever I have new players fighting in a cave one of them wants to try to shoot down a stalagmite for some damage. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Sure I make things up to deal with that whim whether I think it's possible or not but thats the way I see a lot of new players think. They don't want to just slap it around with a sword they want to interact with what's around them and take advantage of terrain. A class that could really use a boost in this topic is probably the Ranger.
Well, Volumes 1,2,4 and 5 are going straight on my wishlist. All those topics are interesting to me.
Malwing, since you are entering the realm of semi-professional reviewer with your blog, my guess is you can ask Alex Abel (the head crab) to pass you review copies. Your ideas are being recorded as possibilities. Thank you for them. :)
I'm currently working on three reviews from complementary copies but when I'm done with those I'll ask.
More updates! Alex, our captain, and I sat down and worked out Letters of the Flaming Crab for the first few months of the new year. We've already started recruiting writers for January and February.
We are recruiting writers, with an emphasis on writers with little to no professional credits yet, for volumes 6 and 7. You can find details in the recruitment thread.
Volume 6, Tiny Dragons, will look at new variations of psuedodragons, faerie dragons, and tidewater dragons. We'll also be presenting new archetypes for PCs who specialize in working with little dragons and dragon stones, magic items that only the songs of these amazing but compact dragons can unlock. Scheduled for mid-January.
Volume 7, Coins and Credit, will be a brief but intense examination of how banks, credit, and coin can work in a fantasy world. Sure, you've got 10,000 gp! But do you really want to lug all that around? We'll provide alternatives. Scheduled for mid-February.
Volume 8 Women of History, will be a special volume in honor of Women's History Month. We'll be presenting a number of real, historical women who helped change the world and then offer archetypes based on them for use in Pathfinder. We'll be recruiting only female writers for this particular volume. Scheduled for mid-March.
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Volume 7 sounds like a SUPERB idea to me. Seriously, kudos!
Thanks! Hopefully we'll do the issue justice. We've got some great writers already on it, including the very awesome Luke Palosaari (writer for Fat Goblin Games and editor of the Call to Arms line) and Jeff Swank (a top 8 finalist in this year's SuperStar).
And another update!
Letters from the Flaming Crab #4: Wheel of the Year is currently in layout. For a sneak peek of the cover, with art by the amazing Allen Morris, take a look here:
Wheel of the Year is written by JJ Jordan, Nate Love, and Lucas Palosaari. It covers the holidays of the pagan calendar (Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasadh, Mabon, and Samhain) along with the full moon.
Each holiday listing includes:
- A short summary of the holiday, the reasons for its celebration, and details on the festivals held on that day. All to make it easier for a GM to slot the holiday into their campaign world.
- A list of deity types that hold the holiday sacred.
- The holiday's mystic resonance. Find out what types of magics are enhanced on a sacred day and which are suppressed.
- A special ritual/spell that can only be performed on the holiday.
Each holiday is specifically designed to be world agnostic to make it easily adapted to any campaign setting.
Wheel of the Year should hit stores within the next two weeks.
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Just putting out an update!
Wheel of the Year (book 4), is out! You can buy it here on Paizo or in one of the OBS stores or the open gaming store.
Because Wheel of the Year came to the table late due to RL, we're adjusting our schedule a bit.
First, the big crab plans on holding a Kickstarter next month to fund a full year's worth of Letters from the Flaming Crab. That'll cover the cost of art and writing. Alex really wants to be able to pay our writers by the word.
Iconic Princesses (book 5), is now planned for a January release. We will be introducing you to Hua Mulan (eager brawler), Snow White (determined occultist), Rappun Zel (braided hair whipping monk), and Viruden (Beauty the witch). We'll also include a smattering of new items, spells, and so forth.
Tiny Dragons (book 6), is scheduled for February. You'll get to meet the monarch faerie dragon, the koi faerie dragon, the swan-necked pseudodragon, the ectoplasmic psuedodragon, the coral tidepool dragon, and the packice tidal dragon. Also included will be new archetypes (for both PCs and for familiars) and a new type of wondrous item known as dragon stones that require the songs of tiny dragons to activate!
Women of History (book 7), will now be book 7 so we can release it as part of women's history month. All female authors selecting important women from history and creating archetypes inspired by them.
Coins and Credit (book 8), was originally scheduled for a February release but circumstances have pushed it to April. We'll be looking at banks, credit, and currency in a fantasy world. What DO you do with that sack of 10,000 gold coins you just liberated? How does a letter of credit work in a magical society? How hard is it to spot a counterfit coin? Or to make one? Just a few of the questions we're going to try to answer.
And that's where we stand right now. Thanks to all the people who have supported Letters from the Flaming Crab thus far! We're really excited about this coming year.
Just thought I'd post an update!
Letters from the Flaming Crab: Iconic Princesses is in final edits and enters layout tomorrow. We have the art so things should proceed quickly from there. The book will be out on OBS by the end of the month. It might take longer to get it here.
What's in Iconic Princesses? We've got:
* Beauty, the witch who protects the innocent from the ignorant.
* Mulan, the bawdy brawler.
* Rapunzel, the hair-whipping monk.
* Snow White, the occultist that turned the evil queen's weapons against her.
Each character has been done in full "iconic" format and is presented at 1st, 7th, and 12th level.
As a reminder, we're working to fund a full year's worth of Letters from the Flaming Crab via a Kickstarter. We've still got a ways to go before we reach our goal so please consider supporting us.
And if you want to vote on future topics for Letters from the Flaming Crab (or suggest new ones) consider taking a moment to visit the poll we have going.
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Thanks, EZG. We really appreciate it. Letters is a harder sell than most books because its a little off the beaten path.
"Like the monthly Pathfinder Companion series but a bit kookier" is the best I can come up with to explain it. :)
We just hit (close to) half-way on the Kickstarter and I spent all day putting together Iconic Princesses in layout. It should be out very soon.
That's exactly why I think the series is cool, at least in concept - while I haven't read any of the letters yet, they definitely are part of my catch-up process to cover all Flaming Crab material released so far and concept-wise, they truly sound interesting!
Thank you! I'm looking forward to when you get to the Letters series.
Thanks for your support.
It looks like we will be producing 13 books (someone picked the "make an extra book" tier) this year. January's book, Iconic Princesses, finished layout and went to Alex for a final check yesterday.
I'll be working with the writers to make final edits to February's book, Tiny Dragons next week. Looking forward to that. We're doing all sorts of neat things with psuedodragons, faerie dragons, and tidewater dragons.