Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pathfinder "Ultimate Campaign" Book is Almost Out

Being an big fan of the Pathfinder Role Playing Game, I have the "Pathfinder RPG Ongoing Subscription" on It's a service that pre-orders all the Pathfinder "main series" releases as they come out at the list price. The benefit to the buyer is that I get a free PDF of the book order when it ships.

Yesterday, I received an email stating he following:

In the next week or so, we're expecting to ship Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Campaign (OGL) Hardcover, the next product of your subscription.

It's no the definitive release date I was hoping for but it's still very good news. I've been looking for to this release for awhile now, ever since I read it's going to included updated Kingdom Building rules. This is exciting for me on a personal level because I've Game Mastered the "Kingmaker Adventure Path" before and I love the idea of the player's carving out a new county out of a dangerous wilderness. Unfortunately, my group fell apart right after the start of book two...right when Kingdom Building kicked off.

Some of my Player's complained that they didn't like Kingdom Building. They thought it was a hassle and just wanted to spend our time at the table adventuring in the Stolen Lands. It is my desire that Paizo fixed these issues with Ultimate Campaign so I can try Kingmaker again with the updated Kingdom Building Rules.

 For those of you not interested in running a Kingdom, the book will also offer the following:
  • A detailed guide to generating character backstories, including a new system for random character generation and traits and drawbacks to meld your background with your statistics.
  • Story feats that increase in power as you achieve key goals, making quests and crusades more than just flavor!
  • A complete downtime rules system to flesh out those parts of a PC’s life that take place between adventures, such as running a business, gaining power and influence in a community, or starting a magical academy.
  • New rules for retraining and switching classes; honor, reputation, and fame; young characters; investment; magic item creation; and other key adventuring topics.
  • Mass combat rules to help you lead clashing armies and conduct epic battles in a fun and efficient manner—without losing sight of the PCs themselves.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Big News in the World of Shadowrun

First off is that a Shadowrun Video Game is being made called "Shadownrun Returns" by Harebrained Schemes. By the looks of it, it's the first Video in a long while that will do justice to the Shadowrun Table Top RPG. If your like me and you missed out on the Shadowrun Return Kickstarter Campagin you can still pre-order the game for 10% off now:  

More good news, the Shadowrun 5th Edition Preview One is out and availble for download for free on  RPGnow. If you a fan of the game it's a must read. It's only 12 pages long and doesn't have a lot of info regarding the new rule set. Still, is worth a once over if only to read a pretty good Shadowrun Short Story. Here is the download page:

Lastly, a Shadowrun MMORPG is in the works. For all the details, click below:

Details Revealed for Upcoming Redwall Adventure Game

Still no word on "Receive a Free Copy of Redwall: The Warrior Reborn" Stretch Goals or Backer Levels but they released Partial Specs:
  • Genre: A 3D Progressive Adventure Game in, around (and under) Redwall Abbey
  • Platform(s): Primary is Mac/PC – probably via Steam. Also a slightly nerfed version on iOS and Android tablets. Consoles like Wii U, PSN or XBLA are realistic options but no commitment there.
  • Characters: Three playable species, current leaders are Mice, Squirrels, and Badgers
  • Gameplay: Heavy on exploration, interaction and puzzles
  • Combat? Yes, there will be combat...just wouldn't be Redwall without it!
  • Hours of gameplay? Why? Do you have to be somewhere?
  • Game Engine: We’re using Unity3D as our game engine. We’ve been using Unity for years and absolutely love it!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


 A New Monster I created for a Pathfinder RPG Comparable Game...  

Failcat doesn't look undead while active. To a casual observer she is just a regular mundane house cat who happens to be down on her luck. The cat appears to be mangy and beat up but possess a endearing charm and a kind nature. This ruse often invokes pity and allows Failcat to cozy up to her victims so she can quietly feed on their negative mental energy.   

Cat                   CR 1                                     XP 400

Undead Psionic Tiny animal

Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +5


AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size)

hp 3 (1d8–1)

Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +1

Undead Traits (Ex)


Speed 30 ft.

Melee 2 claws +4 (1d2–4), bite +4 (1d3–4)

Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.


Str 3, Dex 15, Con --, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7

Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 6 (10 vs. trip)

Feats Weapon Finesse

Skills Climb +6, Perception +5, Stealth +14; Racial Modifiers
+4 Climb, +4 Stealth


Organization solitary, pair, or small pack (3–6)
Treasure none
Cats typically weigh 5–15 pounds when fully grown.

Special Abilities---------------------------------------------------

The Mere presence of Fail Cat causes Failure...

Feed on Failure (Psionic-Like)- A Failcat can passively feed off the negative mental energy that is created by any and all sentient beings when failing within a 30 foot rang. Feeding causes no innate harm to her victims, is a free action, and is undetectable without the aid of Psionic powers. Feeding keeps a Failcat alive but grants no other benefits.

If reduced to zero HP Failcat or hasn't feed within 24 hour she "dies" and becomes dormant. Failcat is unaware of her surroundings, can take no actions, and no longer can use her Psionic-Like abilities.

Fail Sense (Psionic-Like)- Failcat can sense the generation of  her negative mental energy food source from any sentient creature within 100 feet of her.  

Aura of Failure (Psionic-Like)- Works like the Witch Hex Misfortune (Anytime the creature makes an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, it must roll twice and take the worse result) but applies to all rolls made to all creatures within 5 feet of Failcat, grants no save throw, and has unlimited uses.    
Fail Shield (Psionic-Like)- Any attack targeting Failcat surfers Misfortune as per the Witch Hex expect that it grants no save throws and has unlimited uses. Spells and effects that allow save throws grant Failcat Fortune on the roll, as per the Witch Hex (reroll any ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, taking the better result) 

Touch of Failure (Psionic-Like): Due to high concentrations of absorbed negative energy, any creature that has made physical contact with Failcat surfers a -2 Incompetence penalty on all rolls for 1d4 rounds per touch to a max of -10.

Gaze of Catastrophe (Psionic-Like)- Just by looking at someone, Failcat can turn a small failure into a big failure. When Failcat watches a creature exclusively for a minimum of one round that creature must treat all failed/missed rolls as critical misses/failures.

Regenerate (Supernatural)-  If any creature rolls and scores a critical misses/failures within 100 feet of Failcat's corpse she can feed off it and use the consumed negative psionic energy to self-revive, regenerate her physical forum, and become active again. This process takes a full round and cannot be use if the Failcat's corpse is completely destroyed.  

Flavor Text---------------------------------------------------

Failcat is a emotional vampire that feeds by absorbing a very specific negative mental energy generated by a victim when they fail. Not succeeding at any attempted action often causes a person to experience a mental state of failure, which psychically manifests as stress and frustration. Without action, Failcat passively draws in all "fail energy" within a 30 foot radius. Basically, she is a black hole of failure. This energy nourish her, a Failcat must feed at least once a day the she will fall into a "dead cat" dormant state. Staved Failcat can take no action and is unaware until they are revived using Regenerate. 

The Failcat has many passive Psionic-Like abilities which help ensure their targets keep failing so they keep creating enegry for her to feed on.

Failcat will never attack, even if provoked. If Failcat witness or senses a creature failing she will be dawned to that creature, moving into it's space if able. If unable, she will stand adjacent to the creature were she can safely bask in tier failure. Failcat will move with the targeted creature if necessary but can be lured away by a different creature failing near by or can be repelled by her victim. A creature becoming undesirable if they producing positive mental energy by winning. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Redwall: The Warrior Reborn

The first Officially Licensed Redwall Adventure game has been announced and it needs the support of fan for creative support and funding. 

Redwall is a series of children's fantasy novels written by Brian Jacques. The series is set in various time periods within the history of Redwall Abdy, which serves at the primarily setting of books. The majority of the characters in Redwall are anthropomorphic animals of some sort, almost all of which can speak and possess most of traits associated with human beings. 

The Redwall Video Game Kickstarter was launched a few days go and if your a fan of the books I highly suggest you become a Backer of this campaign. Before you pledge I have a  word of caution, the Redwall Kickstarter page is a little confusing. The campaign is actually for two related projects: a Minecraft Mod called "AbbyCraft" and the Offifcal Redwall Adventure game. As of right now, most of the page and all of the Backer Rewards deal with the Minecraft Map. None of the Reward levels give out the Adventure game.

I sent a message to the team creating the game, Soma Games, asking for an explanation. Soma said that the Kickstarter is only for AbbyCraft at the monument but the full Officially Redwall Adventure game will be unlocked by reaching Stretch Goals.  Once unlock, the $20 and up pledge level will receive a free copy of Redwall: The Warrior Reborn once released. However, the campaign has no Stretch Goals listed on the Kickstarter page.. In order to clarify this, I suggested that the design team update their Kickstarter page with Stretch Goals. The campaign could be missing out on Backers due the lack of the Adventure in Soma's Kickstarter Rewards.

Being a Banker of this project and a fan of the books, I have a vested interest in seeing this project reaching "The Redwall Adventure Game Get's Made" Stretch Goal. If your a fan of Redwall or just adventure games in general, please give Redwall: The Warrior Reborn a look.

The Next D&D Druid

The semi-open playtest for the next edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the project being creatively code named "D&D Next," has been ongoing since May 24th 2012. Being a proactive RPG geek  I jumped on the opportunity to beta test the release of the next installment of the world's most well known Table Top Role Playing Game.

Every few months Wizards of the Coast updates their playtest material based on user feedback. Seeing the evolution of the game over the last year has been very interest but what I really want to discuss is the next version of my favorite D&D class: the druid.   

The Good                                The Bad                                               ...And The Ugly
Wildshape at Level 1               Very Limited Wildshape                         No Animal Companions
                                               Animal Forms                                       

Cantrips - D&D 4.0                Druids are less Versatile, having 
Style At Will "Weapon             to specialize by choosing a Druidic
-Like" Spells                           Circle                

Natures Endurance-                Large Reduction of "Spell per Day"
Immunity to poisons                Slots compared to D&D 3.0 and 3.5
and disease
Evergreen- Slow Aging           No Summoning Spells

Wildshape: The Druid's supernatural ability to change their physical forum to that of an animal they are familiar with has been the classes "signature ability" for many years. D&D 3.0/3.5 Druids gained the ability to shape change into medium sized animals once a day starting at level 4 and would become more powerful as the character takes druid levels. In 4.0 Druids had the opportunity to shape change but it wasn't automatically given. The player would have to choose to take Shape Changing daily powers.

This current incarnation of the Druid class can Wildshape right from the get-go but are restricted on what animal form they can take. By default, the form progress goes like this:

1- Hound, 2- Rodent, 4- Steed and Fish, 6- Bird of Prey

To gain more shape shifting options a Druid has to "specialize in wildshaping" by selecting the Moon as their Druid Circle. Doing so grants the Druid more combat focused forms such as Bears and Great Cats. These forms come at a heavy cost of missing out on extra spells and spell slots given by the Circle of the Oak.    

Spell Casting: Basically, it's 3.5 Spell Casting with a few 4.0 traits. Daily Spell Slots are back and Druids once again have nine levels of spells at their disposable. The down side is that the actual number of spells that can be cast per day has be drastically reduced compared to 3.5. At the maximum level of 20, druids will only be able to cast 19 spells, divided between 9 spell levels, per day not counting Cantrips which are at will and free. This is a vast reduction compared to a D&D 3.5 Druid's 39 base spell slots, not counting 0 level or bonus spells granted by high spell casting ability score. 

I personally don't like this nurfing of spells but I understand where Wizards of the Coast made the change. Practically, Druids, Wizard, Clerics, and other full caster enjoyed a ridiculous number of spells at high levels. It was nearly impossible for a level 20 Druid to use all their spells in any given in game day or real time game session. As a experienced player of druids, at high levels I would have my high slots as my damage dealers and use all my ten or so low slots for healing and utility functions. Having less slots makes life a little bit more challenging for high level caster because they lack the flexibility of having extra spells to burn. 

As I talked about earlier, the "Circle of the Oak" is the Druid's spell casting specialization option. It gives the Druid an a free spell slot to cast the following spells:

1-  Entangle, 2- Augury, 3- Call Lighting, 4- Divination, 5- Cone of Cold

Augury, Divination, and Cone of Cold are not on the Druid's spell list so the only way to gain access to them is through the Oak Circle. I prefer the Moon option but "Cone of Cold" is hard to pass up. It's s a handy spell for a druid to know; 6d8 cold damage to everyone in a 60 foot clone can clear a room real fast.  

No Animal Allies: In D&D 4th edition Wizard of the Coast moved away from summoning spells and player controlled companions for all classes. When first released there were absolutely no powers or abilities that dealt with summoning or companion creatures but they added in a splash of it with later 4.0 release. Unfortunately, it looks like D&D Next is also going down this road.

Once again, I can understand why this was done but I still not like it. In 3.5, when I wasn't Wildshaping I basically a "Animal General" so to speak. Using my animal companion and summoned creatures I would direct them into the main fray while I stayed on the sidelines casting damage dealing or support spells. Sure, it took a few rounds to set this strategy up since summoning spells require a full round action but it's devastating. On my Pathfinder Society Druid, Shamus RavenFeather  has literally saved groups from TPK'ing (Total Party Kill) on two separate organized play scenarios using a similar methodology.

Removing theses additional player controlled assets from the Druid's arsenal makes encounters more challenging and forces players to discover new strategies with D&D Next new class.

Odds and Ends: D&D Next has done a good job of buffing many of the druids miscellaneous abilities as compared to earlier editions.

"Venom Immunity" has become "Natures Endurance;" granting immunity to poisons and disease.

"Resist Nature’s Lure" has become "Nature Ward;" granting immunity to charm and fear effects of Fey and Elemental.  

"Timeless Body" has become "Evergreen" which extends a character's lifespan 10 fold at Druid level 13. 

Overall: I've been keeping up to date on D&D Next Playtest by downloading the PDF maternal from the Wizards of the Coast Playtest Page but I have been unsuccessful in finding a group to actually playtest the new Druid class. So far I have mixed feelings; I like and dislike a lot of what I've read in the latest packet. I reserve judgment until I get some hands on experience with D&D Next and the class.

If you have not already, I highly suggest signing up for the D&D Next Playtest.