Patiently Persistent Petitioners — A MTG Mill Deck

In Magic: the Gathering, playing a mill deck offers you a unique advantage. Most players are not expecting you to go for their cards instead of their life total. A good mill deck relies on the ability to control the board and survive long enough to pull off a powerful mill combo. You can’t win by milling one or two cards a turn, you need to build up to the big mill that robs your opponent of the remainder of their deck.

Meet the Patient Petitioner.

I’ve been working on this deck since I started playing MTG Arena, and it’s been loads of fun to play. Played right, it can be tough to counter.

The Cards

4x Scrabbling Claws
2x Blink of an Eye
8x Persistent Petitioners
3x Thought Collapse
3x Verity Circle
3x Waterknot
3x Watertrap Weaver
2x Sleep
2x Patient Rebuilding
1x Weight of Memory
1x Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp
2x Mass Manipulation
24x Island
2x Reliquary Tower

Total: 60 Cards

The Strategy

There are three main goals of the deck: controlling the board, drawing cards, and milling the opponent.

Control

Sleep and Waterknot not only offer control, but synergize well with Verity Circle to give you card draw. Verity Circle offers an expensive control option on its own. Mass Manipulation is by far the most powerful control card in the deck. Play it when your opponent has their most powerful creatures on the board and they’re likely to give up then and there.

Draw

Patient Rebuilding is the backbone of the deck, drawing cards while thinning out your opponent’s deck. Scrabbling Claws is an excellent piece of tech for thinning pesky graveyards that contain resurrecting creatures or instants that power cards in play. It also offers limited card draw that effectively targets specific cards in the opponent’s graveyard. Ultimately, you’re looking to combo Sleep and Verity Circle with Reliquary Tower to fill your hand with Persistent Petitioners…

Mill

Four Persistent Petitioners, with their second ability, effectively mill a fifth of most decks, which, when combined with the whittling effects of Patient Rebuilding, Weight of Memory, and Thought Collapse should bring you to victory.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to tweak the deck. Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let us know in the comments below.

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter. Or come play some HearthStone with me and chat about game design.

Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering, and their logos are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the United States and other countries. © 2009 Wizards. All Rights Reserved.

Anaximander’s Adventuring Studies Wants You!

There is a place where magic lives, were witches and warlocks study the arcane arts, and where adventure dwells behind every corner.

Welcome to Scarthey, the University of the Arcane!

Anaximander’s Adventuring Studies is a new adventure for 1st level characters, which takes them through three years at the school, through 3rd level. The adventure is written by Jeffrey Swank, a frequent collaborator at Paizo, and comes in at 75 pages.

Anaximanders Adventuring Studies Cover
Anaximander’s Adventuring Studies Cover

Here’s the back cover text:

We are only as strong as we are united, and only as weak as we are divided.
—Arcturius Anaximander

Anaximander’s Adventuring Studies is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure designed for a party of four 1st-level PCs. This adventure follows the players through three years as they attend the University of Scarthey and branch out into the institution’s new School of Adventuring Studies.

This adventure introduces and takes place in the lands around the University of Scarthey, as revealed in the campaign setting of Welcome to Scarthey published by Rising Phoenix Games, but can be played on a stand-alone basis in any city.

What’s Inside Anaximander’s Adventuring Studies

You’ll find maps of Scarthey, the Undervaults, and several adventure locations. Major NPCs are detailed in full, and there are certificates and handouts you can print for your players — yes, you can now get your Adventuring  Studies certification from the University of Scarthey. I think that’s a nice touch.

For the price, this is going to give you plenty of material to throw at your players and to inspire future adventures set in the Arcane University.

You can find the adventure on Drive Thru RPG.

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter. Or come play some HearthStone with me and chat about game design.

Undersea Fantasy Names, the Ultimate Guide

We’re busy putting the finishing touches on our first Undersea Sourcebook (that’s a big reveal),  which will be a player’s guide to undersea adventures in Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition (that’s two big reveals). The guide features loads of races, each with a list of names like in the Races chapter of the Player’s Handbook. Here are a few undersea fantasy names, to help you name your next underwater character.

Undersea Fantasy Names
Photo credit: Nsey Benajah

Merfolk Names

Merfolk parents choose names for their children that reflect the nature of the sea, invoke images of the ocean, or signify freedom or purpose. Merfolk also have a tribal name, which they’ll use when dealing with merfolk from another tribe. Merfolk rarely use their tribal name around other races, and then only if they have significant reason to do so. Even among friends, merfolk regard mentioning their tribal name as an unnecessary vanity.

Male Names: Adrian, Aegir, Aukai, Bellerophon, Calder, Celsion, Clarion, Dorian, Dover, Drake, Ezeel, Kai, Lachlan, Marlowe, Merrick, Oceanus, Poseider, Ridley, Rio, Tritonis, Zale, Zander

Female Names: Adrianna, Aeriel, Athena, Azure, Azurine, Coraline, Diana, Dione, Doriana, Echo, Eldoris, Fontanne, Galiana, Lana, Madison, Marinella, Nerio, Oceana, Pearl, Ria, Umiko, Undina, Ursula

Tribal Names: Aquillon, Deepfin, Gaion, Laviathon, Moontide, Moray, Nautilon, Neptune, Oceanor, Titanus, Waverider

Naiad Names

Naiads choose their own names when they come of age, and prefer names that are lyrical in nature. They have no clan or family names, though they may name themselves after the body of water they have recently bonded with, such as Khev of Dessarin and Loreley of Lac Dinneshere.

Male Names: Akdish, Bhom, Dakdoov, Dashion, Dhegor, Dhev, Dibam, Ebdordon, Embohz, Ghaaja, Jenjor, Khaav, Khajon, Khev, Memendev, Nagnesh, Naash, Omden, Shevshin, Vahz, Vanvin, Vor, Zekovion

Female Names: Ahni, Avya, BaIrafen, Basheena, Bura, Cerenya, Cini, Faadhi, Felfe, Ferrafin, Fifavi, Hamnaa, Laffuuna, Lidyh, Loreley, Lyrdu, Merdimy, Mirizan, Phibi, Rulfaya, Semfe, Welladuuna, Weni

Selkie Names

Selkies often adopt names similar to those of the people who live near to their colonies. As such, selkie names vary greatly from region to region, though they almost always prefer shorter names. Selkies have no clan or family names, and may refer to the region their family inhabits when introducing themselves, such as Runn of Boatscrape Cove, from Waterdeep.

Male Names: Albi, Coll, Conn, Bhim, Blake, Brenn, Brian, Bert, Des, Don, Dylan, Finn, Harper, Jock, Kay, Kel, Lloyd, Mort, Neal, Rhone, Rob, Runn, Ted

Female Names: Ada, Adele, Celeste, Ceridwen, Cordelia, Enid, Fiona, Gail, Gioga, Kay, Kaylen, Loreley, Lynn, Moon, Muriel, Myfanwy, Nadine, Ondine, Raine, Sapphira, Saraid, Thora, Ursilla, Varona

Make Your Own Undersea Fantasy Names

If you’re looking for more ideas for you own undersea fantasy names, I found loads of inspiration on fantasynamegenerators.com. Start there, find a name you like, then change it to suit your needs. Look for shorter, easier to pronounce names, since those are more memorable and far easier to use while roleplaying.

More Undersea Adventure

If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy the free monster preview available on the Dungeon Master’s Guild:

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

 

Path of the Slayer (Barbarian Primal Path)

Since pirates took over, I haven’t been allowed to blog much, but I managed to sneak this barbarian archetype past those black-hearted scoundrels. This archetype is compatible with the 5th edition SRD. If you like it, give it a play and let us know what you think in the comments below.

The line between bravery and stupidity may seem razor-thin to some, but to barbarians of the Path of the Slayer, bravado is a powerful tool for destroying even the most deadly monsters.

You may choose this primal path at 3rd level instead of another primal path, and gain its features at 3rd, 6th, 10th, and 14th level.

Fearless

At 3rd level when you choose this path, you become immune to fear and cannot be frightened.

Bravado

At 3rd level, while raging, if you are adjacent to an enemy that is larger than you and not adjacent to any of your allies, you gain a 1d6 Bravado die at the end of your turn. You may spend your Bravado die in the following ways:

Dodge. As a reaction, you can spend your Bravado die to roll it and add it to a saving throw.

Parry. You can, as a reaction, spend your Bravado die to roll it and add it to your armor class against one attack.

Dig Deep. You dig deep into your strength reserves and, as an action, spend up to two Bravado die. You heal hit points equal to the roll of the die.

Slaying Strike. You can spend any number of Bravado die before you make a melee attack roll. If you hit your target, roll the Bravado die and add it to your weapon’s damage roll.

You lose any unused Bravado die when your rage ends.

Your Bravado die changes when you reach certain levels in this barbarian primal path. The die becomes a d8 at 6th level, a d10 at 10th level, and a d12 at 14th level.

Belly Ripper

Starting at 6th level, when a creature at least two sizes larger than you attempts to hit you with a bite attack, you can, as a reaction, make a Dexterity saving throw. The DC for this saving throw depends on the creature’s CR, as given in the table below.

If you succeed at this saving throw, you jump through the creature’s jaws and down its gullet. On your following turns, while inside the creature, all your attacks have advantage and any hits are treated as critical hits. You gain Bravado dice and may spend them while inside the creature, even if you are not raging.

If you fail at the saving throw, and the creature successfully hits you with its bite attack, it automatically scores a critical hit against you, regardless of the number shown on the die.

While inside the creature, you cannot avoid any breath attacks it makes and you cannot breathe. If the creature is destroyed, you are able to cut yourself free on the following turn as an action. Creatures without a discernible mouth, such as most oozes, are immune to this ability.

Belly Ripper

CR Dexterity saving throw DC

0–3: 13

4: 14

5–7: 15

8–10: 16

11–12: 17

13–16: 18

17–20: 19

21–23: 20

24–26: 21

27–29: 22

30: 23

Slayer’s Armor

Beginning at 10th level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor and can rage while wearing heavy armor.

Goad

Starting at 14th level, when a Large or larger creature within 5 feet of you makes a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature. If your attack hits, the creature’s next melee weapon attack is with disadvantage.

Did you like this primal path? Let us know below.

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Companionable Darkness

Companionable Darkness, the third adventure in our Choose Your Destiny series, is here!

Written by Thomas Davis, the adventure sets you off on a journey as the minder for the aged wizard Kelim. Things soon start to unravel though, and you’ll have to work hard to save the day.

Our super spooky cover is super spooky!

Companionable Darkness is a solo adventure for a 1st—3rd level cleric or paladin, compatible with the fifth edition rules of the world’s oldest roleplaying game. This is our largest adventure yet, clocking in at 64 entries (including the intro and conclusion) over 45 pages, with new player options for the barbarian and bard classes. A successful run should take you around half an hour, if you don’t fall foul of the traps and monsters that lie in wait. The More Adventure section allows you to extend the game far beyond that, as you work to protect the caravan you’re travelling with from the many dangers on the road.

Companionable Darkness is also the first book we’re publishing with the help of our Patreon patrons, who apart from supporting us also helped with playtesting. It’s amazing to have the support of fans, to whom I’m truly grateful. We had solid input from a number of people, which you’ll see evident in the book.

Like our other solo adventures, Companionable Darkness is set in the world of Scarthey, but you don’t need to be familiar with the setting to play. This adventure continues on from Death Queen and Forest of Secrets, but you don’t need to have played those to enjoy this latest adventure, since a brief synopsis is provided.  

Archchancellor Gwydion Ambrosius has sent for you,
personally. He asks you to accompany a senior reader of
the University of Scarthey on a journey through dangerous
lands. Gwydion fears for the old wizard, whose frayed mind
has suffered through the study of dark arts. Can you protect
the wizard, your companions, and the wagon train you’re
travelling with, or will darkness consume you all?

Companionable Darkness is available on Drive Thru RPG, Paizo.com, the Open Gaming Store, and our very own web store. Subscribe to our Patreon to be the first to get the next adventure in the series.

Aurora’s Whole Realms Autumn Catalogue

Aurora’s Whole Realms Autumn Catalogue is the second seasonal guide we’ve published, casting true resurrection on Aurora’s Whole Realms Catalogue, that gem from 2nd edition D&D. Our take on the classic offers new items for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, with a focus on flavour and roleplaying rather than mechanics and usefulness in combat — you’re not likely to win a battle wielding mammoth ribs, after all.

The 50-page catalogue offers the following sections:

  • Another Word from Our Founder
  • Equipment Packs
  • Fall Fashion
  • Food and Drink
  • Games and Toys
  • Highharvestide Traveling Gear
  • Household Sundries
  • Minor Magical Marvels
  • Scents of Fall
  • Seasonal Delights
  • Highharvestide Tools
  • Cooking Corner

You won’t find anything to improve your character’s damage output, but you’ll find plenty of unique items to add some flavorful fun to your games set in Faerun or anywhere else.

You can find the Autumn Catalogue here, and the older Summer Catalogue here.

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

RPG Bundle is 66% Off. Just $12

We’ve put together a big RPG bundle of our games, adventures, monster books and setting books worth over $35. Now you can get all of it for only $12, which is an insane saving!

Welcome to Scarthey
Welcome to Scarthey, one of our top titles, is in the bundle.

Get the RPG Bundle on Drive Thru RPG

The bundle includes the following titles:

Welcome to Scarthey is your gateway to the University of the Arcane. You’ll find a detailed history of the University, a map of the grounds, a description of major faculty members and of the four houses. Your adventures in the magical world of arcane academia are about to begin.
Both a Pathfinder and D&D 5e compatible version is included in the bundle.

Bullet and Might, by Steelforge Games, are complete RPGs that deal with special ops warfare and fantasy adventures respectively.

Death Queen and Forest of Secrets are the first two of our Choose Your Destiny solo adventures for 5th edition D&D. We’ve got another in layout, by the way, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter or Patreon for updates.

Mecha – A Field Guide, for Starfinder, is another best seller of ours. Ever wanted to drive a mech in your Starfinder games? Now you can.

Where Heroes Stand, for Pathfinder, is an adventure set in mythical Japan, which includes 6 pregenerated characters: “The peaceful village of Yamamura has had a good summer; the rice stores are full to bursting and even lord Honda looks pleased for once. So, as the momiji leaves turn to yellows and reds, the villagers gather for their annual autumn festival.”

Miniature Japanese Torii – Mini Monday, Ep 1

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kit bashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week I’ll show you how to build a miniature Japanese torii gate for Steampunk Musha, Legend of the Five Rings, or similar East Asian inspired settings.

Here she is, folks. This miniature Japanese torii can easily accommodate most Large sized D&D or Pathfinder figures in the center.

Miniature Japanese Torii
The base is 2 x 4 inches: perfect for using on a grid map.

Steampunk Musha – Shangti Factory Hub

This project is the first part of my Steampunk Musha terrain project that will consist of several factory pieces set in the mega city of Shangti. Since it’s steampunk, I figure this set will work well for both my Warhammer 40k games and for fantasy gaming, so this is a “two birds with one stone” type of deal.

The torii gate we’re making today is highly customizable, but is perfect for a Japanese themed game. You could use a similar technique to make gallows or other structures featuring a prominent wooden frame.



Getting Started

You’ll need balsa wood for this, but popsicle sticks will work well too. A sharp hobby knife, wood glue, and sandpaper will do all the heavy lifting, then you can paint and varnish the gate as you see fit when it’s done. I used hardboard for the base.

Prep

Make a paper template for the top piece of the gate (the kasagi and shimaki). Cut 3 of these. Cut 1 long crossbar (nuki), and 6 poles (to make the hashira). We’ll add more bits later, so keep any extra wood aside.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Torii Frame

Place 1 top section on top of 2 pillars. There’s no need to glue it yet, but you can if you like.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Glue the crossbar onto the pillars, with a small space between it and the top piece.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Connecting Things

Score lines on 2 more pillars under the crossbar, like so:

Miniature Japanese Torii

Then cut along the scored lines.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Glue the longer sections of pillar below the crossbar. Glue the short sections of the pillar over the top section. This forms the very center of your Japanese torii gate.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Don’t worry too much if the glue is causing all the pieces to float around. When you’re done you can move everything nicely into place, and sanding will clean it all up when we’re done.

Bulking Up the Top

Score lines to match the location of the pillars onto the second top piece.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Glue the pieces of the second top piece onto the first top piece. In the end, this gives the model more strength and bulk.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Finishing Up your Miniature Japanese Torii

Now glue on the last of the pillars and top piece. If your glue is still wet at this stage you can move things around, then put a heavy book on the gate and let it dry.  Miniature Japanese Torii

Next, add a small down piece between the top and the crossbar. Then cut 2 identical pieces to form the very top section of the tori. These will look like slightly curved french fries.

When it’s dry, use your hobby knife to make everything flush along the edges, then sand the model. An emery board (used for fingernails) works very well for this.

Miniature Japanese Torii
There are 25 ninjas hidden in this image. Really!

I base coated my model white, then painted the whole thing red. I washed it with a purple wash to pick up the natural wood texture of the balsa wood, and to age the model a bit.

For the base, I used hardwood covered in two grades of sand, the finest for the path. I painted and dry brushed this before adding flock. I varnished everything when I was done, because I like harder wearing gaming pieces.

Pro Tip: Suppliers of Shinto religious goods will often have miniature Japanese torii for sale. Personally, I prefer to make my own.

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Free Swag and a Choose Your Destiny Play Test

Har har har, me hearties! We’ve got free swag for you. All you need to do is subscribe to our newsletter or back us on Patreon and you’ll get a free copy of Lunatic Labyrinth by next week Friday.

Lunatic Labyrinth Updated - Free Swag

Join Our Playtest

Right now, our Flaming Backers are enjoying a first look at our next Choose Your Destiny adventure called Companionable Darkness. If you back us now there’s still time for you to join in and try out the game before anyone else.

In the Works

Besides the next Choose Your Destiny book, we’re working on the next Aurora’s Catalogue, Nightscape: Red Terrors, and have a new Pathfinder adventure in layout. I’m also dabbling away at a solitaire wargame, which I hope to tell you about soon.

Our biggest project is the ocean-themed book we’re doing for the DMG, which I’ll dive into writing for again next week (and yes, I love puns). The book is already well over 10,000 words and covers a lot of ground.

Have an awesome 2019!

Arr, This Blog Be Ours Now!!!

Avast, me hearties!

This here blog now belongs to us, to do with as our black heart’s desire! You might say, we’ve commandeered it — it’s a nautical term.

Walking the Plank: originally published in Pyle, Howard (August–September 1887). “Buccaneers and Marooners of the Spanish Main”. Harper’s Magazine. (We may be pirates, but credit where credit is due.)

The Captain’s Blog Log

Look here, matie, we’ve scrounged below deck and hauled up the captain’s log. 2018 was a good year for this blog, I say:

Blog stats - 2018

But now things will be different, just you wait and see. Hoist the Jolly Roger and join our crew (or walk the plank).

Update: Oi, what’s this mutiny?! We found this message in a bottle, dropped by those scurvy dogs we left adrift at sea!

– Two Finger’s Megee

Summer Christmas Adventures

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is, like in the Northern Hemisphere, a time of family, relaxation, and lots of food. The Oliphant in the room is the very European aesthetic to the celebrations we have here. Mistletoe, snowflakes, skiing Christmas decorations, and snowmen — even though we’re spending our December by the pool. So, if you’re sick of winter, you’ve had it with snowflakes, or you’re enjoying summer in your corner of the world too, here’s our guide to summer Christmas adventures — a mishmash of adventure seeds in the sun and surf for your RPG campaign.

Summer Christmas Adventures
Image credit: Frank Mckenna

Sun & Surf Adventure Seeds

  • A sand elemental is terrorizing the coastline. The locals have dubbed the creature “Sandy Claws.”
  • A selkie druid in human guise seeks help rescuing her cubs from a sahuagin hunting party, deep below the waves.
  • An ancient bronze dragon brings toys and gifts to the local children every summer solstice. The gnomes that usually help him make the toys have run into a problem…
  • A ship disappeared from port during the night, along with its crew. In its place is a strange island of sand. Some say it was the curse of a genie.
  • A whale swallows the adventurers after capsizing their boat.
  • The legendary ningyo has been sighted by pearl divers off the coast. Capturing one of these creatures could bring a handsome reward.
  • An ominous statue is discovered during an unusually low tide. News of the discovery spreads quickly, and nefarious forces are moving to acquire it.
  • A mysterious spell is slowly turning the surface of the sea to glass.
  • An island appears off the coast. When explored, it’s found to be a forgotten temple on the back of an enormous sea turtle.
  • The rising tide brings unusual creatures onto the land.
  • The adventurer’s ship is captured by pirates and burned. The PCs are given a choice: join the pirate crew or walk the plank.
  • An ancient city rises from the ocean.
  • The party discovers a tunnel that leads deep beneath Waterdeep. In a water-filled chamber, they find a massive clockwork crab lying in its berth. Portholes and a hatch indicate something of its intended purpose.
  • A sailor reports having seen a giant undead whale.
  • A coastal town floods during the night. In the morning, the citizens discover that the graves of the town have been emptied.
  • The PCs discover an open portal in the ocean, which draws water through. The portal brings the water to a thriving desert city, but endangers ocean inhabitants.
  • An underwater ritual opens a portal to the Elemental Plane of Water, through which a giant sea monster passes to terrorize the Mortal Realm.

More Summer Christmas Adventures

Looking for more summer goodies? Aurora’s Whole Realms Summer Catalogue has a vast collection of thematic items that will add flavor to your Dungeons & Dragons game, without breaking it.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

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