Tag Archives: Avernos

New Pathfinder Tech

This is the year of hoverboards and Star Wars hype, which is all good news for role-players. Today we’ll look at basic rules for hoverboards in Pathfinder and inspire you to tell the story of three daring Tie fighter pilots.

Hoverboards
Imagine your players faces when they discover the ancient artefact they just uncovered is a hoverboard. Here’s my proposal for these awesome rides in Pathfinder.

The Fly skill gives us a great basis to work from, using a hoverboard is just like flying and generally uses the same rules. Hoverboard maneuvers are a little different.


Flying Maneuver Fly DC
Increase speed above normal speed by +5ft 6 (+2/5ft)
Turn greater than 45° by spending 5 feet of movement 15
Turn 180° by spending 10 feet of movement 20
Ramp of up to 45° 20
Balance while grinding 20

Hoverboard speeds: Hoverboards minimize resistance between the board and the ground, so are capable of intense speeds. Start with a base speed equal to the rider’s base speed +10. Going faster than this requires a Fly check, and each turn the rider can spend a move action to increase her speed by +5ft. So a human with a base speed of 30 rides easily up to 40ft a round and would have to make a DC 8 Fly check to reach a speed of 45ft per round. Note that hovering and riding slower than normal doesn’t require any checks, that’s easy stuff.

Turning: hoverboards turn as the rider shifts his weight on the board. To turn sharply, the rider has to contend with his momentum. One way to overcome the direction of momentum is to use a foot or hand grab to swing the board around sharply.

Ramps: If a rider takes a ramp of 45° or less, they can attempt to jump using their current speed as if making a running jump. They make the DC 20 Fly check for the ramp and then an Acrobatics check for the height or distance of the jump.

Rails: To grind a rail, the rider needs to ride or jump onto the rail or ledge and make the Fly check each turn to maintain the grind. Ending a grind is a free action.

Falling: Collisions at high speeds can hurt. For every 10ft of speed above the characters base speed (not hoverboard speed), a collision deals 1d6 points of damage. So a rider with a base speed of 30ft who hits a wall while riding at 40ft per round takes 1d6 points of damage, or 3d6 damage if riding at 60ft per round. Falling off works much in the same way, except that the damage is none lethal if the rider can make a DC 14 Acrobatics check to roll with the momentum of the fall.

There you go. Marty McFly would be proud. Let me know if you try these rules out and happy riding.

Inspired in Japan
It took artist OtaKing77077 4 years to finish his short film entitled Tie Fighter, and it’s way impressive.

With the Star Wars Age of Rebellion Rpg, plus the new Armada game and of course X-Wing, we have a great chance to tell the story of these three pilots. So, who are they, how did they get here, and why are they loyal to the Empire? I’d love to see someone write a scenario for this.

Avernos Unearthed
Avernos opens up with Avernos—Secrets, a free web enhancement available to all blog subscribers. Subscribe today and jump into a world on the verge of destruction. Be warned, there’s no turning back.

Campaign Journal
Getting in a quick RPG session is possible, but needs some work from the GM and all players involved. We played a 2 and a half hour session this weekend and here’s what we learnt.

Prep: As a GM, you’ve got to be as ready as possible before you play. Pre-written adventures are great for this. If there are rules you’re fuzzy on, read up before you play. I made sure I knew all about flying before game, so my dragon could terrorize the skies without disrupting play. Bookmark those rules too. Players can really help the GM by sending character sheets in before the game and reading up on all their feats and skills.

Setup: Similar to prep, but really, this is what you do when everyone is arriving, or just before. Roll20 is great for prep, because you can set everything up before hand. Make sure you have tokens or models for everyone, and a few pre-generated characters. Keep down clutter as much as possible. Really all you need is some paper, a pencil, the rules and a set of dice. Only add to this if it will make for a faster game.

Game Time: Establish a turn order and stick to it. Keep things simple and focus on the fun stuff. When the party approached a beauacrat wanting to know about an artefact, it sped things up to give them a summary, rather than force them to probe for details. Players should roll attack and damage dice together and think about what they’re going to do when it’s not their turn.

Aftermath: Really, fast games take real teamwork. Talk about what worked and how you can improve on things. Also, take the time now to get ready for the next session. If you’ve done the work, the next time around will be so much easier.

That’s all from me until next week.
Tell Thrilling Tales


Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Spicy Stories, Free Books and Creepy Japan

I cooked a pretty good meal today. Garlic chicken, rice, onions, and cauliflower. It tasted amazing. The thing was that it looked plain, everything was a shade of white. As a GM, it’s our job to bring the excitement, to colour the world and spice it up for a fun session. This takes a number of skills, not least of which is story telling.

At Rising Phoenix Games, our motto is Tell Thrilling Tales. That’s at the heart of everything we do, and the key concept to this blog. I have always wanted to tell stories, and I realised that telling captivating stories is something that can be learnt and that takes time to practice. Role-playing games are the perfect medium to practice with, and the games table makes an excellent “dojo”. So here’s to learning to tell thrilling tales together, cheers!

Avernos Unearthed
Are you ready to discover the secrets of Avernos? Beware, for those who know the truth must choose a side and make a stand.

Get your free copy of Avernos—Secrets when you subscribe to the blog.

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Avernos Secrets Cover

Campaign Journal

Have you ever taken a look at dragons in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary? Have you ever played around with their stats, tweaking them to bring something unexpected to challenge your players? A different set of skills and some feat changes can give you some very interesting concepts.

The Covetous Wand Wielding Wurm: Ranks in Appraise, Spellcraft and Use Magic Device give you a wand wielder who knows the worth of every shiny object and has the magic to add it to his collection.

The Silver Tongued Serpent: Ranks is Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate and Sense Motive makes for the kind of dragon that might send the party on a merry dance, all for her own good.

The Slippery Snake: Ranks in Acrobatics (not a class skill for dragons though), Climb, Fly and Stealth make a small or medium dragons particularly deadly. Add feats such as Dodge and Mobility and you’ve got a very tough little worm.

Inspired in Japan

Who better to take you on a tour of Japan than Cthulhu himself… um, actually, I can list several better options. Chaosium, for example, have a book, so their’s need to endanger your soul (just the soul of your character).

Secrets of Japan is a 360 page book that takes you to modern day Japan, Call of Cthulhu style. It’s loaded with stuff for your investigator, delves deep into Japan and Japanese culture, and expands the Mythos into Asia.

That’s all from me until next week.
Tell Thrilling Tales

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All the books!

We’ve got a bunch of titles that we’re about to publish, some book recommendations, and some lessons learnt from Disney. Enjoy.

Inspired in Japan
In my spring break I went to Tokyo Disney Sea, one of the world’s busiest amusement parks. What struck me was how much the park controlled the visitors experience, much like a GM control the player experience (there’s a pun in there somewhere).

Here are some ways they achieve this.

Visuals: Eye popping architecture, characters in costume, moving sets, smoke machines, lights, darkness. Every visual effect you can think of. We can use candles, light switches, props and costumes for the same effect, if not with the same budget.

Elimination of distraction: The park is cleverly designed to keep your eye—and attention—inside the park at all times. This keeps you immersed in the fantasy world that Disney creates. It’s also surprisingly difficult to see the exits to the park and quite easy to get lost in the labyrinth-like layout. Again, this keeps your attention where the park operators want it. The more we limit the distractions, the more our players are immersed in the worlds we create for them.

Sound: Sound, even the sound of birds in the trees, can really set the mood. It’s easy to do sound wrong, but I think the best thing is to keep it simple. Use sounds that set the mood you want but don’t distract players.

Avernos Unearthed
Everyone has a secret, and every secret has a price.

Avernos—Secrets is an upcoming free ebook that introduces you to the world of Avernos, a world where a secret war threatens humanity at a time of broken alliances and forgotten destinies.

Coming soon.

Rising Phoenix News
I know you’re as eager as I am to send your gnome from the garden and down into the deadly depths of the earth with Claustrophobia! And you don’t have too long to wait! The layout/artist guru-gnome just sent me a preview of the book, in all it’s illustrated glory, and it looks awesome. But I’m not going to show you anything just yet, I don’t want to spoil the big unveiling. Watch this space, you’ll be blown away.

Campaign Journal
I’m all over Pathfinder Society Quests at the moment. If you don’t know what Quests are, go check out The Silverhex Chronicles on Paizo, it’s a free download and well worth a read.

I’ve adopted the quest format for a bunch of once-off games I’m planning to run on Roll20. I’m so busy at the moment that it’s hard to squeeze in a game, but Quests only take an hour or so to play, making them perfect for busy people.

That’s all from me until next week.
Tell Thrilling Tales


Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Dwarves and Cheap NPCs

April 11th is Tabletop Day.

Tabletop Day 2015

Go join a game near you, find out more on TabletopDay.com.

Inspired in Japan
Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things, by Lafcadio Hearn, is a great read if you like your horror with a distinctive Japanese flavour.

Avernos Unearthed
As tough as their mountain homes, the hardy dwarves make their stand against the coming darkness. But it is a losing battle which they wage against the forces of the Abyss, as their numbers slip ever more rapidly into decline.

I love dwarves, I enjoy playing them and I feel I really understand them as a race, so I’m very glad to present them to you this week on the Avernos Wiki

Rising Phoenix News
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Campaign Journal
If you play Magic the Gathering, even half as much as I do, then you probably have a bunch of cards like these.

Magic Marketing NPC 1

In the spirit of Reuse, Reduce and Recycle, I turned mine into NPC cards.

Choose a side. I picked the sides that had cool characters and monsters .

Use correction tape or stickers to make some writing space.

Magic Marketing NPC 2

Add some text with a marker. I chose 4 points; Name, Race and Apparent Occupation (not class, because my “paladin” might actually be a rogue posing as one), Demeanor (how the character behaves) and Speech Quirks (how the character talks. Are they soft spoken or haughty? Do they have a lisp or do they tend to drone on and on and …)

Sleeve them. Shuffle them. Use them.

The final product looks pretty good. And they work well with my NPC Strategy Cards too, simple sleeve them together.

Magic Marketing NPC 3

That’s all from me until next week.
Tell Thrilling Tales


Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com


RPGSS 2015 – Round 4 Voting

Voting for round 4 of RPG Superstar began this week, with voting open until March 2nd. Are you planning to play through any of the encounters?

RPG Superstar 2015

Avernos Unearthed
I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes of Avernos, planning out the next phase of posts that will tie everything together nicely. In the coming months we’ll be digging even deeper into the elves for a bit before we briefly look at humans, then on to my favourite race, the dwarves.

Today’s entry is about the Great Betrayal, mentioned last week in the entry on elves. This pivitol moment in the history of Avernos needed its own section, enjoy.

Next week we’ll venture into the mysterious Veiled Lands, don’t miss it.

The Books of Faces
We have more adventure than you can fling a prune scone at. Make your move.

Vote for your next move on the Facebook page or stay updated at the Adventure Chronicle. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

Campaign Journal
Last weeks game of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying was the third session in our campaign, with guest player Brent — from Comics League International — joining us to play the role of the mystical Dr. Strange. To kick things off, Thor, Black Widow and Dr. Strange went after Armadillo, who was rampaging through the streets of New York. The fight went from the street, through the City Bank and into a comic book store, where the heroes discovered old comics about the mysterious Sentry, last seen voluntarily locked up on the Raft.

Next up was a hunt for Mjolnir, Thor’s mighty hammer, lost during the fall of the Avengers Mansion. In a battle with the Wrecker and Bulldozer, Strange revealed his secret identity as Loki, when Thor — having found the hammer — summoned it, only to have Strange/Loki throw up an extra-dimensional portal in its path. Thor and Loki took their battle to the frozen wastes of Jotunheim, where Thor, wielding the Wrecker’s crowbar, brought the beat-down Loki deserved. In the final moments of the battle, Loki played his ace, sending the Casket of Ancient Winters through a third portal to Earth. Oh, that Loki.

The neat thing about having a villain amongst the players is that it’s so unexpected. It isn’t easy to pull off well though, because you’re essentially betraying the trust of the players, who expect every other player to be part of the team. Here are some factors I think play a part in setting up a good double-cross scenario:

  1. Experience: Both Brent and I have played in at least one session where a PC turned on the party. Brent is also a very capable GM, so I knew I could trust him to deliver an awesome story instead of a nasty TPK.
  2. Group Size: For various reasons we ended up with two players, Thor against Loki, which ment that Thor’s player could have felt very isolated if he wasn’t such a great player. I wouldn’t recommend the double-cross for small tables for this very reason.
  3. Guest Stars: Brent has to take a four hour long round trip train ride to play with us, so we knew this would probably be a one shot for him. He could be the bad guy without affecting the existing group dynamic.
  4. Rewards: One of my players wanted to play Loki, but we just couldn’t figure out how to give her that chance without the fued between Thor and Loki derailing the game. With Loki defeated, and probably stripped of his powers and turned into Kid Loki, it makes much more sense for Loki to be a playable option.

Have you ever set up a player vs player double-cross in your own sessions? I’d love to hear about it.

Rising Phoenix News
Ahoy there me matey! Next month we set sail across vast oceans with Sea Tiles, our next set of game tiles. They’re perfect for expanding the sea and ship maps in your collection and they’re coming soon to Drive Thru RPG.

Sea Tiles

Avernos and the Book of Faces has been taking up most of our time, but we’ve also started work on a mini campaign setting for Pathfinder, which is off with the play testers now.

Inspired in Japan
I was introduced to Go, not in Japan, but while LARPing in South Africa. It’s a facinating game which originated in China and is very popular in Japan, even today. It’s easy to learn. The guy who taught me described Go as “takes minutes to learn, a lifetime to master”. I love the complexity that arises from its simple rules.

I wonder if they’ll have a Go mini game in Shadowrun: Hong Kong?

You can learn how to play Go on Wikipedia, which has a bunch of other insightful links.

That’s all from me until next Thursday.
Tell Thrilling Tales


Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

RPGSS2015 – Round 4

Voting for round 3 of RPG Superstar 2015 is now over, with 8 contestants left to bust out an encounter for round 4.

RPG Superstar 2015

Did you have any personal monster favourites? I really liked the Geomaw and the Stonevine Stalker, although I think the Stonevine Stalker needed a lot more to make it stand out. Just think about the Womping-Willow from Harry Potter, or Old Man Willow from The Lord of the Rings and Rockbiter from The NeverEnding Story film. They were all interesting in their way, but none of them were show stealers. Nazguls and Dementors, now those were monsters.

Avernos Unearthed
This week the Elves take their place in Avernos. Misunderstood, mistrusted and feared, this reclusive race fights an invisible war with a dark evil.

Read more about the Elves.

The Books of Faces
We’ve set off down the road and into an ancient forest, where we come to a set of stone steps. Read the adventure and make your choice on the Facebook page.

A blow by blow account of the quest is always available at the Adventure Chronicle.

Campaign Journal
Our current Marvel Heroic RP Game is about to kick off it’s third session, with the heroes going in search of Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjolnir. Hopefully a few of the escaped inmates of the Raft will end up back behind bars too. It’s going to be epic.

And while we’re on the topic of comics, my buddy Brent over at Comics League International invited me to recorded a podcast with him about the heroes in a half-shell, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You can take a listen on his site or iTunes.

Rising Phoenix News
Here are some more pictures and a video of our Maze Tiles. I’m really proud with the Print-On-Demand version of the tiles, they look amazing. The tiles fit perfectly with other inch grid maps, which was one of our critical criteria for quality control. This means you can expand on your existing collection of maps and tiles with this set for even more adventure options.

Maze Tiles Detail 1

Maze Tiles - Detail 2

Inspired in Japan
One of the weird things I collect is tenugui, or Japanese hand towels. Here are a couple of modern ones I found on Amazon.

That’s all from me until next Thursday.
Tell Thrilling Tales


Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Hottest New Book
Ninth World Guidebook
Ninth World Guidebook

RPGSS2015 – Round 1 Roundup

Winners of the first round of RPG Superstar 2015 were announced this week, with 32 winning items chosen out of hundreds. It’s a tough competition for sure, with a lot to be learnt.

RPG Superstar 2015

In my spare time I’ve been reading the Paizo forums and found a wealth of tips, tricks and loads of encouragement for aspiring game designers. I recommend you check it out, even if you’re not a Pathfinder player/GM.

Here are four things I’ve learnt from voting in round 1.

1. Make Many, Submit One

I had a few ideas, but only one that I fleshed out. Next time I’d try create a list of 10 ideas, flesh out 4 and then have my friends and mentors give some feedback before I submit the best of the lot.

2. Awesomeness Rules

There were some really fun items I got to vote on, items that I want to bring to the table both as a player and as a GM. What makes an item fun? It’s subjective and hard to nail down, but the item needs to get people excited to win this contest.

3. Every Word Counts

Anything you put down in the item description needs to make sense. There were a number or “unexpectedly light” items that I came across. Fine. They’re magical. I can go with that. But it has to make sense with regard to the items theme, not just be a random feature. And at the same time, don’t eat up word count repeating things or trying to be verbose. Shorter entries often grabbed my attention over longer entries.

4. Invincible

I saw many items that made the wielder immune to certain attacks or effects. Invincibility is only fun for the guy who’s invincible, and only for a little while. Look at any item you create from the perspective of all the players and the GM. If everyone’s going to have fun, you’ve got a keeper.

For more lessons learned this year, check out the forum. Enjoy Round 2!

Avernos Unearthed
The Avernos Wiki grows a little more every week. Hey, if I keep it up I’ll have 52 new entries by the end of the year.

This week we add dragons to the mix, Elder Dragons to be exact. These ancient beasts are responsible for much of the land as it is today.

I do like dragons, and I wanted to use chromatic and metallic dragons (such as in D&D/Pathfinder), but tie them into the creation legends of Avernos in a meaningful way. Last week I spoke about darkness on the doorstep and so it was important to have examples of evil having been beaten at great cost in the history of Avernos. Now chromatic dragons are set up as a force of evil, and you can be sure that someone will try and resurrect one of them to cause all kinds of havoc.

The Books of Faces
Don’t forget to checkout and like the Book of Faces Facebook page. You can check out the adventure history over at the Adventure Chronicle.

Rising Phoenix News
Here’s an awesome interior art preview for the pages of the final version of Claustrophobia! from my bro, illustrator Donovan Sloan.

IMG_7429.PNG

I’ve also restarted going through Johnn Four’s Gamers Lifestyle course, with a view to smoothing out operations and getting more stuff published in the future. Wish me luck, I’ll be hitting the books hard this year.

Inspired in Japan
The #TRPG hashtag on Twitter is worth a browse. TRPG means “Table-talk RPG” and in Japan refers specifically to pen and paper RPGs. There’s plenty to inspire, and surprise (sometimes even shock), even if you can’t read Japanese. #DnDj will get you Japanese Dungeons and Dragons related posts.

That’s all from me until next Thursday.
Tell Thrilling Tales

Zombies! - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Hottest New Book
The End Of The World: Zombie Apocalypse
The End Of The World: Zombie Apocalypse

New Avernos Content

New pages in the Avernos Campaign Setting Wiki are:

 

Bastion, City: Bastion is the largest human settlement in Avernos, a city of spires that hides an ancient secret.

Bastion, The Kingdom of: The northern human kingdom of Bastion is the largest territory to fall under a single ruler, namely the King of Bastion and self titled King of Avernos.

 

There’s more Avernos content on the way, so stay tuned. I’ve also finished editing the Campaign Primer for Kamen, Land of Masks, which will go out in August.

Update – Avernos, Trow and Claustrophobia!

Avernos in Trow-ble

You may have noticed that I’ve reworked the Avernos Campaign Setting here on the site. I’ve got so much in store for you that I needed to rework the structure of the pages to ensure it would all fit together well. I’ve added pages too and the most recent is a look at the Trow, or dark elves. These guys put the “dark” back in being a dark elf.

 

Claustrophobia!

The copy editing for the Beta is done, so expect more news on that in the coming months. You can keep in touch by connecting to the Claustrophobia! Facebook page.

 

Super Secret Mystery Projects

Because of contracts and bad tempered gnomes I can’t reveal some of the other projects under way in the lab, but many wonderful things are bubbling away nicely. I’ve decided to refocus my efforts and so you’ll notice less blogging from me and more wonderful goodies in the future.

 

Till next time!

Superheroes - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com