Masks are eery and mysterious — even a “funny” mask can seem ominous and threatening. Masks can represent a culture or tell a story — there’s so much to these objects that can inspire your game, and that inspired me to write the Manual of Masks, a supplement for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, now available on the DMs Guild.
Recently I gave you a sneak peek at two of the player options featured in the book. The Manual of Masks also includes new adventuring gear, including the alchemist’s mask, armored hoods, and the infamous iron mask. There are also rules for headshots, called shots, and hit locations. Rounding everything off are 12 new magical masks.
M.T. Black, a best selling creator on the DMs Guild, called the book “Very creative and well written. There is something in this little supplement for everyone!”
I’ve already started work on the next 10 pages of the book, and the plan is to upgrade it later in the year. The update will likely include a section on Mask, the god of thieves, some cursed masks (so much fun to be had!) and some mask related adventure seeds. I’d love to add more class options, so featuring Mask will be a great way to offer more options for the cleric class.
We’ve got a bunch of books in the works, but I wanted to take a moment to give you a sneak peek at three new 5e character option previews for your D&D game. The first two are from my forthcoming Manual of Masks for the DMs Guild, and the third option is for our third Choose Your Destiny book.
New Pact Boon
Masks have a mysterious, otherworldly nature, which certainly inspired this first one. There’s a pinch of inspiration from The Mask comics and movies too.
At 3rd level, when your otherworldly patron bestows a gift upon you, you may instead select the Pact of the Mask instead of the three pact boons given in the Player’s Handbook.
Pact of the Mask
Your patron inspires you to create a mask representing your patron. While wearing this mask you have disadvantage on Persuasion (Charisma) ability checks, but have advantage on Intimidation (Charisma) ability checks. In addition, during a short or long rest, you can imbue the mask with the power of your patron… [More in the playtest version]
New Arcane Tradition
The basic concept of the mask mage is a wizard that imbues masks with spells. Imagine reaching into your coat to bring out a different mask for each challenge you face and you’ll have some idea what this one’s about.
Searching for a way to extend the life of their spells, an obscure order of mages perfected the art of imbuing masks with magical energies. As a student of their legacy, you are able to use the power in these masks to become a fearsome entity on the battlefield or to doll out powerful masks to your allies to enhance and protect them against enemies.
Beginning when you select this arcane tradition at 2nd level, you learn to craft and imbue masks with your spells. When you prepare your spells, you can cast some of them into these specially prepared masks… [More in the playtest version]
Some barbarians value self-sufficiency and personal endeavor over all else — for the warrior who can stand alone is a much stronger defender of the tribe. The Path of the Lone Wolf is an often lonely path to greater glory, lined with the bodies of one’s enemies. As a follower of this path, you trust in your weapon and wit to see you through any trial.
At 3rd level, you may select the Path of the Lone Wolf instead of other primal paths.
Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, when you enter a rage you regain hit points equal to your proficiency bonus. From 11th level, when you would drop to 1 hit point because of your Relentless Rage ability, you instead drop to 1d4 + your proficiency bonus.
[More in the playtest version]
You can get the playtest versions of all these options and more by supporting us on Patreon at the Flaming Backer tier. Additionally, if you provide us with playtesting feedback, we’ll put your name in the book’s credits. Playtest packages go out tomorrow, so jump aboard now if you want them.
I hope you enjoyed these 5e character option previews. Till next time, play good games!
For a long time I was against using Patreon. To me, it was just a way to ask for money.
Still, I was starting to see a bunch of Patreon campaigns that had a great offering, that gave customer something special, and that were worked as an invaluable part of the business for the company or individual that was running it. On top of that, I’ve come to realize that Patreon is the perfect platform for offering a subscription service.
And, we make adventures we’d like to publish monthly.
Sounds like a great fit to me.
Now we can offer a subscription for our products similar to what Paizo does with many of their product lines. That’s exciting, because it also means we can better connect with you, our fans.
We’re in the early days of launching our Patreon campaign, but now is a great time to jump on board and help us chart this new course. We’ve set up some tiers we think you’ll really like.
At this tier you’ll get a page or two of game mechanics, and 2-3 wallpapers from Bob Storrar, usually including art from our latest release.
And it only costs a dollar.
Bring the Heat Backer
If you’re a fan of our Choose Your Destiny solo and 1-on-1 adventures, then check out our Patreon and ensure your copy of the next installment in the campaign at this patron tier.
So far we have two adventures in the series out, with another two in editing. Three more are on the cards.
All the adventures are compatible with the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, through the SRD and OGL.
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. Food stalls, games, gossip, the sweet sounds of shakuhachi and shamisen music, followed by colorful fireworks and dancing into the night. It will be a night to remember.
Yet, for Constable Hideo there are always things to worry about; the many visitors and the ample supply of sake for one. Mix the two together and this night may not be so peaceful after all. And then there are the Inoue girls, Ame and Yuki. In a village where everyone knows your secrets, they still manage to keep the gossip fresh, and biting. Old Sanae remembers when she too was young and beautiful, while the appearance of an old love interest does nothing to shake the reminder that the past will always come back to haunt you. And it’s the past that most concerns Father Vicente, the Spaniard, who remembers the fervor he once had for his faith; if only he could recapture that passion, yet his heart grows colder as the nights do.
And out in that darkness a malicious force moves, ready to strike a blow that will leave the village irreversibly scarred and in dire need of heroes to make their stand.
A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure set in mythical Japan for 6 characters of level 3 and a GM.
Rising Phoenix Games has some new, exciting titles for you.
Climb into the Praetor or Vindicator Class Kaiju-Hunter mecha and take the battle to the stars.
Mecha—A Field Guide introduces two new mecha along with all the rules for operating, customizing, and combat with these iron giants, all fully compatible with the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. Three powered armor suits, new weapons, and armor upgrades expand your ironclad arsenal.
Forest of Secrets is the newest installment in the Choose Your Destiny series of solo and 1-on-1 adventures, compatible with fifth edition fantasy. Written by David N. Ross, it includes a useful forest generator for use in your games. Can you survive the Forest of Secrets?
Death Queen and the Life Stone kicks off the Choose Your Destiny series with an undead queen attempting to rise again. Can you escape her trapped temple and stop her, before it’s too late?
Get the most out of Death Queen and Forest of Secrets with Welcome to Scarthey, your guide to the world of arcane studies.
Inside you’ll find details of the University of Scarthey, introductions to key NPCs, and plenty of player options.
Last up, Gear Heart is an encounter involving agents of the University of Scarthey attempting to uncover the secrets of a mysterious tower.
A short adventure for a party of 4 characters between level 1 and 5, compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
The Stone of Ashirai—said to contain power over life itself—is rumored to lie within the tomb of the goddess Ashirai, the Death Queen. Can you be the first to reach her tomb, find the stone, and survive to tell the tale?
This is our latest cover, a piece for our first product in a new line of solo / 1-on-1 adventures.
Bob Storrar did the art and layout, and you need to see inside this, because it’s beautifully done. The guy has real talent.
So, who is she and why does she matter?
Ashirai was once a fair and beautiful queen, who turned to necromancy to secure her power. That power came at a price, as she slowly lost her famed beauty to the corrupting energy of her magic. She took to wearing a cobra hooded mask carved to resemble her as she once was, and became known as the Death Queen, a powerful ruler with legions at her command.
South Africa’s longest running comics and games convention, ICON, celebrated it’s 25th year this year. We were there running demo games of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, as well as to attend workshops by Paizo’s own James L Sutter, who spoke about the industry and, most importantly, Starfinder.
Our Starfinder Plans
We’re not saying much just yet, but we have some cool stuff in the works that will be Starfinder compatible. Watch this space.
New Product — Bullet
Bullet is a faced paced, rules light special forces game by Basil Koufos. If you’ve ever thought playing CS the RPG might be a cool idea, then this game is for you.
New Product — Gear Heart
Gear Heart is an adventure short—an adventure setup, map, and encounter—compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and set in Scarthey, the University of the Arcane. The party is called in to investigate a mysterious tower which appears once every three years on the night of the winter solstice.
In The Works
Besides our Starfinder offering, we’ve begun work on Secrets of Scarthey, our follow up book to Welcome to Scarthey, aimed at GMs. We’ve also got several more adventures in the works, which all tie in with the setting. All of our adventures will either be compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, or the fifth edition SRD, and our setting books will be available in both flavors.
From J. K. Rowling’s Hogwarts to Terry Pratchett’s Unseen University, magic schools and universities abound with fantastic adventures. Now you can join the adventure and enroll at Scarthey, University of the Arcane. Live and breathe the magic, wander the halls alongside wise wizards, discover hidden secrets, and battle fearsome foes.
Welcome to Scarthey — University of the Arcane is the ultimate student’s guide to the University of Scarthey, including everything you need for fantastic adventures in the exciting and unpredictable world of magical studies. Compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, this 66 page book includes:
An exploration of the tumultuous history of the University of Scarthey.
An introduction to the staff and faculties of the University.
A look at the four Houses of Scarthey, including campaign traits for each House.
A map of the University and descriptions of all the major locations around Scarthey’s campus.
A guide to the surrounding town of Scartheyton.
A practical guide to the gruesome sport of cackleball and the competitive sport of dragon boat racing.
Both a Single Page Spread PDFand a Double Page Spread PDF, stunningly illustrated, for your viewing pleasure.
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What a month.
I’ve got this personal vendetta against distraction, but March had me against the ropes.
Getting sick is no fun, but I did learn a lot from it.
For one, working in the games industry means I get to help others relax, have fun, and spend time with friends. March showed me just how important that can be — there were some bleak moments when escaping into game and time with gaming friends was very uplifting.
Secondly, I recommitted myself to the three pillars of my work:
Eventually I’d like to be doing what I do for the tabletop for online games. The coding side has been something I haven’t given proper time to of late, but you can expect some interesting things from me in the future.
New Products — Contagion’s Kiss
“O true apothecary, thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.” — Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare
When the city’s water supply is threatened by extortionists, the heroes are called on to infiltrate the fortress of a powerful outsider. Can they get in, get even, and get out, before it’s too late?
Contagion’s Kiss is an adventure for a party of 4th level characters. It can be used in any fantasy city or town where wells or cisterns are the main source of water. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GameMastery Guide and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary are required for play. This adventure includes creatures detailed in Chilling Curiosities — A Field Guide.
This adventure includes a full scale, printable poster sized map of the adventure.
We’ve been hard at work on a number of products. Here they are, in no particular order:
Today I handed over the final draft to Bob Greyvenstein for layout for our new setting, Scarthey, which our Field Guides are a part of. More on this soon.
Also for Scarthey we’ve got a bunch of adventures in the works, from both new and experienced writers. I’ll talk about that, too, soon.
We received the final draft for a new, fast paced modern spec ops game by Basil Koufos, designer of Might. We’re very excited to be publishing his latest creation and absolutely love the system and all that it stands for.
The Nightscape RPG for the Nightscape Series and Imperiad Entertainment is off to a good start. We’ve defined much of the core mechanics and have some interesting things we’re looking forward to trying.
Steampunk Musha rolls on with a number of books in and out of editing. As the line editor I’ve been learning a lot from the talented individuals who make up the team at Fat Goblin Games — they’ve got some great stuff in the works.
On a more sombre note, March 21st is Human Rights Day in South Africa, a day of remembrance for the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 and the suffering caused during the Apartheid era.
To me, the most important thing is remembering that we all share this planet. We all have a right to life, dignity, and respect. Let us all strive for mutual understanding — therein lies peace and happiness for all.