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.”
We’ve also got Griffins – A Field Guide, which offers 6 subspecies of griffin, a new paladin archetype, and rules for griffin animal companions and familiars. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout and would make a stunning player aid for a party of griffin riders. The book is $2 off until Christmas.
Tentacles of the Deep
Tentacles of the Deep is a PWYW title with statistics for tentacles that act as individual monsters but are connected to a larger creature deep below the ocean’s surface. Grab it free, and if you like it, you can always leave a tip in the tip jar, or a review.
Steampunk Musha: Races of Rosuto-Shima
Lastly, for Pathfinder this time, and not from us but from our friends at Fat Goblin Games, is Steampunk Musha: The Races of Rosuto-Shima. The book introduces several East Asian inspired races, such as the tanuki, pandajin, jinteki oni, and kappa, as well as steampunk inspired races such as the clockwork ronin.
These Christmas stocking fillers are a great way to show your appreciation for a year of great gaming.
We’ll be back next week with more exciting content, but if we miss you, have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Quick wins, as the name suggests, are small projects that don’t take much time, or effort. The miniature you paint in an hour, the terrain you bang out in 3 hours, or the monster stat block you write in 5 minutes all fall into this category.
Why the Quick Win?
Getting things done is very motivating. My recent post about painting RPG miniatures gets into that more. The reverse is also true though, that having too much on your plate can turn you off of your hobby quicker than a quickling in hyperdrive.
It’s also great having something to show for your efforts, and with a string of quick wins you can easily build up to a much larger goal. It’s a lot like how I write now. My current RPG book — teasers here, here, and here — is being written in 2-hour bursts. In each session, I aim to finish one section of the book. Sometimes I’ll get 2-3 monsters done, sometimes it’s most of a background, but every session that I finish something is another thing off the checklist.
How’s this different from how I used to write? Before, I didn’t break down my tasks much, so in 2 hours I often worked on a bunch of sections, got demotivated, and lost my concentration. That kind of thing can lead to burnout. In other words, I’m talking about the tortoise’s approach to winning the race: slow and steady, and about breaking down that race into milestones. Each milestone is a victory in and of itself.
Life also takes up much of our hobby time, so when we have time, we need to use it wisely.
Your Next Quick Win
I’ll leave you with this thought. What small hobby project would give you the most satisfaction. Is it drawing that dungeon map you’ve been planning? Making a handout? Stating up an NPC? Or do you just need to run a short session over Google Hangouts to get everyone ready for a longer session?
Here are my top 5 recommendations, based on sales and customer feedback, as well as my own (totally biased) opinion:
5. Mecha – A Field Guide
This has 2.5 stars out of a possible 5, making it our worst rating, for any product, ever. Still, if you read the reviews objectively, you’ll notice that nobody’s complaining about the rules, which are water tight. The book might not show you how to design your own mecha, but attentive readers will be able to reverse engineer the system and create anything they want, using the core Starfinder Roleplaying Game rules.
What’s a little murder between friends? A lot of fun, it turns out.
The game’s rules are so intuitive that you might be tempted to think the game is overly simple. In fact, the game’s streamlined for an evening’s dinner party with friends, and makes intrigue an integral part of the experience. We think you’ll find that How to Plan a Murder has something special that most murder mystery dinner games lack. Check it out.
This book is so beautifully illustrated that it’s worth grabbing, just for the pretty pictures. The art is by Bob Greyvenstein, who does most of our illustration and layout work, and this book contains many of my favorites of his art. It takes real talent to draw birds well, and Bob pulls it off with apparent effortlessness.
This brings us to my top recommendation for Black Friday, 2018. Scarthey, the University of the Arcane, is your guide to adventures in a wizard’s university, complete with map, location guide, introductions to the main faculty members, houses, the surrounding town of Scartheyton, history, activities, and sports. You can set your whole campaign within the grounds of the university, or drop it straight into your campaign. Our Choose Your Destiny adventures are set in Scarthey and its surrounds, making Welcome to Scarthey an invaluble part of the collection.
If your a miniatures nut like me then the Pathfinder Playtest is just another excuse to take on more miniature projects. We’ll be making model tents. If you’re a player in the playtest, come back when you’ve finished Part 2 of the Playtest, otherwise consider this a Spoiler Alert.
Specifically, we’re making gnoll tents. These tents are easy to make, dirt cheap, yet generic enough that you’ll get plenty of use out of them.
Assuming you’re making three model tents, you’ll need the following:
2 x 2 inch squares of plastic card (3)
Thin sticks, about 2-2.5 inches long (9-12)
A paper egg box
String or thick thread, for “rope”
Flocking flock. Yeah, flock!
Baking flour, about 2 teaspoons
The usual tools, glues, paints, and equipment for the construction of miniaturized scenery.
Paint (lots of brown and tan)
A bowl of Kellogs Corn Flocks, yum! (Just kidding)
All Your Base Are Belong To Us
Cut the plastic card to size and round the edges. Scale wise, these are 10-foot square bases. Sand the sticks then glue 3–4 poles to each card, to make a teepee shape.
Glue sand and flock to the bases now, since we want to see inside each tent — we’ll put the tent material on later.
Pelts and Skins
This was an experiment that worked out really well. Cut an egg box into rectangles, then shape each rectangle to make pelts, like in the image below.
I got about 12 pelts out of one box.
Tip:Use a miniature to judge the size of these. They need to wrap around the poles of your tents, so don’t make them too small.
Flour Water For the Win
Last week I showed you how to make Captain America’s shield using a fan cover and paper mache. Paper mache isn’t particularly easy to work with at this scale, but works for this project, and we’ll see why in a bit.
Mix 1 part flour (2 teaspoons) with 3 parts water (6 teaspoons) and mix until it’s smooth. Dip the pelts in the paste and soak them well. Pull a layer off the pelt to make thinner skins. This does two things: it gives the pelt a better texture and makes it easier to wrap the pelt around the tent poles.
Stick a pelt down inside each tent, to make the floor. I worked this down with the edge of a spoon, which helped to flatten the pelt into the ground.
Wrap the corners of each pelt over the poles to make a shelter. Don’t worry about being too neat. For the tent’s entrance, fold a pelt in half before you stick it on.
I painted the paste over the base of the model too, which holds the grit down better.
Glue rope around the poles and add other bits of detail, such as weapons and shields, as you see fit.
I base-coated my model tents with matt black, then painted them with poster paint and Citadel paints.
To get rid of any shine, use something like the Anti Shine Matt Varnish, from The Army Painter.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.
Druids and divine characters rejoice! Two new books from our friends at D20PFSRDPublising.com are jam-packed with player options to help you build the characters you’ve always wanted to play.
Forces of Nature, Book 1: Druids
This first one’s for Dungeons & Dragonsfifth edition and written by Ed Kabara.
From the marketing blurb:
Forces of Nature, Book 1: The Druid is the first in a new series of roleplaying game supplements for 5e from d20pfsrd.com Publishing focusing on wilderness oriented classes, this one focuses on the Druid.
“When nature calls, I reply. When nature speaks, I listen. And when nature angers, I destroy.”
This book introduces tons of new options for druids including:
10 New Circles: Circle of Decay, Circle of Fury, Circle of Green Knights, Circle of Swarms, Circle of the Beast, Circle of the Ley Weavers, Circle of the Pack, Circle of the Stalker, Circle of the Trees, and Circle of the Winding Journey
16 New Feats: Animal to Augment, Art of the Kill, Companion of the Wanderer, Designated Survivor, Hardy Wild Shape, Fury of Nature, Focused, Hide of the Forest, King of the Forest, Nature Provides, Oaken Skin, Powerful Friends, Powerful Summoner, Practiced at the Hunt, Preternatural Senses, and Sought Summoner,
5 New Magic Items: Cloak of the Harvest, Mystic Moss, Staff of the Gatherer, Staff of the Pack, and Whistle of Command
1 New Playable Race: Wilderlings
6 New Companion Plant Creatures: Flowering Moss, Gasping Flower, Giant Flytrap, Grabbing Seaweed. Spanking Spruce, and Tumbleweed
21 New Spells: Call of the Earth, Change Race, Cursed Provision, Dust to Dust, Fingers of the Forest, Forest Defenders, Harmful Growth, Heart of Winter, Limb Rot, Nature’s Bounty, Nymph’s Hideout, Overgrowth Armor, Remove from Nature, Return to Nature, Return to the Land, Supernatural Focus, True Power of the Land, Unnatural Growth, Walk with the Beasts, Wild Aegis, and Wooden Guardians
All this AND MORE await you in Forces of Nature, Book 1 – The Druid
The second book of player options is compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is written by Beth Jones.
The marketing blurb goes like this:
Manifest Destiny, Book 2 – Cults & Clergy is the second in a new series of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game supplements from d20pfsrd.com Publishing focusing on those in tune with the gods and this one gives a general use to anyone with a deific bent.
“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.”
This book introduces many new options for these types of characters including:
1 New Domains: Inspiration
1 New Mysteries: Transformation
13 New Archetypes: Avatar of Freedom (Skald), Ayurvedic (Druid), Celestial Druid (Druid), Chosen One (Cleric), Clan Champion (Ranger), Divine Herald (Bard), Dune Dancer (Oracle), Exemplar of Faith (Inquisitor), Holy Protectorate (Warpriest), Inspired Conduit (Inquisitor), Outback Oracle (Oracle), Sneak (Oracle), and Truthsayer (Oracle)
7 New Spells: Debilitating Diatribe, Greater Guidance, Inspirational Sermon, Mantle of Martial Prowess, Serpent Strike, Siphon Infidel’s Strength, and Terrifying Aura.
All this AND MORE await you in Manifest Destiny, Book 2 – Cults & Clergy!
Food is such an important part of our daily lives, a representation of our culture, and a border-smashing commonality that is more easily shared than anything else. Yet, food seldom takes center stage in a role-playing game.
Compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, the book lists almost 100 recipes, each with cooking instructions and magical in-game effects. Try Lektar’s One God ale keg beer bread for fortifying the body, flaming crab cakes for burning your enemies, or scroll dough as an alternative to scrolls and potions, to name but a few.
To use the spells your character only needs a few ranks in Craft (culinary) and the Culinary Magic feat. It’s a worthwhile investment considering the sheer volume of spell-recipes available in the book. If you’ve ever wanted to play a halfling cook or a wizarding chef, there has never been a better time than now.
The book comes in both Metric and Imperial versions, which is amazing. The pdf is 117 pages, with a back and front cover, 4 pages of OGL, and photos for every recipe.
Here’s the blurb for the Incarnate, from Drive Thru RPG:
The Incarnate Hybrid Class combines the powerful rage of the Barbarian and the supernatural mysteries of the Oracle into an exciting new player option compatible with the Pathfinder Role Playing Game.
Inspired by the Lovecraftian Mythos, the Incarnate brings cosmic horror into your characters’ lives in a threatening, ever-present sense. An instrument of an alien entity, your destiny is yours no longer.
Do you dare cross the alien entity that made you its avatar?
Gain amazing power over metals with the Metal Mystery for the Incarnate class.
When you can literally bend iron to your will, there’s not much that can stop you from ruling any battlefield.
You can find Margherita’s great addition to the class in Pathways #73, along with more options for the Shaman class.
The Incarnate metal mystery is a really nice addition to the class, which could use a couple more mysteries to make it really versatile.
Also, dreaming up metal based patrons to fit the class gets my GM brain excited.
Mix Galacticus with the Silver Surfer for a shiny outer god.
Or an iron demon that inspired the creation of the first iron golem. Now every sentient iron weapon is potentially and evil cultist…mwahaha!
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.
The fine art of Goblin Lugging, enjoyed across our ancient realm by men and dwarves alike. Goblin Lugging is truly a valorous challenge of strength and grit.
Each contestant grabs a goblin, then races through a series of obstacles. The winner is the first to cross the finish line with a goblin in their possession. Progress is measured in rounds for this challenge and the contestant to complete all the obstacles with a goblin in their possession in the fewest rounds is the winner.
After the starter’s whistle, each contestant must grab a goblin by making a successful grapple (see the Combat chapter in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook). There is one goblin per contestant, kept in a small pen at the start of the course. Contestant must move along the course using the move action described under the rules for grappling. If a contestant fails a grapple, then they spend 1 round trying to re-catch their goblin.
There are three obstacles along the course:
The Lake. This obstacle is 15-feet long. The contestant must make a DC 12 Swim check for each round they are in the water. On a failure, they make no progress. On a failure by more than 5, they can decide to either let go of the goblin and re-attempt the Swim check (DC 10), or they both go underwater. If a contestant’s goblin drowns they must spend 3 rounds capturing a new one.
The Wall. This wall has random hand and foot holds, and requires a successful DC 15 Climb check to get over. Contestants holding a goblin suffers a –2 circumstance penalty on this check. It takes 3 rounds to climb over the wall. If the contestant succeeds on an accelerated climb (a –5 penalty), it takes only 1 round. Contestants failing the Climb check make no progress.
The Slide. This slope has been turned into a muddy slide. Getting to the bottom is simple enough, doesn’t require a check of any kind, and takes 1 round. At the bottom of the slide the goblin gets to attempt to break the grapple, with a +2 circumstance bonus for being drenched in slippery mud.
Goblin CR 1/3 CMB +0, CMD 12
See the goblin in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary.
The winner of a game of Goblin Lugging is the first to cross the finish line, still holding their goblin.
Enjoyed this game? Be sure to check out Welcome to Scarthey, which includes the sport of Cackle-Ball!