Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Old Satire Swing Out Front

So if there’s one thing I learned in RPG publishing*, it’s that your d20-based fantasy rpg publishing company needs a small, fantasy-themed, murderous creature to use as a mascot.

Sadly the obvious choices–goblins, gremlins, kobolds, the demon god Orcus–are taken.

So, that pretty much leaves us with dark creepers, dretch, mites, and orang-pendaks.

I think we can all agree mite is the “big” winner here.

Of course, that means (by law), I have to think about a free RPG day adventure** featuring Mites.

For this sort of thing, the name comes first.

Here are my current choices:

A Mite. B Giants.

Doom (The Spell) Comes to Fog-Town

The Mite-y Horde

Tick Attack

Vermins and Vigilantes

Clearly***, this is the first step to a much greater level of success for me!

*And there might not be. And this is satire. Though there still might not be.

**I only have to think about it. I don’t have to do it. which is good, since I’m not going to.

***It is not clear.

This is weird

Yes it is. I give some explanation of it on my Patreon, in a currently patron-exclusive format.

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Return of the Cleric/Fighter/Thief

Okay, so it’s back to Old School Character Concepts. I never played a cleric/fighter/rtheif that I can recall (though some of those games were more than 30 years ago, so I’m willing to believe I just forgot a character or two), but it interests me as another idea it’s hard to pull off in Pathfinder. Given there’s already a warpriest for cleric/fighters, it seems clear an archetype for that class is the way to build such a class.

Cleric/Fighter/Thief

A warpriest archetype

Proficiency

A cleric/fighter/thief does not gain proficiency with medium or heavy armor.

Spells

Your spell list includes all 0-6th level cleric spells and most inquisitor spells. You cannot cast spells that modify a class feature the cleric/fighter/thief does not possess (such as judgment).

Blessings

A cleric/fighter/thief does not gain a blessing at 1st level, or greater blessing at 10th level.

Fervor

You cannot use fervor to heal yourself or harm foes. You can still use it to cast a spell on yourself as a swift action.

Channel Energy

You do not gain the channel energy class feature.

Sacred Weapon

You do not gain the sacred weapon class feature.

Bonus Feats

You may, in place of a bonus feat, select a rogue talent (but not advanced talent). When selecting feats (even non-bonus feats), treat your warpriest level as your fighter level and your BAB for purposes of prerequisites. When selecting rogue talents, treat your cleric/fighter/thief level as your rogue level for prerequisites and calculations made by the talent. You cannot select a rogue talent that modifies a class feature you do not possess.

Divine Finesse Training (Ex)

At 1st level, you gain Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. In addition to the normal list of weapons it functions with, you can use it with your deity’s favorite weapon. In addition, starting at 3rd level, you can select any one typ e of weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse (such as rapiers or daggers, though you may also choose your deity’s favorite weapon). Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. Whenever you make a successful melee attack with the selected weapon, you add her Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If any effect would prevent you from adding your Strength modifier to the damage roll, you do not add your Dexterity modifier. You can select a second weapon at 11th level and a third at 19th level.

Trapfinding

At 1st level you add 1/2 your level on Perception checks to locate traps and on Disable Device checks (minimum +1). You can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.

Sneak Attack

At 4th level you gain sneak attack, as the rogue class feature. This increases by +1d6 at 8th level, and by an addition 1d6 every 4 levels thereafter.

Patreon

The cleric/fighter/thief archetype for the warpriest mostly functions fine without any additional feats or talents, since it can borrow from those designed for fighters and rogues. But it seems a sneaky warrior of a deity out to have at least one trick that combines hurting, sneaking, and spellcasting up her sleeve. Thus, the Divine Retribution feat was born and presented (as least for now) as Patreon-exclusive content.

 

Check it out!

Rosie’s Rebels

And now, at least for a moment, a change of pace.

When you are the storyteller, you get to decide what the story is.

Inspired by WWII slang, here’s an idea for a WWII pulp heroes team.

The German Ubermensch and the ‘31s (results of Japan’s Unit 731) had the Allies on the run by mid-1943. While espionage efforts managed to bring back some of the super-science being used to create those soldiers, results were nearly always incomplete. The US felt an invasion of the home country was inevitable, and grew desperate. Experiments had to be carried out, dangerous human experiments, but it was considered unacceptable to risk fighting men (even minority fighting men) that were desperately needed on the front.

Thus, women were asked to volunteer to be injected with unknown agents, exposed to strange radiations, and fed experimental chemicals. Most survived, but the overall casualty rate was still higher than a typical combat unit. In time, the knowledge gained helped turn the tide of war. But before that, many of the woman with the most exceptional test reactions were sent to fight on the front lines, despite the bias against their gender. Anecdotally, this was a result of the First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt, being told by a general that the United States would not send women to the front lines no matter how dire the desperation, and her calmly replying by asking he he felt the Nazi’s would miantain that policy once they took over.

Thus the first Special Troopers section was born, as the decorated unit of “Rosie’s Rebels.”

BAM—A seven-foot amazon of a woman and a marine, BAM was able to bounce attacks from small arms off her skin and throw a jeep, or even tip over a tank. While the “BAM Process” was one of the eventually successes of the experimental programs, no soldier given the “perfected” version was as strong or tough as BAM herself.

Cast-Iron—Already a brilliant engineer, Cast-Iron created a personal heavy combat armor during her downtime between sessions of experimental injections. Unfortunately she was so much smarter than anyone else that no one could understand how she built it, maintained it, or kept it running. In the end, only Cast-Iron ever used her infantry armor suit.

Eight Ball—People who meant Eight Ball harm always came to bad ends. No one was ever sure if this was a ’31-induced power, or if she was just naturally lucky, or if it was a string of amazing coincidences.

Gibson—Gibson could hear, and somehow send by thought, radio waves. She was also a spectacular tactician and soldier. While the official military account claimed her military prowess was a result of the same radiation that gave her radiopathy, history suggests she was simply overlocked for her combat and leadership qualities until she had a power. Leader of Rosie’s Rebels until the end of the war.

Gold Star—Despite dying during experimentation, Gold Star showed up for duty the next day. Though she seemed no more resilient to damage than a typical 38-year-old mother of three, her body and belongings always disappeared within a few hours, and she would wander in by the next day, along with her gear. Also a rated marksman and sniper.

Heat Wave—The recipient of a unique ability that was never duplicated in further experiments, Heat Wave caused flammable fuel near her to not be expended when it created fire (even to run an engine). Early on she simply had a neverending flamethrower and extended the range of any vehicle she sat over the fuel tank of, but near the end of the war her ability to produce combustion without expending mass was used to also give her a personal flight platform.

Retread—A veteran of the nursing corps during the Great War, Retread could temporarily access the memories and skills of the recently deceased… including Gold Star.

Sky Scout—Could inexplicable see her position from roughly 100 to 1,000 feet up if she closed her eyes. Also a pacifist Seventh Day Adventist and Rosie’s Rebels unofficial chaplain.

Patreon

I has it. Check it out.

 

Return of Randomly Acquired Psionics!

You can’t have a complete discussion 1e/Old School character concepts, without touching on psionics. While many players and GMs dislike psionics, they have a long history with the game. Notably, in early editions your chance of being psionic was determined randomly, and while that often lead to unexpected developments that some groups enjoy, it also meant some characters were randomly more powerful than others.

But that core concept, that it’s possible for a random roll outside of a player’s control to grant special powers, is one that many playstyles work well with. To make that idea work with Pathfinder, it needs to have an acquisition cost or method associated with it as well,

Thus, the Nescient Psionic feat. The feat gives you psionic power (so the feat-for-power paradigm is maintained), but characters must roll to be allowed to take the feat (and may take it more than once, if dice are with them).

This rule assumes you use the excellent psionics rules from Dreamscarred Press, much of which is on d20pfsrd.com.

Nescient Psionic

You did not train for your mental powers. They simple evolved in your mind.

Prerequisites: No psionic powers gained form a class, successful d% roll (see first Special entry).

Benefit: You gain a 1st level psionic power of your choice. If you take this feat multiple times, each time you may either gain one psionic power of your choice that is one level higher than the highest-level power you have gained with this feat, or gain a number of lower-level powers that would (collectively) take as many power powers to activate once each as it would take to activate a psionic power one-level higher than the highest-level power you have gained with this feat.

You manifest your psionic power using the normal rules for psionics. Use the highest of your Int, Wis, and Cha modifier to determine save DCs. Your manifester level is equal to your HD or character level. You gain a pool of power points equal to the number needed to activate each power you gain from this feat once, which can only be used to activate psionic powers gained from this feat.

Special: You can take this feat more than once… maybe. Each time you wish to take this feat (including the first time), you must make a d% roll. Add the highest of your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma ability scores, plus your ability modifiers for the other two abilities, as a bonus to this roll. If your total is 100 or higher, you may take the feat. If not, you must wait until the next level you have an available feat. Even if you can take multiple feats at the same level, a failed roll prevents you from trying again until you gain a new level and have a new open feat slot.

The effects of taking the feat more than once are detailed in the benefit.

Special: If you gain psionic powers from a class, you can replace with feat with any other psionic feat you qualify for.

Patrons

Speaking of d20pfsrd.com, this post is sponsored by that site’s webstore arm, the Open Gaming Store! Along with juice and toast, part of a complete breakfast!*

*You know, metaphorically.