Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lords of Gossamer & Shadow Adventure No Beast So Fierce: Adventure Background and Introduction



Just over a year ago, something happened on the Gossamer world of Fierce, when a group of cybernetically enhanced soldiers, infused with the power of the Eidolon, started attacking the city near its Door and all the local residents. Sato-sama The Blue Widow, an agent of one of the Gossamer Lords, was returning home along the Grand Stair from the Nightmare Kingdom. Sato-sama volunteered to help the relief efforts leading a group of Gossamer agents, and then deserted when ordered by her lord to abandon the world and its refugees.

Robotic mecha security forces Sato-sama commandeered and the enhanced soldiers waged a brutal battle, leaving the latter in possession of the Door. Sato-sama activated a martial law protocol in the Security Mechs, and struggled to maintain order amid a never-ending war with the enhanced soldiers, and the dwindling resources of the inhabitants. The last communication from Sato-sama stated that she was attempting to lead survivors out of the world to the Grand Stair. The group never arrived, and soon afterwards the Gossamer Lords declared Fierce, forbidden, its door sealed. Her Gossamer Lord then publicly disavowed Sato-sama as a renegade and a traitor.  All went quite, and uses of Sato-sama’s icon revealed nothing, leading many to believe she is dead.

Yesterday, a signal came from Sato-sama’s icon. Its message was brief; “This is Sato-sama, The Blue Widow. Attempted evacuation of Fierce ended in complete failure. The butcher’s bill is too damn high.”


Sato-Sama’s Gossamer Lord has decided to send in a group of agents (The PCs), and so begins the adventure No Beast, So Fierce. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Things I would like to do for Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless)


Illustration by Juan Diego Diandres
For the Icon Deck

In no particular order. 

Gossamer Adventure Path (we have the first part of that with The Long Walk)

Adventure (We have the first one with No Beast So Fierce)

Threats (Just released our first one in this, with another on the way)

Gossamer Factions (this is about groups that serve the Lords of Gossamer and Oppose them, that players could belong to, they are not outright threats, need to recruit some freelancers).  

Addendum (we have one of these out, we have more on the way, Iconic Characters, Empathy, Shapeshifting, Guide to Powers. Variant Options etc. ) 

Bestiary (This is a rich unmined place, of the Grand Stair, of specific Gossamer Worlds, Of Shadow etc. )

Npc Codex (What Mark Knight did is awesome, would love to do this and go farther still). 

Icon Deck (its coming I have 4 things left to assign, and I am already looking a Icon Deck #2)

Fiction (We have talked about this be it an anthology piece or a novel, me I want a comic book graphic novel).  

Lucien's Guide to the Grand Stair (Part 1 is out, we are working on part 2)

Gossamer Worlds (these are coming along really nicely)

Gossamer Campaign Setting (Nexopolis is coming!)


Playmat? (I can't see doing a GM screen). 


What would like to see?


Monday, March 17, 2014

Transparency: 40 Things Rite is working on publishing. and where we are at.




Fiction




1.       Lost in Dream a novel in editing (Set in the world of dreams), front cover sketches complete



Miniature Game

1.       Miniature Game in development, playtesting, (on hold while we determine what WizKids/WotC are doing)




Dungeon World




1.       Missing Paths: Playbooks Up to Eleven, assigned to a Riter (a freelancer author working for Rite Publishing). 



Fate




1.       Pieces of Fate 2  assigned to a Riter
2.      The Demolished Ones: Fly in the Ointment second draft stage




Lords of Gossamer & Shadow

1.       Threats: Echo of the Typhonians In layout pending release March 20th, 2014. 
2.      Addendum Iconic Characters waiting on one piece of art before going to layout
3.      Threats Dawn of the Dwimmerlaik sketches approved waiting on final art.
4.      Nexopolis: In Editing
5.      Addendum Empathy: In Editing
6.      Gossamer Worlds 4 assigned to Riter
7.      Icon Deck:  waiting on final art before final layout (4 piece left),
8.      The Long Walk assigned to a Riter,  Author an artist working in tandem.
9.      Addendum: Shapeshifting assigned to a Riter
10.    Lucien’s Guide to the Grand Stair 2 assigned to a Riter
11.     Corebook Kindle and Nook versions in layout.
12.    No Beast So Fierce adventure assigned to me, will be doing a demo at Ambercon, art is complete.
13.    Discussion of sequel to The Long Walk.



Pathfinder




1.         In the Company of Dragons Playtest (ongoing)
2.        Pathways #37 assigned to writers, cover done
3.        Rite Map Pack: River Rapids by Tommi Salama Retail release march 27th.
4.        The Secrets of the Masked Reveler  in layout.
5.        20 Variant Foes Wargs in layout
6.        Martial Arts Guidebook waiting on art, manuscript finished and edited.
7.        Rite Map Pack 2 by Tommi Salama Retail Release April 24th
8.        Magus of the Jade Oath waiting on Riter’s feedback after editing.
9.        Haunted Quarter assigned to a Riter
10.      The Secrets of the Divine 2 with me writing
11.       Rite Map Pack 3 by Tommi Salama Retial Release May 29th  
12.      Kaidan Campaign Setting in development assigned to a Riter and Me :)
13.      Questhaven Campaign Setting in development with me writing. 
14.      101 Not So Random Encounters: Forest Kingdom assigned to a Riter
15.      #30 Mercenary Companies assigned to a Riter
16.      Adventure Quarterly #6 assigned to Riters 
17.      The Secrets of Renegade Archetypes 2 assigned to a Riter
18.      20 Kaiju assigned to a Riter
19.      Faces of the Tarnished Souk Kickstarter set for April 2nd.
20.     Unnamed Print Compilation in layout

21.      Ultimate Monsters Hero Lab (Book of Monster templates, 101 not so simple monster templates, 101 Monster Feats, 101 Variant Monsters etc.) assigned to the Rite Coder. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Adventure Quarterly #5 print and pdf (PFRPG) and The Nightmare Kingdom (Diceless)

Cover Image

The Adventure Quarterly Relaunch!

Welcome to the latest issue of Adventure Quarterly, now with new hand drawn cartography by Tommi Salama and all original art to help create encounters and stories you want to be a part of. This issue contains. Ruins Perilous, Level 3, The Sensodrome (3rd level)Legacy of the Fishermage (9th level ), Paradox (18th level)
Find out more check out the full size preview or get your full color-print and/or pdf copy HERE; or get a 4 issue PDF subscription HERE!
Adventure Quarterly #5 Adventure Quarterly #5 Adventure Quarterly #5 Adventure Quarterly #5
Cover Image

The Grand Stair stretches behind the scenes of the multiverse,

The Doors upon its unfathomably vast span leading the way to gossamer worlds of limitless variety and infinite possibility. Out there somewhere is a place for every dream... and every nightmare.
Find out more, check out the full sized preview or get your copy HERE!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Adventure Quarterly #5 Preview (Wide-Open Sandboxing Part II: Instant NPCs)



Wide-Open Sandboxing Part II: Instant NPCs

This part of a Wide-Open Sandbox article for Adventure Quarterly #5 on sale tomorrow in full color print and PDF, I designed to show you how to create great Non-Player Characters without spending a great deal of time doing it.

Step 1 Appearance: Show you don’t tell (or write), go get a picture. Do not spend time describing what your NPC looks like just show them the picture. You can find a great deal of public domain and creative commons art by using some creative Google-Fu, you can even put this on your campaign website, wiki, or blog if you plan to go beyond the simple personal use of an image. I always avoid images that have appeared in the gaming books my players have actually read; you want them associating the image with your character, not distracting them with references to where they saw it originally. If your Google-Fu is not strong, find your favorite artist, and go find his online portfolio. Look for his work on things beyond the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, perhaps for a card game that none of your players enjoy. 

Step 2 Background & Personality: Steal the Npc’s background from a novel your players have never read or from a historical character. For example many of my players know who Arthur Conon Doyles’ Sherlock Holmes, but none are familiar with his works in the White Company. I am also the only real history buff in my group; so historical characters can easily be adapted, and even if they were, most folks have a section of history they are not familiar with.  My previous gaming group knew virtually nothing of the famous personages during the American Civil War. Yet even if you take a popular character from literature like Sherlock Holmes, if you change the name and appearance of the character your likely to do just fine. Just look at the TV show House to see what you can do with a Holmes variation.

Step 3 Name: Find a naming list you trust and use it. I prefer Gary Gygax’s Extraordinary Book of Names or Owen K.C. Stephens’ series in Dragon Magazine “By Any other Name,” but there are host of online resources like Squid.org, Seventh Sanctum, or any baby-naming site. Chose a name that suits the characters appearance but also one you can easily pronounce.  

Step 4 Stats: I like to take my time with stat blocks, but sometimes when I am in a hurry, I will use Hero Lab or PC Gen. However for on the spot needs, or if you can’t afford to keep up with all the latest toys, loot one from the Npc database over on d20PFSRD.com. Also do not forget Sean K. Reynolds’ File Off The Serial Numbers, this lets you just use a monster's stat block as a stand in.   

Example: So let us start with our most prominent villain for The Damn War, who is going to be an NPC meddling in the affairs of the PCs, the Kingdom of Torduum, House Joyce, and the disputed lands in-between. Having found a great creative commons picture, I have decided that this will be my mercenary captain. She will lead a literal amazon brigade and she is secretly directing the brigands through her couriers. I will base her background and personality off a young version of Cyrus II of Persia, commonly known as Cyrus the Great. For your ease of reference I will format, this via C.M. Cline’s article from Dragon Magazine #184 (also found in the Dragon Magazine Compendium V.1) entitled “The 7-Sentence NPC.” I will also be adding an 8th line based on Ray Winnger’s Second Rule of Dungeoncraft: Whenever you design a major piece of the campaign world, always devise at least one secret related to that piece (see Dragon Magazine #256). To finish out the format we need to choose a name, I have decided I will use a Greek name since she is an amazon, and add a descriptive epithet from my article in Pathways #34.

Cytherea the Guileful is the Captain of the Termagant Free Company, having traveled to the lands of Questhaven from across the sea 5 years ago. She is a tall, majestic woman with a dyed mane of purple hair, unsettling blue eyes and an obviously magical double bladed staff.  Cytherea is a skilled personal combatant, general, and politician, but her greatest skill is her pragmatic approach to all situations, she only does what is in her best interests. Cytherea is devoted to leading the members of her company, and eventually creating a new home for them, be that through bribery or conquest, she is also extremely devoted to husband who travels with her and acts as her personal attendant. Cytherea has great respect for the rites of hospitality, and while she cultivates both love and fear in those around her, she strives never to let folk hate her and as such always acts honorably. Cytherea has an extensive network of scouts and couriers as well as contacts with many of her company’s previous clients who often still make use of her messenger network; as such, they keep her better informed of what is happening in the world around her than anyone else. Cytherea’s one vanity is her headdress, which folk never see her without; she plans to make it the hereditary crown of her empire. Cytherea the Guileful’s secret is that the Dwellers in the Darkness have actually hired her to destabilize the surface folk so they cannot mount an effective defense against the World Below.

Now if I was doing a long hand stat block I might go grab Owen K.C. Stephens the Genius Guide to the Talented Cavalier by Rogue Genius Games and create a really detailed amazon, but for this example let us say I was doing this at the table and I need to use it now. Therefore, I will loot the Lady of Wrath NPC write up from the bestiary section of the PFSRD.com which itself is looting from a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game OGL product. I will make changes for Improved Two-Weapon Fighting and the twin-bladed staff, switching the Craft skill for Knowledge (local), and making a few changes to her languages to reflect her mercenary background.

Cytherea the Guileful    CR 15
XP 51,200
Female human fighter 2/evoker 5/eldritch knight 9
LE Medium humanoid
Init +3; Senses Perception +0

Defense
AC 28, touch 16, flat-footed 25
(+10 armor, +2 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 insight, +2 natural)
hp 132 (11d10+5d6+52) (includes 15 from false life)
Fort +14, Ref +10, Will +12

Offense
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee +1 adamantine flaming two-bladed staff +20/+15/+11/+20(1d8+9 plus 1d6 fire damage 17-20 x2 /1d8+7 plus 1d6 fire damage 17-20 x2)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks Intense Spells (+2 damage)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 13th; concentration +18)
8/day--Force Missile (1d4+2)
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 13th; +17 melee/ranged touch; 5% spell failure, concentration+18)
7th--delayed blast fireball (DC 24), empowered cone of cold (DC 22), mage's sword
6th--chain lightning (2, DC 23), still cone of cold (DC 22), forceful hand
5th--cone of cold (2, DC 22), empowered vampiric touch, maximized scorching ray, wall of force
4th--empowered scorching ray (3), empowered still magic missile, shout (DC 21), still fireball (DC 21)
3rd-- fly, greater magic weapon (already cast x2), haste, keen edge (already castx2)
2nd--blindness/deafness (DC 17), displacement, false life (already cast), scorching ray, still magic missile (2)
1st--magic missile (2), ray of enfeeblement (DC 16), shocking grasp (2), true strike (2)
0--detect magic, flare, light, ray of frost, read magic
Prohibited Schools:  abjuration, conjuration

Tactics
Before Combat Cytherea casts greater magic weapon and keen edge on her weapon daily, and false life on herself. (These spells are included in her statistics). When she sees that battle is imminent are nearby, she casts fly then displacement herself as well.
During Combat She casts haste immediately before combat begins, and then uses her cone of cold spells. She favors spells like blindness/deafness and her still spells, since they aren’t impacted by her spell failure chance.
Morale If faced with a losing battle it is likely that Cytherea’s scouts or couriers arrive with reinforcements based on one of her contingency plans, if this is not the case she flees back to her reserves via her fly spell

Statistics

Str 16, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 20, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +13; CMB +16; CMD 31
Feats Arcane Armor Training, Combat Expertise, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wand, Craft Wondrous Item, Empower Spell, Greater Spell Focus (evocation), Greater Weapon Focus(two-bladed staff), Iron Will, Maximize Spell, Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus (evocation), Still Spell, Improved Two-Weapon fighting Weapon Focus (two bladed staff), Weapon Specialization (two-bladed staff)
Skills Acrobatics +18, Climb +21,  Intimidate +18, Knowledge (arcana) +24, Knowledge (Local) +22, Sense Motive +19, Spellcraft +24, Swim +21
Languages Aklo, Common, Draconic, Undercommon,
SQ bonded item (flaming ranseur), mark of wrath
Combat Gear wand of lightning bolt (10th, 25 charges), wand of clairvoyance/clairaudience(32 charges);
Other Gear +4 mithral breastplate, +1 flaming twin bladed staff (both blades), amulet of natural armor +2, belt of physical might (strength and dexterity) +2, headband of intellect +2, ring of protection +2, cloak of resistance +3, spell component pouch, spellbook

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Transparency: 42 Things Rite is working on publishing. and where we are at.



42 Things Rite Publishing is currently working on getting published, some of these are working titles. 

Fiction



1.       Lost in Dream a novel in editing (Set in the world of dreams)



Miniature Game

1.       Miniature Game in development, playtesting,




Dungeon World



1.       Missing Paths: Playbooks Up to Eleven, assigned to a Riter (a freelancer author working for Rite Publishing). 



Fate



1.       Pieces of Fate 2  assigned to a Riter
2.      The Demolished Ones: Fly in the Ointment second draft stage




Lords of Gossamer & Shadow



1.       Threats: Echo of the Typhonians In layout pending release March 20th, 2014. 
2.      Addendum Iconic Characters waiting on one piece of art before going to layout
3.      Threats Dawn of the Dwimmerlaik sketches approved waiting on final art.
4.      Nexopolis: In Editing
5.      Addendum Empathy: In Editing
6.      Gossamer Worlds: Nightmare Kingdom assigned to Riter
7.      Icon Deck: Test layout being done, waiting on final art before final layout
8.      The Long Walk assigned to a Riter,  Author an artist working in tandem.
9.      Addendum: Shapeshifting assigned to a Riter
10.    Lucien’s Guide to the Grand Stair 2 assigned to a Riter
11.     Corebook Kindle and Nook versions in layout.
12.    No Beast So Fierce adventure assigned to me, art is complete.




Pathfinder



1.       In the Company of Dragons Playtest (ongoing)
2.      Pathways #36 in layout release March 6th 2014
3.      Adventure Quarterly #5 Retail release March 13th, 2014
4.      Rite Map Pack: River Rapids by Tommi Salama Retail release march 27th.
5.      The Secrets of the Masked Reveler  1st edting pass complete, artwork finished.
6.      20 Variant Foes Wargs in editing art complete
7.      Martial Arts Guidebook in editing, waiting on art descriptions
8.      Rite Map Pack 2 by Tommi Salama Retail Release April 24th
9.      Magus of the Jade Oath in editing 
10.    Haunted Quarter assigned to a Riter
11.     The Secrets of the Divine 2 with me writing
12.    Rite Map Pack 3 by Tommi Salama Retial Release May 29th  
13.    Kaidan Campaign Setting in development assigned to a Riter and Me :)
14.    Questhaven Campaign Setting in development with me writing. 
15.    101 Not So Random Encounters: Forest Kingdom assigned to a Riter
16.    #30 Mercenary Companies assigned to a Riter
17.    Adventure Quarterly #6 assigned to Riters 
18.    The Secrets of Renegade Archetypes 2 assigned to a Riter
19.    20 Kaiju assigned to a Riter
20.   Pathways #37 Assigned to Riters
21.    Faces of the Tarnished Souk Compilation in layout
22.   Unnamed Print Compilation in layout
23.    Ultimate Monsters Hero Lab (Book of Monster templates, 101 not so simple monster templates, 101 Monster Feats, 101 Variant Monsters etc.) assigned to the Rite Coder. 
24.   Perram's Spellbook 221 Magus Spell Cards (CRB, APG, UM, UC) on hold




Friday, February 21, 2014

[Qutesthaven Preview] Our Grandfather of Water and Wave

Illustration by James "Devin Night" Hazelett


Our Grandfather of Water and Wave


“Listen and heed the call of Our Grandfather of Water and Wave, be not distracted by other mortals, for they cannot determine another’s destiny, especially your own. You must learn to sail in high winds, and abandon all hope that the sea will ever rest. You must stop standing on the shore and staring out at the water, if you do not, you shall never cross it. ” – Shipwright Sulgen speaking the ritual remarks of the Night of Sacrifice   

“We give thanks to Our Grandfather of Water and Wave. For today, the waves have not flooded our homes. We give thanks to Our Grandfather of Water and Wave. For today, the monsters of the deep have not sunk our vessels. We give thanks to Our Grandfather of Water and Wave. For today, the winds are with us and our sails are whole.”  -The Thrice Given Prayer of The Mariner’s Basin.  

Alignment: CN
Portfolio:  Fishing, Lakes, Ocean, Rain, Rivers, Streams, Sailing, Sailors, Sea Creatures, Sea Storms, and Water
Worshipers: Fathers, Fishermen, Grandfather, Pearl Divers, Privateers, Sailors, Sea Creatures, Whalers.
Aliases: Sovereign of Waters, Master of the Sea, Unending Wave, Unmoved Whale, Raging Shark, Magnificent Dolphin
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Travel, Water, Weather
Subdomains: Catastrophe, Exploration, Oceans, Rage, Storms
Superior:  Our Queen of Wisdom and Mercy 
Allies: Our Father of Star and Sky, Our Grandmother Earth, Our Mother of Madness
Foes: Their Dark Lord of Fire
Symbol: A sea creature in front of a wave.

The churches of Our Grandfather of Water and Wave collect the outpourings of his worship, and I have found them in nearly every seaport and community that exists near a large expanse of water. The followers pray for rain, seek blessings for sailors and anglers; and ask favor be granted upon new water-going vessels (and I would never set sail upon a vessel that had not requested such favor). For particularly important and epic journeys, they make elaborate sacrifices in the water, cutting open bulls, and letting the blood and water commingle. This is to symbolize that all things owe their life to the water. Sacrifices though are not a common practice. The sacred orders are there only to aid the faithful and I can attest offer guidance. They proclaim they are not necessary for the faithful to form a bond with Our Sovereign of Waters,  for the worship of Our Unending Wave is extremely personal. In addition, while the Basins are a place of devotion and prayer, these temples of Our Master of the Sea are not somber, quite locations, they are home to untamed roaring celebrations accompanied by hard drink and often other carnal activities. They are like Our Unmoved Whale both wild and serene.

The most prominent temple to Our Magnificent Dolphin in Questhaven is the Mariner’s Basin, which is located partly on an actual tidal basin at the edge of the Quay’s docks. They collect massive tithes and sacrifices for their work, along with the fees from the privateers they organize for the Questor’s Society. This grants them a great deal of available wealth though not as much as the Great Church of the Pantheon. The Mariner’s Basin is more powerful secularly than it is spiritually due to effective control over the city’s access to the sea. I will tell you that the rumors I hear, speak to the corruption of the clergy due to this power and wealth, but from my investigations they have not grown so bold, nor so arrogant as to challenge the power of the Questor’s Society.

Questhaven does not have a standing navy, and rather commissions a large fleet of privateers. Commanding each ship are members of the Questor’s Society. The Mariner’s Basin serves a vital function in organizing crews for each of these ships, and many refer to these folk collectively as Privateers of the Raging Shark. If adventure on the high seas is to your liking life as privateer in the service of Questhaven and The Mariner’s Basin is a popular choice.


Hierarchy within the church is unique to each individual basin. At the Mariner’s Basin’s the most powerful cleric who holds the title “Shipwright” rules the Dockhands (clergy)  and he serves as a religious advisor and teacher of the faithful, but spends most of his time dealing with the vast number of tithes, sacrifices, and privateers. The Aesthetics of the Sea (paladin archetype) are utterly uninvolved with the basins short of occasionally captaining a privateer ship; they wander the endless waves doing what they can for everyone but themselves. Finally, the Privateers of the Raging Shark who are a secular mercenary order accept nearly any and all who apply, I myself was a member for a short time before joining the Questor’s Society.