2017-04-30

Monster: Minithyug

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Minityugh

This creature is a small orb on three stumpy legs with six tentacles. Four of its tentacles end with barbs, while the two are topped with eyes.


CR 2; XP 600

N Tiny Aberration
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +5

Defense

AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +2 natural, +2 size)
hp 19 (3d8+6)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +4
Immune disease

Offense
Speed 15 ft.
Melee bite +5 (1d3+1 plus disease), 4 tentacles +4 (1d3)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft. (5 ft. with tentacles)

Statistics
Str 12, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 5, Wis 13, Cha 7
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 12 (14 vs. trip)
Feats Multiattack, Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Skills Perception +5, Stealth +13 (+21 in refuse or sewers), Swim +5; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in refuse or sewers
Language understand Common

Ecology
Environment any underground
Organization solitary, pair, or cluster (3–12)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities


Disease (Ex) Stink fever: Bite—injury; save Fortitude DC 13; onset 1d3 hours; frequency 1/day; effect sickened, stinking sweat giving an additional –2 penalty to Charisma-based ability and skill checks made to interact with creatures that have sense of smell; cure 3 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.


Minityughs are miniature cousins to the more common and more infamous otyughs. They are usually more friendly and more curious than their bigger kind, though no less repugnant. Because of their smaller size, they are perceived to be less of a threat to other races and thus are easier to tolerate... Until you find one of those rummaging in your trash or the cesspit of your house...

A particularly unkempt or anosmic spellcaster with 5 or more caster levels and Improved Familiar feat can select minityugh to as a familiar. The primary advantage of having a minityugh familiar, is its willingness to scrounge through garbage, refuse, and sewers with glee.

Variants:

Microtyugh swarm (CR 7) is a swarm composed of diminutive minityughs with AC 17 and 104 hit points (16d8+32), Fort +7, Ref +6, and Will +11. Its swarm attack inflict 4d6 points of damage, and exposes the injured creatures to disease (save DC 20). Its distraction has a save DC of 20 as well. As a swarm of diminutive creatures, it's immune to weapon damage but suffers one-and-half damage from area effects.

2017-04-23

Fantasy Races: Lorm

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Fantasy Races: Lorm

Children Of The Moss, as lorms sometimes call themselves, are peaceful semi-reptilian race of swamp dwellers that owes their full sapience to symbiosis with a peculiar moss that grows along their backs, rooting itself in their spines and brains.

The baseline proto-lorm are similar in intelligence and behavior to great apes, particularly gorillas, though living in temperate swamps. When their eggs gestate within patches of lorm-moss, however, the resulting offspring possess intelligence on par with other humanoids. When a lorm dies, the moss roots itself in the ground where the body is left and slowly merges with the surrounding lorm-moss or creates a new patch. Because of this peculiarity of lorm life cycle, each lorm is considered to have three parents: mother, father, and the deceased lorm from whose corpse the lorm-moss patch sprouted.

Lorm-moss patches are key element to the lorm biology and culture—they are not only the source of their intelligence, they are also living ancestors, retaining fragmented, dreaming sapience of the original lorm from which the patch sprouted. Patches growing near each other gradually merge, forming larger plots and groves, acting as repositories of knowledge and culture, and occasional spiritual guides for the lorm communities that raise around them. Lorms do not bury corpses of the deceased, instead leaving them within lorm-moss patches and groves so their moss merge with the others, and their flesh decays and fertilizes the land. They are very stubborn in recovering corpses of their dead, as being left to decay in place where their moss can't survive, or being subject to death that will kill their moss as well is the direst fate imaginable. Those who willingly sacrifice themselves in a way that destroys their moss are seen as the greatest heroes, while those who willingly risk the eternal death are considered the insane.

Both lorms and their sub-sapient kin feed primarily on decaying plant matter, combined with invertebrates, eggs, fruits, and an occasional fish, bird, or other small swamp creature. They diet habits are often found unpalatable by many civilized races, but it also diminishes their competition over available food sources.

Physical Description: Lorms look like hunchbacked humanoid sloths, though their skin is brown and grey pebbly hide, not unlike the one of a turtle. They lack hair, though they have a green and yellow hair-like growth running from their head, over their hunched back, down to their hips, composed of their symbiotic moss's shoots. Lorms' torsos are stocky, with pronounced belly, and end with short tail. Their legs are thick and end with three-toed, hippo-like feet. Their arms are long, though not particularly dexterous, and their hands have four long fingers. They have quite big yellow eyes with a pair of nostril slits located between them.

Lorms prefer wearing thick robes woven of plant fivers of various sorts, though they occasionally make clothing and armor of bark or boiled leather. They are rarely seen without their damp robes, for it is mark of simple proto-lorn, to walk around naked.

Society: Lorms live in small communities centered around strips of lorm-moss, which act as communal gardens, courting sites, hatcheries, graveyards, and places of meditation. No lorm community can survive without lorm-moss patch, as the further generations would degenerate back to their proto-lorm state. In fact, it is a taboo for lorms to mate outside of lorm-moss plot.

Lorms have strong bond with nature and take care for their surrounding lands, trying to minimize their impact upon the environment. They are usually quite self-sufficient, primarily due to their easy to sustain diet, thick skin, and resilience. They do some trade with other races, purchasing tools for herbs, fibers, and pigments derived from swamp plants and creatures.

Groups of proto-lorms occasionally live nearby lorm communities, with lorms feeling a sense of duty to take care of them, earn their trust, and move their eggs to lorm-moss patches, so their progeny would be fully sapient.

RelationsLorms and elves share mutual respect, though usually distant. Other races rarely interact with lorms, as their favored environment is usually considered barrens with little use by other races. Of the races that favor swamplands, they tend to have good relations with grippli. They try to live peacefully with lizardfolk and boggards, though they former are usually rather cold and xenophobic, and the later outright hostile neighbors.

Alignment And Religion: Lorms view the existence as an eternal cycle of life—growth, maturity, decay, and sprouting of a new life. Because of their continued existence as lorm-moss, they do view death as another change of the cycle, not end of life. Only an utter demise that prevents lorm-moss from growing, such as complete destruction of body, rapid transformation into undead, or dying in place that cannot support lorm-moss is considered the true death, a tragic event warranting mourning the lost spirit. Their perception of cyclic existence extends to other aspects of life as well, as they view old generations teaching new ones as "fertilizing" them with their knowledge. At the same time, they consider cultural changes between generations as natural "decay" and "sprouting", not resistance to be overcome.

In a cosmic sense, lorms know that the universe is in a dynamic balance, where changes happen, uphills of good and downhills of evil, with waves of chocking order and disruptive discord waxing and waning with time. In the longer time-scale, though, neutrality prevails, as the average of amplitudes of weal and woe. Lorms' spiritual ideal of tranquility is understanding those cycles with heart as well as reason, cherishing the good moments while not letting the bad moments break one's spirit. Many lorms view themselves primarily as caretakers of nature, living to the side of great events, finding their purpose in tending to the regrowth of the life after inevitable destruction.

Lorms venerate life and its cycles, feeling that inherent divinity of the universe itself expresses in them to fuller extent than in deities, which are viewed as personalized shards of that cosmic force.

Adventurers: Lorms are not particularly adventurous people, though they do occasionally happen to join groups of militant vagabonds and wandering heroes. While the lorms don't fear the death of the body, they are hesitant to take risks that would kill their moss as well.

When a lorm goes adventuring, it is usually done to bring balance to the world, to regrow life that was overwhelmed by death and decay, to learn more of the world and other races and bring back new knowledge, or to seek a place to die so a lorm-moss patch could sprout from one's corpse in a new place.

Due to their strong connection to nature, druids and hunters are the most common adventurers among lorms, followed by shamans, witches, and barbarians. On a rare occasions, lorm spiritualists appears, with their phantoms being manifestated personality of a lorm-moss patch.

Names: Lorms have long names that contain syllables taken from names of all of their three parents: father, mother, and the lorm-parent, with at least two syllables taken from each of the parents and intermixed with each other. They often shorten their names to two or three syllables in casual situations. Syllables of lorm language are composed of two consonants with a single vowel between them.

Sample Names: Zurrahmas'hundarzat, called Zurrah, Shansattielkordunnar, called Shansa.

Lorm Racial Traits

Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Dexterity. Lorms are resilient and hardy people, in body and spirit alike, but they have slow reflexes and rigid bodies.

Type: Lorms are humanoids with lorm subtype.

Slow Speed: Lorms have land speed of 20 feet.

Low-Light Vision: In dim light, Lorms can see twice as far as humans.

Lorm-Fruit: Lorms who spend a day goring themselves on excessive amount of available food can sprout a fruit-like growth, a sphere filled with thick milky gel. They can sprout multiple such growths over multiple days, with a maximum number of lorm-fruits present at the same time equal to 7+their Constitution bonus. Each lorm-fruit contains concentrated nutrients that can be harmlessly harvested from the lorm's back and consumed, providing daily sustenance for a Medium-sized creature.

Swamp-Diet: Lorms can safely consume decaying plants and rotting meat without ill effects. They also gain +2 racial bonus to saving throws against disease, nausea, and sickened conditions.

Symbiotic Moss: Lorms are susceptible to effects that deal damage specifically to plant creatures (e.g. blight spell), increase damage to plant creatures (e.g. plant bane weapon property and favored enemy—plants), or detect presence of plants.

Thick Skin: Lorms have natural armor bonus of +1 and DR 2/— against swarm attacks.

Language: Lorms begin play speaking Common and Lorm. Lorms with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Boggard, Draconic, Elven, Grippli, and Sylvan.

Lorm Racial Feats
Lorms can select following feats enhancing their racial abilities.

Lorm-Fruit Grower
Lorm-fruits that you sprout provide healing in addition to sustenance.
Prerequisites: Lorm, lorm-fruit racial feature.
Benefit: Anyone eating one of your lorm-fruits heals 1 point of damage. At 5th level, the healing provided by your fruits increases to 1d4+1. At 10th level, the fruit also heals 1 point of ability damage.

Lorm-Moss Dreamer
You can commune with lorm moss patches and let them guide your magic.
Prerequisites: Lorm, symbiotic-moss racial feature.
Benefit: You can spend 10 minutes meditating within a patch of lorm-moss, to commune with its spirit, and communicate telepathically as if it was an NPC. You also gain +1 bonus to caster level until you leave the patch or the contact is broken by putting you in state that prevents taking actions or killing the lorm-moss.
Special: Particularly big and old patches might grant +2 bonus to your caster level. Truly ancient lorm-moss groves might possess mythic sapience and grant up to +3 bonus.

Lorm-Moss Tender
You can bond with plant companions.
Prerequisites: Lorm, ability to select an animal companion or a mount that acts as an animal companion.
Benefit: You can select a plant companion in place of an animal companion or a mount. It is treated as your animal companion for the purpose of all abilities and effects. You can cast spells that target animals on your plant companion as if it was an animal. You can ride your plant companion as if it was a mount as long as it is one or more size categories larger than you. If you have wild empathy feature, you can use it on plant creatures with Intelligence scores of 2 or less (including mindless plant creatures), with a –4 penalty. You are considered to be a plant creature for the purpose of growing leshys.

Favored Class Options
Lorms can select following options as their favored class bonuses.

Barbarian: Increase natural armor by 1/3 while raging.

Brawler: Increase natural armor by 1/5.

Druid+1 to DR against swarm attacks. This bonus is retained when polymorphed.

Hunter: Increase the companion's natural armor by 1/3.

Kineticist: Add +1/3 point of damage to wood element blasts that deal damage.

Metamorph: +1/6 of a tentacle evolution (representing a lorm-moss tendril). Tentacles gained in this way can exceed the maximum number of attacks a metamorph can make. They can't be exchanged for other evolutions when using metamorphic mastery.

Monk: +1/2 to the maximum number of lorm-fruits, and to healing they provide.

Shaman: +1/2 to healing provided with spells, hexes, and Heal skill.

Spiritualist: Increase the phantom's natural armor (corporeal form) and deflection bonus (incorporeal form) by 1/3.

Witch: +1/2 to healing provided with spells, hexes, and Heal skill.

2017-04-16

Monster: Barrow-Worm

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Barrow-Worm

This bloated, short-legged lizard is covered with sickly yellow and purplish-pink skin. It has an ugly oversized head on a long neck, and even longer tail.


CR 10; XP 9,600

CE Large Dragon
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, deathwatch; Perception +18

Defense

AC 24, touch 9, flat-footed 24 (+15 natural, –1 size)
hp 126 (12d12+48)
Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +13
Defensive Abilities dead-eater; Immune aging, death, disease, magic sleep, paralysis; Resist cold 30

Offense
Speed 20 ft.
Melee bite +18 (2d8+10/19–20/×3 plus energy drain)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 10d6 cold plus energy drain, Reflex DC 20 halves damage and negates energy drain, usable every 1d4+1 rounds), create spawn, energy drain (1 level, DC 19), nether frost, powerful jaws
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +15)
Constant—deathwatch

Statistics
Str 24, Dex 10, Con 18, Int 11, Wis 17, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +20; CMD 30 (34 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Critical (bite), Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Vital Strike
Skills Bluff +18, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (Religion) +15, Perception +18, Sense Motive +18, Stealth +11
Language Draconic

Ecology
Environment barrow-lands and boneyards
Organization single or pair
Treasure standard

Special Abilities


Create Spawn (Su) Living creatures slain by a barrow-worm rise as uncontrolled zombies or wights (if humanoids with 4 or more HD) 1d4 days later.

Dead-Eater (Ex and Su) A barrow-worm is immune to ability damage, ability drain, and energy drain of undead creatures. Its natural attacks are treated as magic and silver.

Nether Frost (Su) A barrow-worm's breath weapon is a gout of life-sapping, undead-freezing cold. All living creature that fail their Reflex saving throw against against the barrow-worm's breath weapon gains 1 negative energy level. All undead creatures that fail their Reflex saving throw are entangled for 1d4+1 rounds instead.

Powerful Jaws (Ex) A barrow-worm's massive, bone-crunching jaws add 1-1/2 Strength bonus to their damage roll, and have a critical hit damage multiplier of 3.


Barrow-worms are vile dragon-kin feasting on rotting corpses and bones of the undead, bloated with residual necromantic energies of their chosen food. They are gluttonous and lazy, but also show a degree of malicious cunning and cruelty. They often kill more than they can eat, so the dead will rise as much more appetizing undead later. 

A few sages speculate that the first barrow-worms grew from draconic hatchlings infected with ghoul fever, though there is little proof of such origins as they breed true now. For obvious reason, testing this hypothesis is a challenge, as hatchlings of various draconic races are hard to come by and usually fiercely protected by their mothers. Regardless of the accuracy of that guess, barrow-worms are aggressively hostile toward ghouls, considering them competitors and scavengers for the ripe corpse available and snacks at the same time. They might coexist with more powerful intelligent corporeal undead, though they can easily turn on such neighbors when hungry or angered. They completely ignore incorporeal undead and are usually ignored by them in return.


Variants:

Barrow-wyrms (CR 12) resemble bloated wyverns instead of land-bound worms. They have advanced and giant templates, wings giving them fly speed of 60 feet with poor maneuverability, and their breath is a gout of foul flames that inflict 15d6 points of fire damage (DC 24) in addition to draining energy from living creatures and entangling undead ones. They are also less lazy and more actively malicious than their land-bound kin, often cooperating with powerful undead creatures, and have some knowledge of magic, being capable of using mass suggestion (DC 21) as a spell-like ability three times per day, targeting both living and intelligent undead creatures. They also have constant see invisibility and greater arcane sight.

AC 29 (+1 Dex, +20 natural, –2 size); hp 174 (12d12+96); Fort +16, Ref +11; Will +15; Melee bite +21 (3d8+17/19–20/×3 plus energy drain); CMB +25; CMD 36; Str 32, Dex 12, Con 26, Int 15, Wis 21, Cha 21; Bluff +20, Fly +8, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (Arcana) +17, Knowledge (Religion) +17, Perception +20, Sense Motive +20, Spellcraft +17.

2017-04-09

Monster: Crawling Snarl

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Crawling Snarl

Thousands of strings, pieces of yarn, threads, and other tailoring leftovers crawl around as a big swarming pile.


CR 6; XP 2,400

N Diminutive Construct (swarm)
Init +5; Senses tremorsense 60-ft.; Perception +0

Defense

AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +4 size)
hp 66 (12d10)
Fort +4, Ref +9, Will +4
Defensive Abilities swarm; Immune blugeoning and piercing damage, construct traits
Weakness vulnerable to fire, vulnerable to slashing

Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee swarm (3d6 plus distraction and entangle)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks choking strands, distraction (DC 16), entangling threads, traitorous yarn

Statistics
Str 1, Dex 12, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +12; CMB —; CMD —

Ecology
Environment urban
Organization single, pair, carpet (3–10), or tapestry (11–20)
Treasure standard (magical components suitable for creation of items such as magic clothes, robes, ropes, and carpets)

Special Abilities


Choking Strands (Ex) Creatures that fail their saving throw against a crawling snarl's distraction ability can't breathe, they have to hold their breath and can't speak.

Entangling Threads (Ex) All Medium or smaller corporeal creatures within a crawling snarl's space are entangled (though not anchored to anything).

Traitorous Yarn (Su) A crawling snarl is particularly dangerous to people wearing magical cloaks and robes, dealing 1d6 points of bonus damage for each one of magic cloak, and magic robe.

Vulnerable To Slashing (Ex) A crawling snarl suffers full damage from slashing weapons but is immune to bludgeoning and piercing weapons.


Crawling snarl form spontaneously from remnants of magical tailor's work. Those are swarms of leftover fiber cuttings unused in weaving of items such as flying carpets, animated ropes, wizardly robes, and other pieces of magical clothing.

While they show no signs of intelligence, they have innate and very primal sense of preservation, striking back against attempts to sweep them, destroy, or sift through. A few magician-tailors kept crawling snarls around, merely using magical wind to blow them away into basements of their workshops, to attack potential trespassers and thieves. A few supposedly mastered the technique of creating these constructs deliberately.

2017-04-02

For The Rebellion! For The Fancy Dice! The new Star Wars RPG from FFG

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Star Wars
The Dice Rolling

I have been participating in a game, two games of Star Wars, using the fairly new Age Of Rebellion/Edge Of The Empire/Force And Destiny games combo published by Fantasy Flight Games for some time now.

I was rather skeptical of them initially (this is sort of understatement, actually), because of use of exotic dice that "offered plot shaping opportunities"... Thankfully, the dice are working fine—a big part of the issue was me misinterpreting (or maybe advertisement being misleading) of what the dice actually do, though I will write more about that later. The other part of the issue was "I have bag and a half of dice, I don't want to buy special dice" (the later was solved be getting a set of dice as a birthday present, still not enough to smoothly GM it in the future, the rest of people I play with have two sets each).

The games are really a single game with a few options tuned for each of the three settings, and different set of careers for each, sold as three different books. The Warhammer 40K games had much bigger differences—here they are clearly written with cross-playing in mind from the beginning.

Despite those reservations, I had no compunction about joining a game, when my long-time GM grabbed a cheap starter kit and organized a game. We got characters from the Age Of Rebellion starter kit and entered the fray (though he wrote his own adventure). The first game was a blast, though getting used to the system took a bit and we are still getting used to symbols (though triumphs and despairs are quite recognizable already). After the first session we got an option to tweak the characters we selected but continued further with them. A second group was also formed by the same GM with partial player overlap, and as for now it proceeds happily until we get bored and burned out by Star Wars.

The game mechanics are not very complex, despite the initial appearance otherwise. There are seven types of dice: three positive dice, three negative dice, and force dice. Positive dice contain positive symbols: success, advantage, and triumph. Negative dice are covered with negative symbols: failure, disadvantage, and despair. Successes an failures cancel each other, as do advantages and disadvantages. The former decide if the roll was successful (and to what degree), the later grant additional side effects, positive or negative, such as activating special abilities (Auto-fire! Zap-Zap-Zap!), scoring critical hits, gaining extra information, recovering from fatigue, or getting better position that will grant you (or an ally) bonus dice to the next roll, or in case of disadvantages causing extra strain, granting bonus dice to your enemies, or meaning you're out of ammo. Triumph counts as successes and grants bigger positive effect than regular advantage. Despair counts as failure and grants big negative effect. This allows the roll to have following results: success, failure, success with positive side effects (e.g. you shot opponent and destroyed the alarm console without triggering it), success with negative side effects (you shot an opponent and the console but it triggered the alarm), failure, failure with positive side effects (you missed the shot but you destroyed the console), failure with negative side effect (you missed and alarmed everyone). Plus the possibility of big special effects. It makes sense in play, though counting the symbols is not as fast as it could be with some other design.

The positive and negative dice are mirrored: there is one type of positive eight-sided die (green ability die) representing basic abilities and one negative eight-sided die (purple difficulty die) that represent difficulty of the action (instead of more typical fixed number of successes needed to succeed). Each of their sides contains a different combination of successes/advantages for ability dice, and failures/disadvantages for difficulty dice. The better dice are twelve-sided: yellow competence die, that represents upgrade of ability with actual skill, and red challenge die, which shows that opposition upgrades the difficulty. Each contains a combination of either successes and advantages or failures and disadvantages, but they also introduce triumph and despair symbols. The remaining two dice types are six-sided: blue boost die and black setback die, that are added to the pools to represent various conditions, bonuses, and penalties with lesser degree of impact than skill and ability. They contain successes, advantages, failures, and disadvantages, but no triumph or despair symbols.
The seventh type of die has no twin, for it is a force die with white (Light Side) and black (Dark Side, duh) dots. It is used to generate destiny pool at the start of the game, and force points when using force powers.

Rolling the dice involves creating a dice pool based on the acting character's ability scores and skills, adding difficulty dice, then adding boost and setback dice based upon internal (talents) and external circumstances (equipment, results of previous rolls, aid of others, aiming). There are some effects that allow upgrading ability and difficulty dice into competence/challenge dice, or downgrading the later into the former, like turning the Destiny tokens from Light to Dark side (players) or vice versa (GM). Creating the dice pool can be fun or it can get tedious, with all the cajoling, begging, or negotiation with GM what should get you a bonus or why you shouldn't get a penalty. Oh, and don't forget to apply your talent or equipment bonuses... This is not really that different from applying bonuses and penalties of more conservative rolling conventions, but it's really appealing visually—you actually see your bonuses and penalties as dice of different colors, which makes the experience refreshing.

The fights can be brutal, though the game cinematically assumes player characters and major NPCs don't die until a critical hit says the character died, which requires suffering multiple critical hits or a particularly lethal weapon (disruptor). Critical hits are suffered when the attacker decides to spend his advantages or triumph to deal one (the more dangerous weapon the less advantages are needed to do this, a standard blaster requires four advantages, rifle three, disruptor and vibro weapons two), or when character suffers more wounds than his wound threshold. When a critical hit is dealt, a 1d100 roll is made, with additional +10 for each unhealed critical hit, and the table is consulted. The first half of the table is mostly temporary results, the second half of the table is bad. The third half (i.e. results above 100) are terrible, with death being certain with totals exceeding 150 (and probably even earlier, haven't looked on that part of the table much). Cooperation is important, both for attack and defense. Healing wounds between fights is vital, making Medicine skill and stimpacks key resources—the later heal a few wounds as a maneuver (you can stick oneself with one and keep firing in the same turn), though their effects get progressively weaker with each use on the same day. Full bacta tank is you best friend forever if you are front-line fighter (or Duros spy), as it heals wounds and allows regeneration of critical hit results each day, instead of once a week. Each character can also suffer strain from non-lethal attack and misadventures, or deliberately take it to perform extra maneuvers or activate certain talents. Strain is recovered more quickly, with a partial recovery taking place after each scene (or combat encounter) and full recovery after a night of rest.

The characters have six quite conventional ability scores: Brawn that determines combined strength and physical resistance, Agility, Intellect (which covers knowledge and technical skills), Cunning (which is basis of deception, perception, thievery, streetwise, and survival) Willpower, and Presence. They are scaled from 1 to 6 and determine number of dice in your pools, and set some secondary characteristics such as wound threshold, strain threshold, soak, and maximum encumbrance. Ability scores are followed by 30-something skills that turn your green ability dice into more desirable yellow competence dice (more successes and advantages, chance of rolling triumphs), including the Star Wars essential skills like Gunnery (i.e. vehicular weapons), Piloting (Space), Ranged (Light), Ranged (Heavy), and for those who are playing Force And Destiny, Lightsaber.

Each character belongs to one of the species (there are multiple races per core rulebook, and more in expansions but the game misses the guidelines for creating own playable species), a career, and one or more specializations. Each game has six careers with three specialization talent trees in the core rulebook, and three more specialization in the expansion book for that career. There is some overlap between specialization in Age Of Rebellion and Edge Of The Empire, for example AOR spy shares slicer specialization with EOTE technician and scout specialization with EOTE explorer.

Career and the first specialization determine starting skills, specializations selected at the start and those purchased later determine access to talent trees. You need to learn a specialization to select any of its talents (thought there is some overlap between specializations, with many talents showing in multiple trees) but you can learn any skills and any new specializations regardless of your career, doing it outside of your career merely costs more experience points. Some talents grant you passive bonuses (e.g. Dedication, a talent that increases single ability score is usually at the bottom at each tree—they start at the top and the talents have to be purchased following the available connections), other modify effects of some maneuvers and actions, or can grant you access to completely new actions (such as using stimpack to increase ability scores instead of healing).

If you have a force career, or one of two universal force specializations you gain Force Rating 1, which you can increase with, you guessed it, right talents, and now you can select force powers, which work similarly to talent trees dedicated to specific power, such as Move, Sense, Heal/Harm, or Foresee. Force-users feel quite balanced compared with other characters due to excessive experience cost involved in developing them fully. At least until you run into an Inquisitor NPC who can kick the party's collective backsides unless they have many-many sessions behind them.

Age Of Rebellion careers are aces (drivers, gunners, and pilots), commanders (leaders of men on ground and in space), diplomats (ambassadors, agitators, and quartermasters), engineers (mechanics, saboteurs, and scientists), soldiers (commandos, medics, and sharpshooters), and spies (infiltrators, scouts, and slicers). It also offers two universal specialization: recruit to allow making more combat-oriented characters out of non-combatants, and force-sensitive emergent, which is used to represent people who discover they are sensitive to force. Yes, anyone can develop force abilities by selecting the specialization. Players are intended to be heroes. Even if Stormtroopers can easily handle them early on.

Edge Of Empire careers are bounty hunters (assassins, gadgeteers, and survivalists), colonists (doctors, politicos, and scholars), explorers (fringers, scouts, and traders), hired guns (bodyguards, marauders, and mercenary soldiers), smugglers (pilots, scoundrels, and thieves), and technicians (mechanics, outlaw techs, and slicers). It offers single universal specialization: force-sensitive exile, someone accustomed to hiding own fledgling powers since forever.

Force And Destiny careers have no overlapping specializations with the previous games, offer less starting skills, but also get Force rating 1 from the start: consulars (healers, Niman disciples, and sages), guardians (peacekeepers, protectors, and Soresu defenders), mystics (advisors, Makashi duelists, and seers), seekers (Ataru strikers, hunters, and pathfinders), sentinels (artisans, shadows, and Shien experts), and warriors (aggressors, Shii-Cho Knights, and starfighter aces). Each career contain single specialization dedicated to one of the lightsaber forms. Five of those offer talents that allow using lightsaber skill with ability score different than the default Brawn—you can make flamboyant Makashi duelist, agile Ataru striker, or thoughtful Soresu Defender... No universal specializations here, though.

Each of the games has expansion books dedicated to various careers (I think that at least half or even more careers have their own books by now), some adventures, and some non-class expansions, such as book dedicated to planets that support the Rebellion for AOR, book about Hutts and their space for EOTE, and one describing a few places of power for F&D.

Character creation of all of those games is wonderful because of a single tool available: there is an excellent fan-made character generator: OggDude's character generator. A lot of professional programs show less quality and attention to detail than this little versatile, easily editable application.

Each of the games offers a unique mechanic to help direct characters: AOR has Duty, a measure of the party's achievements that can be accumulated by supporting the rebellion in various ways to increase the party's standing within the Rebellion ranks. EOTE has Obligation, a sum of the individual character's debts, connections, and past deeds that peek from time to time to bite their exposed undertails. F&D has Morality which shows the force-sensitive character's equilibrium between Light and Dark sides of the force (joining the Dark Side has some bonuses, some penalties, and a significant power boost, but requires serious balancing to avoid losing oneself fully to the Dark Side and turning into an NPC).

To top it, the game rules are well streamlined for vehicular combat, with well developed array of planetary and space vessels. You can improve your gear and vehicles with attachments and modifications... We need to get cash for parts to improve some of our own, yet. Have I mentioned that OggDude's character generator covers crafting and modifying your equipment and your vehicle too?!

The negatives: the need for a new set of dice (or better two), getting used to them and crappy default character sheets that don't show clearly the dice you need to use for your skills (though if you can allow oneself to print character sheet each time you change stats, or simply use electronic device, the OggDude's generator comes to the rescue again).

Anyway the game is much fun, even for people that might be ignorant of the Star Wars (half of one party is composed of players who watched some of the Star Wars movies after they started playing). Obviously, after some time of playing the it will lose the status of the novelty, and we will suffer the burnout of the system and the setting, and we'll take a break from it, but no game lasts forever.

101 Spells For The Common Man

Here we have a book containing a selection of low level spells of civilian (mostly utility). Spells to aid tradesmen of various kinds, help without housekeeping, provide entertainment, and other non-adventuring application. Some of them might be even useful to actual adventurers as long as they are creative...

101 Spells For The Common Man on Paizo.com

2017-04-01

Monster: Prankstar

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Prankstar

It's a ball of eerie light, flying around frantically, while occasionally giggling.


CR 1; XP 400

CN Small Fey
Init +6; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9

Defense

AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 size)
hp 14 (4d6)
Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +4
Defensive Abilities vanishing trick

Offense
Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee jolt +6 touch (1d3 and buzzing mark)
Special Attacks buzzing mark

Statistics
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 13
Base Atk +2; CMB +1 (+5 steal); CMD 13
Feats Alertness, Improved Initiative
Skills Bluff +8, Fly +19, Perception +9, Sense Motive +9, Sleight Of Hand +9, Stealth +13
Languages Sylvan; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ telekinetic appendages

Ecology
Environment temperate forests or urban
Organization single or pair
Treasure standard

Buzzing Mark (Su) Whenever a prankstar deals damage with its jolt, all creatures bearing its buzzing mark also suffer 1d3 points of electric damage.

Jolt (Su) A prankstar can make a melee touch attack that deals 1d3 points of electric damage and leaves a buzzing mark on the target for the next 1d4+1 rounds.

Telekinetic Manipulation (Su) A prankstar can telekinetically manipulate objects as if it had a pair of halfling-sized arms with a 30 feet reach. It can use Sleight Of Hand skill and steal combat maneuver at a distance, gaining +4 racial bonus to the later.

Vanishing Trick (Su) A prankstar can become invisible for 4 rounds as a swift action three times per day.


Prankstars are annoying fey that enjoy making simple pranks on other sapient beings. They steal things, prod humanoids and beasts with their electric jolt, and pretend to be benevolent lantern archons (DC 17 Knowledge (planes) check is required to recognize it's not an actual archon, though noticing individual traits that don't match can grant +1 bonus to the roll per ability missing or not fitting), while sowing minor mischief. While not terribly malicious, they are rather short sighted and can easily cause lasting harm by carelessness or ignorance. Thankfully, they are easily bored and often switch targets.