Balaam’s Ass

And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” And Balaam said unto the ass, “Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.” And the ass said unto Balaam, “Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee?” And he said, “Nay.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. (Numbers 22:28-31)

Balaam’s Ass
CR 2; XP 600
NG Medium outsider (native)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +5

DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 30 (4d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +3; +4 racial bonus vs. poison
DR 5/magic; Resist acid 10, cold 10, electricity 10; SR 13

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft. (good)
Melee 2 hooves +0 (1d3+1)
Special Attacks smite evil (2/day)
Spell Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +6)
3/day – protection from evil
1/day – aid, bless, detect evil

TACTICS
Balaam’s Ass prefers to avoid combat. It lacks the proper training, and its gentle disposition makes the idea of shedding blood unpleasant. As such, it prefer to rely on its skills, spell-like abilities, and common sense. If forced to fight, Balaam’s Ass seeks to flee. If it cannot flee, it will fight with its hooves as well as it can.

STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 17 (21 vs. trip)
Feats Endurance, Persuasive, Run (B)
Skills Acrobatics +4 (+12 for running jumps), Diplomacy +6, Fly +13, Knowledge (nature) +7, Intimidate +2, Knowledge (planes) +7, Knowledge (religion) +7, Perception +9, Sense Motive +6, Stealth +9, Survival +6; Racial Modifier +4 Acrobatics for jumping
Languages Abyssal, Common, Celestial, Infernal

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Docile (Ex): Balaam’s Ass has no specific training for combat. Its hooves are treated as secondary attacks.

Smite Evil (Su): As a swift action, Balaam’s Ass can smite evil twice per day as a 4th-level paladin. The smite persists until target is dead or Balaam’s Ass rests.

Nota Bene I used stats for the pony, applied adjustments as per the awaken spell, and then tacked on the half-celestial template. I tweaked things a bit here and there just because.

September 22nd, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

September 2017 Setting Sale

As part of a September Setting Sale at DriveThruRPG, some of my PDFs are (drumroll, please!) on sale. I know. Shocking.

That’s a Goblin for $2.01

Catch your players off guard with this Old School supplement that presents 23 goblin mutations, 15 fey goblin abilities, 3 goblin subspecies, and 6 goblin tactical specialties. Mix and match to create scores of different goblins! Also included is Tributary of Terror, a mini-adventure taking place within Reyr’s Well, a detailed fantasy hamlet suitable for just about any campaign world.

Goshahri: The City in a Cave for $1.84

Goshahri: The City in a Cave presents not a dungeon or even an adventure per se, although it includes a brief adventure. Instead, Goshahri is a place to be included as a recurring location in a Referee’s campaign world. Adventurers may visit Goshahri, perhaps to seek black market goods, to curry favor from the Bandit King, to deliver ransom payments, to rest and recover from an adventure, et cetera. While visiting Goshahri, adventurers may find themselves embroiled in the mysteries and intrigues that simmer just beneath the surface of the Bandit King’s domain.

Better Craft & Magic Bundle for $1.75

Improve your Pathfinder game with three products: Ars Metamagica, an alternate system for metamagic; In One’s Blood, a collection of new sorcerer bloodlines; and Making Craft Work, my all-time bestseller that turns the Craft skill into something that both makes sense and is useful for characters.

Ean Illiam’s Cavern Stores for $0.67

Find what you’re looking for in Ean Illiam’s Cavern Stores. Fully compatible with Dungeon World, this campaign location includes excellent features, such as cartography by Matt Jackson that includes blank spaces; not-too-complete descriptions of the cavern stores; two adventure fronts; stats and descriptions for the people, creatures, and animals found in the stores; pictures of the major and minor NPCs; and lots of helpful sidebars, including questions to ask and blanks to fill in, as well as new magic items and tables for randomly generating NPC names, types, instincts, and knacks.

September 19th, 2017  in Spes Magna News No Comments »

It’s Not My Fault!

Nota Bene: If you click on a pic, that pic embiggens so that you can read the cards more easily.

Recently I purchased It’s Not My Fault!, published by Evil Hat Productions and available on DriveThruRPG at the aforelinked location. I went for PDF + Cards, currently available for $8.99, plus a clear plastic container for the cards, which was a buck more, if I recall correctly. All in all, not a bad price. The printed cards, as you can see in the pics, aren’t works of art, which I appreciate. My aging eyes enjoy not struggling with miniscule point sizes and exotic fonts layered over art or some sort of pattern.

The deck is really four decks in one. Twenty cards are “character aspect/approach/stunt cards”. One side shows what some systems call a character class (Con Artist or Illusionist, for example) along with three approaches, color-coded, and an aspect in italics. Players pick two cards in turn, and the third is dealt at random. On the flip side of the cards you find which approaches that “class” is best at along with a stunt. The player adds up the pluses for the approaches, makes note of the stunts, et cetera, and the character is done.

I chose Con Artist and Illusionist. I randomly dealt myself Sorcerer. My character’s aspects are Have I Got a Deal for You!, Now You See Me…, and You May Call Me…Tim!. I like the idea of the first one being the character’s high concept.

His approaches are Careful +0, Clever +2, Flashy +2, Forceful +1, Quick +1, and Sneaky +2. He has three stunts, one from each card: Fast Talking, Vanishing Act, and Earth-Shattering Kaboom.

The other three decks within the deck each include 14 cards that “help you generate a sticky situation fast”. Shuffle each deck, deal one card from each. These cards answer the questions Where Are You Now?, What Brought You To This?, and (my favorite question) How Is It About To Get Worse?.

I randomly dealt a card from each deck. We discover that my character is miles underground because he swore an oath while drunk and that his means of escape just left without him.

The PDFs that come with the product also include card-sized rules references and card-sized character sheets. I’ve not provided examples of these, but you can see a sample at this link.

I’m kind of psyched about my It’s Not My Fault! cards. Fate Accelerated has become one of my favorite game systems over the past few years. It’s versatile, easy, and fun. Looks like it might be time for to schedule another dinner-and-gaming event.

Huzzah.

September 15th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

No Estamos Solos

Woke up early this morning (like I do pretty much every morning ever), and so I watched No Estamos Solos, a Netflix import from Peru. While this movie doesn’t cover any ground not already covered dozens of times by better movies, it does feature some decent performances by Marco Zunino (as Mateo, the papa); Fiorella Díaz (as Mónica, Mateo’s second wife); and Zoe Arévalo (as Sofía, Mateo’s daughter from his first marriage).

I’m pretty sure there’s a checklist for screenwriters working on haunted house and/or possession movies. No Estamos Solos faithfully checks all the boxes, to include some scenes that look so familiar I’m pretty sure they were lifted from other films. On the plus side, the film is short (76 minutes), so I didn’t have to wait long for the bumps, chills, and predictable confrontation between Padre Rafael (played by Lucho Cáceres) and the forces of evil.

Rather than another monster for The Cthulhu Hack, here are a dozen things that can happen in a haunted house, as filtered through the prism of AD&D spells.

September 2nd, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Be Afraid

Yesterday, I watched Be Afraid, a new-to-Netflix, painted-by-the-numbers monster movie starring TV’s Brian Krause as Dr. John Chambers, a dedicated family man who contends with sleep paralysis, things bumping in the night, and dark secrets in a sleepy town. It’s not a good movie, but it’s not horrible either. If you’re looking for a minimally suspenseful film that faithfully walks in the footsteps of dozens of other movies, you could do worse.

Also, here’s another movie monster for The Cthulhu Hack.

Shadow Men
Hit Dice: 3
Nota Bene: Shadow men, humanoid in form, have moist, hairless flesh that appears wrinkled and scarred, as if they had been skinned and burned. They have skull-like faces with hollow eye sockets and pointed jaws with ragged fangs. Their heads have no visible ears, and their long fingers end in talons.

Shadow men avoid light, coming out to terrorize and hunt at night or to defend the lightless entrances to their lairs. They exist only partially in our reality, and are able to move through shadows and darkness unseen and unimpeded by physical obstacles such as walls or distances. Shadow men attack with their claws and fangs (2d4 points of damage). They can be seen only via peripheral vision (Save with disadvantage when appropriate).

It is believed those killed by shadow men become ghosts of sorts, perhaps under the control of the shadow men.

September 1st, 2017  in RPG No Comments »