Archive for the ‘ Product Development ’ Category

Chance Encounters…Almost

If you’re not in the same virtual places I’m in on G+ and Facebook, you likely missed the posting of two creatures excerpted from Chance Encounters, my soon-to-be-released collection of fantastic creatures for Swords & Wizardry. You can take a gander at the bloody bones demon here and then find the ioun bug here. Chance Encounters includes these two monsters along with 24 others, each gloriously illustrated by stock art from some pretty talented artists.

What I’d really like is for some gimlet-eyed folks to read through my almost-final draft of Chance Encounters in order to provide me with constructive criticism. The task offers a very small amount of fame as well as a free copy of Chance Encounters when it goes live for sale. If you’re interested, shoot an e-mail to mark at spesmagna dot com. I’m pushing to get Chance Encounters finished by about 25 September or so.

Speaking of finished products, I published for the excellent The Black Hack a collection of character classes entitled Clever Title Using Hack & Class. It’s selling really well for something I’ve written, perhaps because it’s currently on-sale for $0.50.

Indeed, everything I’ve published at DriveThruRPG is on-sale this month as I try to raise enough money to buy dice for a dozen or so students that will soon participate in Ludi Fabularum, the story-game club I’ve facilitated for the past few years at the school whereat I teach.

Last of all, if you’re still playing AD&D, here’s a link for a new monster, the shereriti, a horrid product of ghastly rituals to Lloth. Enjoy!

Current Events This December

It’s been a busy time around here lately, what with school before the holidays, me trying to get some long-delayed projects done, family stuff, et cetera. Just to keep you in the loop, here’s a quick update.

I put together a two-page PDF with links for discounted-for-the-holidays Spes Magna products. You can get this special by clicking this sentence.

For you GMs who are tired of naughty adventurers, I offer the Krampus for four game systems. Stuff those awful murderhobos in Krampus’s wicker basket and bake them into sinfully tasty meat pies. Your campaign world will be a happier place. Gruß vom Krampus! includes four short PDFs, each one providing game statistics for Krampus for four different game systems: Dungeon World, Fate Accelerated Edition, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and Swords & Wizardry. You can get your Krampus fun at either DriveThruRPG or

After a delay of about a year, I’ve finally finished Astounding Archetypes: Bloodhand Gang. This supplement for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game presents five new archetypes for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Players may adventure as a dragon warrior (fighter archetype), jotunkin (barbarian archetype), telekinetic monk (monk archetype), warp thief (rogue archetype), and yo-yo magus (magus archetype).

If you’re a GM, unleash the Bloodhand Gang on your players’ characters. Each villainous member of the mercenary Bloodhand Gang is a fully detailed NPC. The Gang utilizes all five new archetypes. Bloodhand Gang members run from CR 7 to CR 10 and equal an EL 14 challenge.

Astounding Archetypes: Bloodhand Gang is currently available at DriveThruRPG. It should be live at soon.

If you’d like to pick up Gruß vom Krampus! and/or Astounding Archetypes: Bloodhand Gang at a discounted price from DriveThruRPG, you can use this code (for the former) or this code (for the latter).

December 11th, 2015  in Product Development No Comments »

Gruß vom Krampus!

What am I doing this weekend? Funny you should ask. I’m statting up Krampus for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Swords & Wizardry, Fate Accelerated Edition, and Dungeon World. I’m formatting each Krampus into separate PDFs, and I’m thinking about bundling them together and putting them up at DriveThruRPG. Ho-ho-hozzah!

And now for another magic item. See Baruch 5:1-9 for more information.

Garment of Sorrow and Affliction: This magical article of clothing appears to be (and duplicates the powers of) a specific type of magic robe. Roll 1d8: Robe of Blending (1-3), Robe of Eyes (4-6), or Robe of Wizardry (7-8). Unfortunately, this garment is cursed. It will function as the determined type of magic robe for 1d6+6 uses before the curse activates.

The curse afflicts the wearer with fits of brooding and melancholy, causing him ignore any given situation (50% chance). Once per day, the wearer must make a saving throw. If he fails, he attempts to destroy himself in a manic fit of hopelessness. This fit of suicidal mania lasts for 2d6 combat rounds. Usable By: All Classes (Robe of Blending), or Magic-User (Robe of Eyes or Robe of Wizardry).

December 6th, 2015  in Product Development No Comments »

The Barabashka

Meet the barabashka, a horrible poltergeist, just one of the monsters you might have the misfortune to meet while exploring a ghost-haunted ruin in the world of Buyan.

Anger, remorse, guilt. Some emotions live on after death, coalescing into an invisible, malevolent entity. It lashes out, hurling objects and creatures with destructive force. Invisible, incorporeal, and vicious, a barabashka seeks to harm those who trespass on its haunt.

For Dungeon World

Solitary, Terrifying
Telekinetic force (d8 damage)
20 HP, 0 Armor; Close, Near, Reach
Special Qualities: Incorporeal, Invisible to Normal Sight

Instinct: To drive away

* Fool the senses
* Throw something
* Unleash a whirlwind of destruction

For Fate Accelerated Edition

High Concept: Incorporeal, Invisible Malevolent Entity of Telekinetic Force
Trouble: Driven by Powerful Emotions
Other Aspects: My Illusions Terrify, No One Trespasses on My Haunt

Approaches: Careful – Mediocre (+0), Clever – Average (+1), Flashy – Average (+1), Forceful – Good (+3), Quick – Fair (+2), Stealthy – Fair (+2)

* Boo!: Because I create terrifying illusions, I gain a +2 to Cleverly create advantages related to fear.

* Unleash My Fury: Because I can hurl objects and creatures, I gain a +2 to Forcefully attack by throwing something or someone.

For Mini Six Bare Bones Edition

Scale: 0

Might: 0D
Agility: 3D+2
Wit: 4D
Charm: 2D+2

Skills: Brawling 5D+2, Dodge 4D+1, Illusions 8D, Stealth 5D, Throwing 4D+1
Perks: Illusions (as the spell), Incorporeal (cannot be harmed by normal weapons, uses Wit in place of Might); Invisible to Normal Sight
Static: Block 17, Dodge 13, Soak 12

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 6+6; AC 1 [18]; Atks 0; SV 11; Special incorporeal (immune to non-magic weapons), invisible, telekinesis, undead; MV 15 (flying); AL C; CL/XP 10/1,400

Telekinesis: Once per round, a barabashka can lift and throw up to 360 pounds of objects or creatures with a range of 120 feet. It can hurl a single 360 pound object or creature up to 10 feet. Damage inflicted by such throwing is up to the Referee, but about 1d6 per 10 feet thrown or about 1d6 per 30 pounds seems fair. Saving throws may apply, which could negate or reduce effects.

August 3rd, 2015  in Product Development No Comments »

A Ghost-Haunted Ruin Test Drive

I take my rough-draft drop table for a ghost-haunted ruin out for a test drive. The red die’s location determines the creature(s) encountered.

First Drop: A barabashka, which is a type of poltergeist. This ghost is lost in grief when encountered.

Second Drop: Two ghouls out hunting for a meal.

Third Drop: A wight, which is communing with evil.

Fourth Drop: A lunatic, drive mad by voices from beyond, who is motivated by an urge to share some mad insight.

Fifth Drop: Six skeletons and two zombies.

During the test drive, I noticed a typo. Have to fix that. I also want the skeletons and zombies space to be bigger. That should be easy enough with some creative formatting. All in all, I think I like this table.

The next challenge is adapting it for use with Fate Dice. Since Fate Dice yield only -1, 0, or +1, that’s going to take some tweaking, but it should be doable. Then, of course, I need to come up with stats for the monsters for game systems where those stats don’t already exist. That mainly applies to Fate Accelerated Edition.

For other systems, such as Swords & Wizardry, I’d like to come up with some “Referee’s Options” for monsters, such as ghouls that can change shape like doppelgangers, an example of which appears at the end of this post.

Long story short: The next free Buyan-oriented PDF I release requires a bit more work. Busy, busy, but at least I’m staying out of trouble.


Dvyoniks are pack-hunting undead corpse eaters. They are immune, like most undead, to charms and sleep spells. Perhaps the most dangerous feature of these horrid, cunning creatures is their paralyzing touch. Any hit from a dvyonik requires a saving throw or the victim becomes paralyzed for 3d6 turns.

What’s more, a dvyonik can change its form to resemble the physical appearance (including clothing and gear) of any person. Dvyoniks are considered magic resistant for purposes such as breaking through wizard locks and similar spells. They have a very good saving throw against magic of all kinds.

HD 3; AC 6 [13]; Atk 2 claws (1d6), 1 bite (1d4); Move 9; Save 14 (5 vs. magic); AL C; CL/XP 5/240; Special: immunities, mimics shape, paralyzing touch, undead

July 31st, 2015  in Product Development No Comments »