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Weird Wednesday (Macabre Manses): Phobomancy

Image_Portfolio_101_Fantasy Jason Walton 03The suffix “-mancy” was technically a term used to describe divinations. An act of necromancy meant to speak with the spirits of the dead to learn secrets from beyond the grave, whereas cruromancers divined a soldier’s destiny from droplets of blood splashed into a bowl. Over time, the appellation came to refer to practitioners of any related magic. Now necromancy refers not just to divinations from departed souls, but also to the raising of the dead or the destructive force of negative energy. As such, phobomancy refers to the general practice of magic that deals in fear or dread. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game has several spells that could easily fall under the heading of phobomancy:
1st—cause fear, 2nd—scare, 4th—fear, phantasmal killer, 6th—eyebite, symbol of fear, 7th—finger of death, 9th—wail of the banshee, weird

While some of these have the [fear] descriptor, there’s no official subschool for phobomancy. An arcane spellcaster that wants to make fear magic her specialty may want an option for a fear spell at each spell level, without having to resort to metamagic feats, like the ones below!

TERRIFY
School necromancy [fear, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 2, bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one living creature
Duration permanent (see text)
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

You cause your target to physiologically respond to fear with tremors and convulsions. The target receives one saving throw when you first cast the spell to negate the effect. If it fails, the target makes a new saving throw on the second round to reduce the duration of terrify to 1 round per caster level. If the creature fails both saves, the duration of the spell is permanent. The effect can only be removed by a break enchantment or remove curse spell.
While under the spell’s effect, a creature that also has the shaken condition takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage from internal seizures and vertigo. A frightened creature takes 2d6 points of nonlethal damage, and a panicked creature takes 3d6. The creature takes this damage at the beginning of each turn it remains affected by both this spell and the fear condition, whether from the initial effect or a later one. Any effect that renders the subject immune to fear or mind-affecting effects ends the spells duration.
Terrify may be fixed to a site by casting the unhallow spell.


GREATER TERRIFY
School necromancy [fear, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 4, bard 4, sorcerer/wizard 5, witch 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one living creature
Duration permanent (see text)
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

This spell is identical to terrify except that the caster may choose when casting the spell to deal lethal damage to the target, and the damage dice inflicted by the spell are increased to d10s.

 

 

MASS TERRIFY
School necromancy [fear, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 5, bard 6, sorcerer/wizard 8, witch 8
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area 20-ft.-radius emanation
Duration permanent (see text)
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

This spell is identical to greater terrify, except that the spell affects all targets within the burst.

Image_Portfolio_102_Fantasy Jason Walton 40

To celebrate Halloween, the haunt below makes use of the terrify spells and is suitable for setting up a party to encounter something genuinely frightening, making it a great supplement to your phobomantic encounters.

SCARED TO DEATH CR 10
XP 9,600
NE haunt (a room or outdoor space up to 250 square feet)
Caster Level 10th
Notice Perception DC 20 (to notice a faint chill and a palpable aura of dread)
hp 20; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 hour
Effect A cold mist rises from the ground and the temperature drops noticeably. Each living creature in the area is affected by a mass terrify spell (DC 22 Will).
Destruction This haunt is destroyed if a bard uses their inspire courage ability, or when good hope is cast simultaneously with the channeling of positive energy within the haunt’s area.

 

[Submitted by Steve T. Helt]

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Weird Wednesday (Macabre Manses): Starving Soldiers

Image_Portfolio_101_Fantasy Jason Walton 10Haunts are the residual impression of one or more suffering souls. Those of exceptional willpower might survive their own passing and return from beyond the veil of undeath, and the truly foul might flourish as evil fiends on a malevolent plane. Unique among the events that fall under the rubric of “afterlife”, haunts are indicators of extreme misery; souls that meet such a miserable death that they force the same experiences on any who come near until a specific condition gives them their final release. The more traumatic their torment, the more powerful the haunt—and the more difficult the resolution.

Few things tortures a soul like deprivation. Social creatures react instinctively when wanting, and obsessively when their hardship is prolonged. Different fantasy races and cultures may react to destitution in unique ways—in many cases, civility and altruism give way to hunger and thirst. The unique combination of loss, hunger, and regret brought on by starvation typifies the conditions necessary to create a powerful and persistent haunt. This haunt is easily inserted into any adventure with an area (in this case, a collapsed mine tunnel) that was the site of death by starvation for several trapped creatures. With no rescue imminent, these original victims slowly starved and eventually fell on one another in an effort to survive.

STARVING SOLDIERS CR 14
XP 38,400
CE (a tunnel occupying 350 square feet)
Caster Level 14th
Notice Perception DC 25 (to hear growling bellies, loud chewing, and whimpering)
hp 63; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 hour

Effect Creatures in the affected area are immediately struck with the sensation of advanced hunger, so potent that they ignore any food or water they have on their person and immediately seek the flesh and blood of a living target. Targets attack the nearest living creature, favoring a bite attack over other melee weapons (1d2 for Medium-sized creatures, 1 for Small-sized creatures). On a critical hit, a creature effected by starving soldiers is compelled to spend a full round gorging itself on the raw meat and blood torn away from their victim. A lone creature in the area of effect injures and consumes itself (negated by a DC 23 Will save). Creatures who succeed this save are immune to starving soldiers for 24 hours.

Destruction Starving soldiers is permanently destroyed when any creature willingly starves to death within the haunt’s radius.

 

 

 

The Cross of Fire Saga is live!
Back the Kickstarter campaign and get ready for a unique post-apocalyptic horror story. We’ve included incredible twists in the grittiest, deadliest adventures we’ve ever been a part of—and remember: everything you get from the Four Horsemen comes with extra content to hasten or delay your inevitable character death!

cross of fire logoYou can get there by going here!

 

[Submitted by 2013 RPG Superstar Steven T. Helt!]

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RPG SUPERSTAR 2014 BEGINS TODAY!

RPG SUPERSTAR 2014 GAME DESIGNER CONTEST OPENS TODAY

 RPGSuperstar2014_360

Paizo Publishing Launches Largest Open-Call for Amateur Game Designers

Paizo Publishing, LLC, publisher of the world’s best-selling Pathfinder Roleplaying Game announces the kick-off of the 2014 RPG Superstar game designer contest.

Going on its 7th year, RPG Superstar is Paizo’s annual competition to find the best and brightest unknown game designers, and give them the opportunity to have their work critiqued by industry veterans, game design rockstars, and the fan community.

Entries are reviewed and critiqued by industry veterans, game design rockstars, and the Pathfinder community. The RPG Superstar contest is hosted by Paizo Designer Sean K. Reynolds, This year’s panel includes:

Peter Adkison, Gaming Legend                 Rich Baker, Writer

Judy Bauer, Paizo Editor                             John Compton, Paizo Developer    

Liz Courts, Paizo writer                                Adam Daigle, Paizo Developer

Crystal Frasier, Writer & Artist                   Lee Hammock, Goblinworks Designer

James Jacobs, Paizo Creative Director     Rob Lazzaretti, Cartographer

Frank Mentzer, Gaming Legend                Russ Morrissey, ENWorld

Patrick Renie, Paizo Developer                 Amber Scott, Writer

 

The winner of the competition will have their adventure published by Paizo as a Pathfinder Module, a full-color, 64-page, high-quality softcover book, compatible with not only the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (RPG), but also with any game published under the Open Gaming License (OGL). Also, three runners-up will win assignments to write Pathfinder Society scenarios, offering all four finalists professional writing contracts with Paizo Publishing, and an opportunity to begin their game design careers by working on the world’s best-selling roleplaying game.

 

In last year’s contest, more than half a million votes were cast by Pathfinder fans, resulting in winner Steven Helt, whose Pathfinder Module, Tears at Bitter Manor, is due out January 2014.

 

Round One is now open for design submissions of magical “Wondrous Items”, and the contest concludes in March 2014. Winners will be announced on April 1, 2014. For more information or to submit an entry, visit paizo.com/rpgsuperstar.

 

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is the world’s best-selling tabletop RPG, in which players take on the role of brave adventurers fighting to survive in a world beset by magic and evil. The Pathfinder RPG is currently translated into multiple languages, and the vibrant Pathfinder universe has been licensed for comic book series, graphic novels, miniatures, plush toys, apparel, and is being developed into a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game.

 

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Paizo Publishing Kicks off Search for 2013’s RPG Superstar!

Paizo Publishing Kicks off Search for 2013’s RPG Superstar!

Leading Roleplaying Game Publisher hosts annual open contest to find the best and the brightest amateur game designers

Paizo Publishing proudly announced yesterday the launch of RPG Superstar™! Now in its 6th season, RPG Superstar™ is Paizo’s annual contest to find the newest talent in game design, and an opportunity for budding game designers everywhere to have their work seen and critiqued by game industry leaders. The call for entries opened on December 4, 2012 at 2 PM Pacific time and runs through December 18, 2012.

RPG Superstar™ consists of five RPG design challenges spanning several weeks, led by a team of celebrity judges, consisting of industry luminaries and Paizo game designers. In previous years, the initial onslaught of submissions was reviewed and winnowed down by the guest judges. This year’s contest introduces a new twist, whereby the fans will be the first to get their eyes on the hundreds of submissions received in Round 1, and the voice of the people will choose which designer moves on to the next round.

The winner will be enlisted to write an official Pathfinder Module to be published by Paizo. Three runners-up will win assignments to write Pathfinder Society Scenarios, meaning all four finalists will be offered professional writing contracts with Paizo Publishing, and an opportunity to begin their game-design careers by working on the world’s best-selling RPG.

Specifics for each round’s challenge will be announced as each begins. The winner of RPG Superstar 2012 will be announced on April 2, 2013. Complete rules and a submission form are available at paizo.com/rpgsuperstar.

 

RULES AND MORE INFO:

Paizo Publishing is proud to announce RPG Superstar 2013, the sixth season of its popular RPG design contest. The search for the newest talent in RPG design begins now!

Over the last six years, RPG Superstar has discovered some of the best new RPG designers in the business. Designers discovered in this competition have found work writing for Paizo products or even joined the Paizo staff as employees. The staff are excited to see the great new talent out there, and look forward to working with the winners for years to come!

RPG Superstar consists of five RPG design challenges spanning several weeks. In the first round, members of the paizo.com messageboard community votes for their favorite open call wondrous item submissions, and a team of celebrity judges winnows those down all open call submissions to 32 finalists. In later rounds, the judges provide commentary and the messageboard community post their comments and vote on following round submissions until only four finalists remain.

This year’s ultimate winner will write a Pathfinder Module to be published by Paizo. Three runners-up will win the opportunity to write Pathfinder Society Scenarios, meaning all finalists will be offered professional writing contracts with Paizo Publishing, and an opportunity to begin their freelance careers with high-profile RPG releases!

Last year Mike Welham’s Doom Comes to Dustpawn emerged victorious as 2012’s RPG Superstar winner after a week of public comment and fan voting at paizo.com. His winning adventure will release as a full-color printed Pathfinder Module.

Paizo has selected three veteran RPG Superstar judges to oversee the competition–Paizo Developer Sean K Reynolds, Legendary Games president and Necromancer Games founder Clark Peterson, and notable game designer and Kobold Press founder and publisher Wolfgang Baur. Additional guest judges will assist with each installment of the multi-challenge contest. The judges will critique each round’s entries.

Starting at 2 PM Pacific Time on December 4, 2012, contestants will be able to submit their RPG Superstar entry. For the first round, that entry will be a wondrous item designed for use with Paizo’s Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Each entry must be 300 words or less, and must include all of the proper mechanics and flavor. Contestants must submit their entry by December 18. Voting is open to anyone with a Paizo.com messageboard account, and begins on December 20. The judges will select the best 32 entries out of the 64 most popular entries; the top 32 are announced on January 22, 2013. Those 32 contestants will be assigned a new design task and their entries will be posted on paizo.com for the public to read, critique, and vote on. The designers garnering the most votes in each round will continue on to subsequent rounds.

Specifics for each challenge will be announced as each round begins. The winner of RPG Superstar 2013 will be announced on April 2, 2012. Do you have what it takes to be the next RPG Superstar?

RPG Superstar™ 2013 Schedule

RoundRound BeginsEntries DueEntries RevealedVoting BeginsVoting EndsWinners Announced
1Open Call: Design a wondrous itemYesterday, 02:00 PM US/Pacific12/18/1212/20/1201/15/1301/22/13
2Top 32: Create a new archetype
3Top 16: Create a monster and stat block
4Top 8: Design an encounter with map
5Top 4: Submit a Pathfinder Module™ adventure proposal
All events are at 2 PM Pacific time. Dates and times displayed above are in the US/Pacific time zone.

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PAIZO LAUNCHES RPG SUPERSTAR 2012


PAIZO LAUNCHES RPG SUPERSTAR 2012

Open Call RPG Design Challenge Seeks New Talent

 December 5, 2011 (REDMOND, Wash.) – Paizo Publishing is proud to announce RPG Superstar 2012, the fifth season of its popular RPG design contest. The search for the newest talent in RPG design begins December 6, 2011 on paizo.com.

“Over the last five years, RPG Superstar has discovered some of the best new RPG designers in the business,” said Lisa Stevens, CEO of Paizo Publishing. “We’re excited to see the great new talent out there, and look forward to working with the winners for years to come!”

RPG Superstar consists of five RPG design challenges spanning several weeks. After a team of celebrity judges winnows down all open call submissions to 32 finalists, members of the paizo.com messageboard community post their comments and vote on following round submissions until only four finalists remain.

This year’s ultimate winner will write a Pathfinder Module to be published by Paizo. Three runners-up will win assignments to write Pathfinder Society Scenarios, meaning all finalists will be offered professional writing contracts with Paizo Publishing, and an opportunity to begin their freelance careers with high-profile RPG releases!

Last year Sam Zeitlin’s The Midnight Mirror emerged victorious as 2011’s RPG Superstar winner after a week of public comment and fan voting at paizo.com. His winning adventure releases in February as a full-color printed Pathfinder Module.

Paizo has selected four judges to oversee the competition. RPG Superstar veteran judge and Paizo Developer Sean K Reynolds leads a team of seasoned professionals including Ryan Dancey, the father of Open Gaming and the CEO of Goblinworks (designers of the forthcoming Pathfinder Online MMO), Legendary Games president and Necromancer Games founder Clark Peterson, and RPG Superstar 2009 winner and frequent Pathfinder author Neil Spicer. Additional guest judges will assist with each installment of the multi-challenge contest. The judges will critique each round’s entries before the public vote.

Starting at 2 PM Pacific Time on December 6, 2011, contestants will be able to submit their RPG Superstar entry atpaizo.com/rpgsuperstar. For the first round, that entry will be a wondrous item designed for use with Paizo’s Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Each entry must be 300 words or less, and must include all of the proper mechanics and flavor. Contestants must submit their entry by January 6. Judges will select the top 32 entries to be announced on January 24; those 32 contestants will be assigned a new design task and their entries will be posted on paizo.com for the public to read, critique, and vote on. The designers garnering the most votes in each round will continue on to subsequent rounds.

Specifics for each challenge will be announced as each round begins. The winner of RPG Superstar 2012 will be announced on April 3, 2012. Complete rules and a submission form are available at paizo.com/rpgsuperstar.

Do you have what it takes to be the next RPG Superstar? Go to paizo.com/rpgsuperstar and start your journey now!

 

About Paizo Publishing

Paizo Publishing®, LLC is a leading publisher of fantasy roleplaying games, accessories, board games, and novels. Paizo’s Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game, the result of the largest open playtest in the history of tabletop gaming, is currently the best-selling tabletop roleplaying game in hobby stores. Pathfinder Adventure Path is the most popular and best-selling monthly product in the tabletop RPG industry. Paizo.com is the leading online hobby retail store, offering tens of thousands of products from a variety of publishers to customers all over the world. In the nine years since its founding, Paizo Publishing has received more than 50 major awards and has grown to become one of the most influential companies in the hobby games industry.

Paizo Publishing, LLC, the Paizo golem logo and Pathfinder are registered trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and Pathfinder Chronicles, Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and Pathfinder Society are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC.