We are enormously excited about AdventureAWeek.com’s nominations for two ENnies this year! It is a huge honor to be up for even one of these prestigious awards, and we are humbled to be counted alongside greats of the RPG industry like Paizo, Green Ronin, and Kobold Press.
Rise of the Drow is nominated for Best Adventure and the AaWBlog is up for BestBlog; please stop by the ENnies voting booth and cast your ballots for AdventureAWeek.com for 1st place in these categories, and express your opinion about the many other notable products and companies with the power of your vote!
Thank you, our readers, for making the AaWBlog the popular place it is and for coming back every day for more great Pathfinder and gaming material; we do it all for you! Help us bring home an ENnie (or two!) and make sure to get your ballot in before voting ends on June 30th!
IRON ATLAS: A Digital Forge for Your Roleplaying Games
Lifeform Entertainment has launched a Kickstarter for new a mobile app called IRON ATLAS. It’s a “Digital Miniatures System” designed for the iPad to serve as an alternative to physical maps and miniatures for roleplaying games.
IRON ATLAS takes many of the elements seen in traditional, PC-based Virtual Tabletop systems (VTTs) and optimizes them for use on mobile devices. The app’s streamlined UI keeps it simple, elegant, and focused on the basics for combat, plus providing tons of content for you to pick and choose for YOUR game.
PUBLISHERS YOU LOVE
IRON ATLAS lets you browse and download the maps and fantastic character and monster art, from the publishers you love, to use as virtual miniatures. The in-app store comes with content from tons of well-known publishers, cartographers, and illustrators within the RPG industry, letting you cherry-pick the monsters, maps, and other elements you want for your particular game.
IRON ATLAS is GAME AGNOSTIC. This means that it works for any RPG, and genre, that uses maps and miniatures. It focuses on traditional fantasy for starters, but will soon include maps and tokens for sci-fi, superhero, horror, modern, post-apocalyptic, and even historical.
IRON ATLAS is more than a mere app: it’s an entire “Digital Miniatures System.” It lets you create adventures and encounters, play them on the app’s Mobile Tabletop, and provide the content you want through the robust in-app store.
The Mobile Tabletop: is where the action takes place, combining an encounter map with tokens for combat. Move tokens around just like you would physical miniatures on a battle mat. Zoom in and out or pan around the map using intuitive touch gestures. Touch a token to bring up its info—name, class, and vital combat statistics—without having to leave the screen. Encounter Tokens let you group individual creatures and place them on the map. Easily populate a huge dungeon map with these Encounter Tokens to reduce clutter. Things going too easy for the players? Drag out duplicate monster tokens right from the Token Pane onto the map. The GM can hide or reveal tokens and easily switch between GM View (see everything, including menus) to Player View (only what the GM wants the players to see). We have additional features planned for the Mobile Tabletop, which will get unlocked as stretch goals!
HDTV Output and Fog of War: You can easily output IRON ATLAS to an HDTV, meaning your TV becomes “the battle mat” for everyone to see! Fog of War and the GM/Player View switching allows the GM to show only what players need to see, while keeping unrevealed monsters, traps, and the UI Panes hidden from view. Connect with an HDMI cable or wirelessly via AppleTV, Chromecast, Reflector or other third-party app.
Encounter Builder: Use simple, intuitive touch-based gestures to easily drag-and-drop monsters and characters into the Encounter Builder. Browse the Token Codex, find the characters or monsters you like, and drag them out to rapidly build individual encounters. Your system doesn’t use “Hit Points?” No problem! Edit individual tokens with stats and notes for your specific game or system, so you can turn that stat into something else. Pre-plan an entire adventure full of encounters and group multiple adventures into campaigns. IRON ATLASauto-saves as you build to prevent loss of work.
MAPS: Get maps for your encounters, adventures, and campaigns through the IRON ATLAS in-app store, pulled directly from your favorite publishers’ adventures or source books. Created your own map? You can upload your maps into the app and use them when building encounters. This includes huge world maps, regional maps, or “tactical” level maps that mimic drawing out a battlemat for your adventurers to go beat the crap out of Orcus. The app comes with several pre-loaded maps for you to use, for FREE. Plus, the base app will include ALL the maps from a NEW adventure from the Ennie-Award WinningFreeport: City of Adventure setting (using the Pathfinder rules) by Green Ronin Publishing that is part of our Backer Levels!
TOKENS: A “token” is our term for a digital miniature, consisting of an amazing piece of artwork, name, description, and info that you’ll need when that creature is in combat, such as Initiative, Armor Class/Defense Score, and Hit Points. IRON ATLAS comes ready-to-go with tokens for typical d20 system primary character classes, creature type, and a variety of environmental effects, traps, and obstacles. Customize token info to suit your particular RPG system. Browse the in-app store and purchase IRON ATLAS-ready Token Packs pulled directly from publishers’ products and illustrators.
COMPANION MODULES: In addition to being able to purchase individual tokens and maps, the in-app store features publisher-specific, IRON ATLAS-ready ADVENTURE COMPANION MODULES. A Companion Module works in concert with a PDF or print version of an adventure, taking the maps, tokens, and encounters of a specific adventure and assembling them for instant use. Each encounter has its monsters and traps already in place on maps, with pre-built names and stats. Plus, all the maps and tokens get added to your Token Codex for you to use in creating your own encounters! Companion Modules are a great way to bulk up your collection, make running specific adventures super easy, and helps support your favorite publishers.
ABOUT LIFEFORM ENTERTAINMENT
Lifeform Entertainment has an amazing team of programmers, designers, and artists, with an incredible amount of hand-on experience and attention to detail. All of us are veteran game developers (some for over 20 years), with heavy-hitting backgrounds at companies like BioWare, EA, Activision, and Wizards of the Coast. The team’s ultra-high creative standards, design expertise, and “on-time, on-budget” approach to development have gained us the respect of clients and colleagues alike. Lifeform Entertainment was founded in 2009 and located in sunny Seattle, WA.
Awkward Hands CR 7 XP 3,200 CN persistent haunt (40 ft. by 40 ft. copse of trees) Caster Level 7th Notice Perception DC 28 (to feel enveloped by slothful clumsiness) hp 31; Trigger proximity (nearing the thief’s impromptu grave); Reset 1 day Effect When this haunt is triggered, the spirit of an unlikely and poorly skilled thief passes on the curse that plagued him his entire life. Its ghost manifests subtly, washing over one creature per round and forcing them to make a DC 20 Will save. Failure on this save makes the target clumsy, suffering a -4 penalty to Dexterity; they also treat both their hands as off-hands (if they have two-weapon fighting, only one is treated this way) and must spend a standard action to pull anything from their pack for the next seven days. Every day upon waking, the haunted creature is given another Will save to resist the effects of the haunt but the magic persists every day until the week ends or the haunt is destroyed.
Destruction The bones of the clumsy thief must be retrieved from under the dirt, a tricky proposition at best. Handling them properly requires DC 15 Dexterity checks and the remains must have three consecutive cat’s grace cast upon them, and they bounce to avoid the magic (treat their effective touch AC as 15).
Adventure Hook The wardens and scouts that travel through the region haven’t yet detected the haunt, and only recently learned of its effects—several of their number died from the haunting clumsiness and it’s been declared as a place to avoid until they have the resources to research that area of the territory.
Do you have a chilling idea for a haunt or cursed item? Send it along to us at submit (at) adventureaweek.com, but please, bear the following in mind before you submit anything for review:
1. Anyone can submit an entry.
2. One entry per person at any one time. An entry must be your own work, not being published previously or considered by any other publisher, and it must original and not infringe upon copyrighted material. 3. All entries become property of Adventureaweek.com, LLP. 4. By submitting an entry you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media. 5. Adventureaweek.com, LLP reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this endeavor at any time without prior notice. 6. All decisions of Adventureaweek.com, LLP and their arbiters are final. 7. There is no compensation provided – any entries are given freely by their creators for use by Adventureaweek.com, LLP in perpetuity. 8. Your statblock must be properly formatted (compare to similar content on the AaWBlog for correct formatting).
BIDDLYWINK CR 4 XP 1,200 CN Diminutive fey Init +9; Senses darkvision 120 ft., arcane sight, see invisibility; Perception+12 DEFENSE AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +4 size) hp 38 (7d6+14) Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +8 Weakness silver, vermin qualities OFFENSE Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect) or 40 ft. (see text) Melee force fronds +11 (1d8+3 force) Ranged +11 Space 0 ft.; Reach 0 ft. Special Attacks force fronds Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +10) Constant—arcane sight, nondetection, see invisibility At will—glitterdust, mage hand 5/day—dimension door STATISTICS Str 6, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 16 Base Atk +3; CMB -2; CMD 13 Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand), Toughness, Weapon Finesse Skills Escape Artist +14, Fly +15, Perception +12, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +17, Stealth +26, Survival +12; Size Modifiers Fly +6, Stealth +12 Languages Druidic SQ Freeze, hide in plain sight
Interdimensional Sac (Su) While biddlywink can (and often do) consume enchanted items as quickly as possible, they also store them to digest later in an invisible extradimensional sac not unlike a handy haversack or bag of holding, but only capable of storing up to 30 pounds. When a biddlywink is killed, the sac appears on the material plane and bursts open dealing 3d8 force damage (DC 20 Reflex negates) to any creatures or items in a 10-ft. radius (though not to anything within it). Force Fronds (Ex) The tendrils extending from a biddlywink’s mouth can be devastating when employed to attack a creature. On a successful melee touch attack, they deal 1d8+3 force damage. Light Flier (Ex) When a biddlywink’s interdimensional sac is holding at least 2½ lbs. of items or a number of caster levels worth of items equal to twice the biddlywink’s hit die, it cannot maintain a sustained flight. Its speed is reduced and it moves in long bounds and hops that don’t exceed 5 feet in height or 10 feet in length—the biddlywink effectively now has a base speed of 40 feet until items in its Interdimensional Sac are digested. Ranged Legerdemain (Su) A biddlywink can use Sleight of Hand at a range of 30 feet. Working at a distance increases the normal skill check DC by 5, and the biddlywink cannot take 10 on this check. Only object that weigh 5 pounds or less can be manipulated this way. Wyrd Digestion (Su) These strange insectile-fey literally eat magic to survive. As a standard action, a biddlywink can ingest a magical item of Diminutive size or smaller. As a full round action, it can consume a magical item of Tiny size and over the course of a minute (ten rounds), a Small size magical item. Once eaten by a biddlywink, an item is not instantly destroyed—instead it is secreted inside of its Interdimensional Sac. Potions are digested quickly within and are destroyed after a number of rounds equal to caster level. Wondrous items are more resilient and last for a number of minutes equal to caster level; any other enchanted items (rings, staves, weapons, armor) are destroyed after ten minutes per caster level. Any item recovered from a biddlywink’s interdimensional sac before it is fully digested operates at two caster levels higher than normal for one week. The first time it is stored in an extradimensional space, it remains empowered this way until removed again (though afterward, the increased power diminishes and it returns to normal). Biddlywink that consume enough magic items (1000 gp x hit die) transform into a biddlytree and sprout 2d12+4 biddlywinks with the young template after 1d10 days.
Weaknesses Biddlywink are vulnerable to silver and take x1.5 damage from all attacks made with the material (by spell or weapon). Moreover, whenever being treated as a vermin would prove negative for the biddlywink, such as when fighting an opponent with favored enemy (vermin), they are treated as the vermin type.
These odd creatures are easily hated as much as rust monsters and far more dangerous when left unattended near an enchanted treasure trove. Like an intelligent vermin, they eat away at magical items like termites before transforming into a plant-like creature that produces more biddlywinks. Entire dungeons have been overrun by hordes of the creatures and they are known to be used by druids attempting to cleanse a domain of an unwanted resident—dragons in particular dislike the little creatures, and many a warden of nature has fallen to draconic claws after attempting to seed the diminutive fey in the wrong treasure hoard.
[Today’s excellent artwork is brought to us by Justin Andrew Mason!]
After how delicious Cultus Sanguineus turned out to be, the AaWBlog has grown particular taste buds: every month is going to be devoted to one user-driven central theme to appease this voracious beast’s appetite! If you’re stopping by for the previews of upcoming material, author interviews, contests or news onRise of the Drow, don’t worry; those posts will still be making appearances as snacks and morsels!
So what does this matter? Some of the contributors are already planning things for the future already, but we want to know whatyouwant to see!
More sets of magic items? Wizard schools?
Tentacle horses? Fantasy mechs?
Werecreatures? Airships? Say something! Throw it into the cauldron! AdventureAWeek.com is all about our readers and we want to make the AaWBlog an expression of your tastes as much as ours, so any and all suggestions are on the table!
Comment below with your ideas for what sorts of meals the AaWBlog should consume for the rest of 2014—we’ll work them into the menu for everyone to enjoy!
1. Anyone can submit an entry. 2. An entry must be your own work, not being published previously or considered by any other publisher, and it must be original and not infringe upon copyrighted material. 3. All entries become property of Adventureaweek.com, LLP. 4. By submitting an entry you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media. 5. Adventureaweek.com, LLP reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this endeavor at any time without prior notice. 6. All decisions of Adventureaweek.com, LLP and their arbiters are final. 7. There is no compensation provided – any entries are given freely by their creators for use by Adventureaweek.com, LLP in perpetuity.
Most social encounters in a game happen within a very small area, which is also the case with this week’s upcoming Sidequest Saturday. The Veresovich Manor is easily laid out in your head—ballroom, several antechambers, kitchen, a dozen bedrooms, library, and so on.
First of all, decide which of these areas are off-limits for guests; the bedrooms (in which it is considered odd to see guests prowling around), the kitchen and library (where work is to be done and delicate objects stored), and so forth.
This is fine because the sandbox here doesn’t come from the area but from the multitude of NPCs within it to interact with. Do a quick outline of the rooms and layout and familiarize yourself with the statted NPCs, but most importantly, the secrets and the information that needs to be conveyed for the plot to advance. Then you are set to invite the players inside of the magnificent location of the social encounter.
2) List of Traits for NPCs
One of my little secrets (one many people use, so not really my secret) is lists. Make a list with ten, maybe fifteen different traits that make an NPC stand out—not for characters with full statistics, but for the un-statted NPCs that the PCs are bound to interact with.
We all know the situation: “I will try to engage the servant with the tray in conversation and avoid the monocle wearing man in the tails and top hat twirling his moustache”.
Who hasn’t been caught flat-footed by a player doing the opposite of what was intended? With a list in hand, your answer will be, “the servant with the slight limp, or the servant who has been sending flirtatious smiles all night?”
It is a simple, quick, easy way to make it seem as if you have spent hours preparing for impromptu moments. Until the first question to the servant is, “what’s your name?”—oh no, they caught us flatfooted!
Or did they? Read on…
3) Lists and More Lists
My biggest problem was always names. In one game I played in, we visited the Hansons on a farm and their neighbors the Jonas brothers lived on the next property. The GM did not do it on purpose, but Hanson and Jonas were the names that popped up!
Make a list of first names and surnames, and mark them off as you use them. This can be used throughout the whole campaign! In the next sidequest a list of titles will come in handy, just remember there can be more barons at the same location, but most likely only one captain of the guard in any given city.
This is an important one—when the PCs avoid the dastardly looking moustache-twirling man, don’t worry; remember the first tip! Familiarize yourself with the information needed to advance the plot. It doesn’t always matter who conveys the information so long as the adventurers get it—use your own NPC created from the lists you’ve compiled and the players will be none the wiser.
Go overboard! These social encounters will be more memorable if the party met Baron von Shnozzult, who ends every sentence with a nasal laugh, or Mrs Plushkin who goes teary-eyed every time she mentions her deceased small dog Dougy (which happens often). The adventurers may like the moustache twirling man, but he has been done so many times—imagine a villain driven by a desire to raise her only companion, Dougy; weird and freaky.
Don’t be afraid to roleplay some of the mannerisms of the NPCs—it will also help yourself to distinguish between the cast of characters as the adventurers interact with the wide circle of people available to them. The social encounter is the GM’s chance to seed and implement a plethora of different roleplaying situations, so enjoy it!
6) Sounds and smells
Finally the devil is in the details—remember the sounds and smells at any gathering of folks; music, food, and alcoholic beverages among them, to name a few. These can all be used to lure a PC away from their fellow adventurers should the need arise, but between the retinue of encapsulating sensations and the small sandbox only a very paranoid party will not take the bait and fall to the temptation to go on a little exploring of their own (especially rogues and mischievous characters).
Do you have a contribution or idea for Meta Thursdays? Send us your ideas (after reading the submission guidelines) to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with “Meta Thursday” in the subject line!