Some of you may be wondering about my skill set and whether I can blog about games design.
I started trying to learn games design when RPG Superstar, was first introduced on an unsuspecting world and over the years have digested and cogitated on the wealth of design discussion that takes place during this annual competition.
I have more recently been the first student to run through Sean K Reynolds’ on-line classes in games design. I feel especially privileged and proud of helping him refine his class for the masses.
So, I present links and examples of my recent work for you to review and use at your leisure. I hope you like what you find here.
Published Credits and Products
|Legendary Games||Ancient Tombs
(Pages 4 through 12)
|Paizo Fans United||Wayfinder #14
(Design Advice Article)
|Paizo Fans United||Wayfinder #12
|Paizo Fans United
(Ennie Gold Issue)
(Side Trek Encounter)
|Paizo Fans United||Wayfinder #9
|Paizo Fans United||Wayfinder #8
Sample Item Designs
Here is my Pathfinder compatible entry for RPG Superstar 2013 – it fell foul of being class specific and way too long, using the full 300 word maximum – we mentioned that already in our item design blogs as something to consider with open voting! 🙂
Circlet of Malevolent Eyes
Aura faint necromancy; CL 5th
Slot head; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
A silver circlet adorned by a central ovoid moonstone surrounded by four amber stones shaped as tiger’s eyes. All stones are inset with an elongated vertical silhouette representing a unique creature type from the ranger’s favored enemies table.
When worn by a ranger, the moonstone silhouette reforms to represent the ranger’s favored enemy with the highest bonus. Where the ranger has more than one favored enemy with the same bonus, they must choose for the moonstone. The moonstone remains fixed until there is a change in ranger’s favored enemy with highest bonus when it immediately changes to match.
As a move action, touching both moonstone and one eye transfers the wearers favored enemy bonus represented by the moonstone to apply to the enemy represented by the eye for 5 rounds. The rate of transfer is 2 points per 1 point of bonus gain and stacks with any existing favored enemy bonus. Where the wearer does not have this favored enemy, they can treat such targets as favored and apply half the new bonus.
Neither the moonstone nor any of the eyes represent identical favored enemy groups at any time. During a moonstone change, any eye with a duplicate favored enemy group changes immediately to another unique selection.
Touching a single eye grants, for 8 hours, a +5 competence bonus to Survival checks to track creatures of the represented type. Unskilled Survival checks gain an increase in the maximum tracking DC they can track to DC 15 for 4 hours. Only one eye may be active at a time, each eye takes 8 hours to recharge after each use.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, hunter’s howl; Cost 5,000 gp
My mistake in RPG Superstar 2014 was both one of length and wording issues and that I tried to play with Mythic – which reduced my appeal to the public vote – bear that in mind when designing your items for entry to the competition.
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 7th
Slot shoulders; Price 27,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.
Sinister grey clouds flow down the back of this mantle, sheet lightning flashing within and jagged bolts traversing from nape to base. The cape furls constantly as if caught in storm winds, and emits the distant sound of rolling thunder.
Once per day on command, the clouds billow from the cape, engulfing the user in an ominous hardening ball of raging storm clouds, spiking randomly with foot long jagged bolts. Lasting 1d4+2 rounds, this form grants a thundering rolling attack (as Bull Rush) ending with a thunderclap retort. Succeeding this Bull Rush skewers the target on 1d3 spiking bolts, for 1d6 piercing damage each, and requires other creatures adjacent to the target to make a DC 16 Reflex save or be similarly struck.
This form also grants a +2 AC deflection bonus against melee attacks, and DR 5/piercing for its duration. Melee attacking a wearer in this form requires a DC 16 Reflex save or the attacker skewers himself on 1d3 spiking bolts on their first attack. On any melee attack, electing to take 1d3 bolts voluntarily negates the AC bonus granted to the wearer for that attack. An attacking creature struck by bolts loses any remaining attacks for the round after the current attack is resolved.
Spending one mythic power or sacrificing the DR benefit provided grants the choice of either tripling bolt density increasing bolts striking to 1d3+3, or lengthening them increasing their damage to 1d8 each. Spending two mythic power grants both.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Mythic Crafter, thorn body; Cost 13,500 gp
As soon as Sean publishes my class items and creatures, I will link the publication – but for now, I include the Pathfinder compatible item I was most proud of from this course.
Aura faint abjuration; CL 5th
Slot hands; Price 4,500 gp; Weight —
This glove, made from woven spider silk, is so pure and brilliantly white that it emanates a subtle nimbus.
Placing a gloved hand onto a scroll animates the writing, the words leaping from page to glove, writhing in a macabre dance to the palm, leaving behind a pristine clean parchment. At the center of the palm, the words merge into a wriggling, pulsating ink ball. One ink ball may be created and held at any one time, lasting as long as the wearer holds it in the gloved hand.
The wearer may throw the ball up to 30 feet as a ranged attack with no range increment, or make a melee touch attack with the gloved hand. A successful hit releases the absorbed spell’s energies against the target dealing 1d6 points of damage per spell level. If the absorbed spell deals damage with a damage type, the damage dealt by the ball is the same type, otherwise it has no type.
If the absorbed spell would normally heal the target, the ink ball heals the target instead of harming it, except it heals 1d6 points of damage per spell level instead of the spell’s original amount.
A held ink ball is discharged harmlessly if it is released in any other way from the gloved hand.
The glove can only absorb a spell if the wearer’s character level is equal to or greater than the caster level of the spell.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, explosive runes; Cost 2,250 gp
Sample Creature Designs
And similarly, this is the Pathfinder compatible creature that I am most proud of from Sean’s course. Enjoy. 🙂
The crimson skin of this misshapen, hairless humanoid is mottled with purple blotches giving it a malnourished and unhealthy pallor. Large soulless black eyes are mute testimony of a lifetime of nocturnal existence.
Nightmare Child CR 1 (Words 545)
CE Small outsider (native)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., dream scent; Perception +6
—– Defense —–
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 size)
hp 13 (2d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +1
Defensive Abilities dream existence; Immune sleep
—– Offense —–
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +4 (1d3+1), 2 claws +4 (1d4+1, plus sandman touch)
Special Attacks dream twister, dream siphon, sandman touch
—– Statistics —–
Str 13, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Improved Initiative
Skills Climb +14, Disable Device +7, Escape Artist +7, Perception +6, Stealth +11
—– Ecology —–
Environment any urban
Organization solitary, pair, or trance (3–6)
—– Special Abilities —–
Dream Existence (Su) The nightmare child has a transient existence, in the same manner of the nightmares that created it. Once created, a nightmare child fades away with the morning mists caressed by the rising sun, coalescing again within 20 feet of where it faded to hunt again as dusk deepens into night.
Dream Scent (Ex) A nightmare child prowling the streets at night tastes the air for the energy of dreams. It senses creatures deep in dreams within 120 feet as if using scent.
Dream Siphon (Su) Once per night, as a free action, a nightmare child siphons life energy from a sleeping creature without awakening it, granting the nightmare child 5 temporary hit points. This does not awaken the target. The target’s sleep may be normal, magically induced, or as a result of sandman touch. So long as the nightmare child remains within 10 feet of the target, it gains a +1 profane bonus to attack rolls. When the target awakens, it gains the fatigued condition.
Dream Twister (Su) As a swift action, a nightmare child within 10 feet of a sleeping humanoid twists the target’s dreams into a nightmare unless the target succeeds at a DC 12 Will save. The nightmare prevents restful sleep and leaves the target fatigued and unable to regain arcane spells for the next 24 hours. A target can only be affected once per day. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Sandman Touch (Sp) A creature struck by a nightmare child’s natural attacks must succeed at a DC 12 Will save or fall asleep (as the sleep spell). Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same nightmare child’s sandman touch ability for 24 hours.
Nightmare children are most commonly found in gothic Ustalav, but can spawn in any urban settlement where the population is experiencing great trepidation and tension. A nightmare child coalesces into existence when a group of humanoids in close proximity experience simultaneous nightmares.
Normally a single nightmare stalker prowls the streets, but under conditions of extreme trepidation a greater population of sleepers spawn multiple nightmare children who disperse immediately to hunt. When cornered, it ululates with the chilling sound of overlapping voices drawn from the nightmare that gave it life.
Sample Archetype Designs
Sample Encounter Designs
Sample Fantasy Writing
My first published story / flavor article is to be found in the free community magazine Wayfinder, Issue #12. An experiment I tried to present flavor items in a setting by the medium of a story bound around them.