Swords for Hire Development (Jacob W. Michaels and Mikko Kallio) is excited to announce its first project, The Villain Codex. This PDF, being done in conjunction with Outland Entertainment, will feature a series of antagonists for gamemasters to pit against their players. The NPCs will be fully fleshed out, with stat blocks, letting a GM simply drop one into an adventure when he needs a statted-up opponent or build an adventure or even campaign around.
The first Villain Codex will feature 12 opponents of CRs 3-8 for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Finished villains will be 600 words, including a stat block and a description of the villain, his/her motivations, plus potential plots, lairs and minions.
Right now, we’re looking for your best ideas. Send us a pitch that describes your villain and potential plots, as well as expected build. Please include at the top the villain’s name, race (please use core races only), gender, alignment and class. Also please include what CR you think the villain should be; a range of CRs is fine at this point, and we can assign what we would like you to build him/her at if we pick your submission. Finally, remember that the villains should be setting agnostic. If they use a bar as their headquarters, feel free to name it, but don’t put it in a city in an existing campaign world.
We expect to pick six villains, though obviously if we’re bowled over, we could select more. We’ll be approaching designers to produce the other six villains, so if your pitch is good enough, it could lead to more work immediately.
How do I submit?
Please send your pitches to email@example.com with your submission in the file (NOT as an attachment).
How many pitches can I submit?
You can submit up to 3 pitches. If you have more good ideas, save them. There will be follow-up Villain Codexes for higher CRs coming through 2016.
If I submit, will I get published?
Unfortunately, not necessarily. We’re including 12 villains in this first Codex, so only the best selections will get published. Any pitches that are accepted become property of Swords for Hire Development, which retains sole ownership.
What books will I be able to use?
Villains will be limited to rules from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, GameMastery Guide, Advanced Player’s Guide, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Equipment, Ultimate Campaign and Advanced Class Guide.
Will I get paid?
We’ll be paying a flat rate of $6 per entry that we publish, which will work out to about 1 cent per word.
Alright, I’m ready to get started! When you do you need this by?
Pitches are due by the end of the day (Eastern time) May 1. We’ll get back to you and let you know if your pitch has been accepted within a week and will need your finished villain by June 1. Payment will be received at this time.
Wait, I have more questions!
For more information stop by the Sword for Hire blog.
When I started out on the adventure that is a Dwarven Forge Dungeon, it’s fair to say that I started without experience or a clear idea of exactly what the challenges would be. This isn’t type of thing that deters me. It seemed reasonable at the time that I could purchase 162 unpainted miniatures, then share my progress as I improve as a miniature painter.
Then I started painting my first miniature, made several missteps, and decided that it wasn’t worth sharing. The results of my second miniature were not an improvement. The third time was not a charm. As it turns out, my mistakes outnumbered my improvements by wide margin. So this week I’ll be sharing my three biggest frustrations as a new miniature painter.
Primer isn’t easy, or “I can’t even use a can of spray paint!”
This subject brings me to the fourth miniature I painted, a repaint of the Dreamblade miniature Beetleback Mass, that will illustrate some of my frustrations with primer. While in some ways this miniature looks better than several of my later miniatures, it has signs of the same issue that caused me to strip the paint for my first three attempts–the primer came out looking speckled. This caused the paint on my earlier attempts to easily rub off, and the speckle pattern was visible through multiple base coats. I was fortunate that with Beetleback Mass the effect was a positive, as the speckles looked like the tiny specks that you see on beetles.
Tutorials often assume that you know how to paint.
This certainly isn’t true of all the miniature painting tutorials out there, but it is pretty common for “miniature painting 101” tutorials to assume that you have some knowledge about how to use paints and brushes. I went through a Baker’s dozen of miniature painting tutorials for beginners before learning how to properly apply paint to my brush. I went through a half-dozen tutorials before I learned not to dab paint onto the miniature.
Those eyes are EXTREMELY small.
While I’m too inexperienced to offer much in terms of painting advice, I can offer this single tidbit: purchase miniatures without eyes. When you run out of those, purchase miniatures where the eyes won’t require pupils. While the size of the eyes on miniatures of the same scale seem to come in a wide range of sizes, none of them are large enough (at least in the 25mm-30mm range) for a beginner.
This series of posts follows my attempts to purchase, paint, and otherwise procure a collection of miniatures for my Dwarven Forge terrain. I’ll explore painting for talent-challenged, budget miniatures, and what types of tabletop scenarios give miniatures their maximum impact. Part I can be found here.
Fiery orange feathers cover the wings and tail of this ink-black, serpentine dragon. Its dark eyes dart about, and its claws fidget with nervous energy.
Aitvaras CR 2
CN Tiny dragon (shapechanger)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8
AC 16, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +1 natural, +2 size)
hp 22 (3d12+3)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5
Immune paralysis, sleep; SR 13
Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee bite +4 (1d3–1)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (5-ft. cone, confused, Will DC 12 negates, usable every 1d4 rounds)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +6)
At will–hold portal
3/day–greater invisibility (self only), unseen servant (within domain of fortune only)
Spells Known (CL 3rd; concentration +6)
1st (6/day)–cause fear (DC 14), silent image (DC 14), ventriloquism (DC 14)
0th (at will)–flare (DC 13), ghost sound (DC 13), mage hand, open/close, spark
Str 9, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 13 (17 vs. trip)
Feats Deft Hands, Improved Initiative
Skills Appraise +9, Bluff +9, Climb +5, Disable Device +8, Fly +17, Perception +8, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +8, Stealth +17
Languages Common, Draconic, Halfling, Sylvan
SQ change shape (cat, beast shape II), domain of fortune
Environment any urban
Organization solitary or pair
Breath weapon (Su) 5-foot cone, confusion for 1d4 rounds, DC 12 negates. Creatures compelled to attack the nearest creature never target the aitvaras or creatures benefiting from its domain of fortune. An aitvaras can use this breath weapon once every 1d4 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Domain of Fortune (Su) An aitvaras can adopt a structure as its domain, blessing it with supernatural luck and hindering enemies within its walls. Creatures that live in the bonded structure receive a +2 luck bonus on all skill checks within its walls. Non-chaotic intruders suffer a –2 penalty on attack rolls, damage rolls, saves, and caster level checks to overcome spell resistance within the structure.
An aitvaras can only have one bonded domain at a time, which can be no larger than 100 squares. If the aitvaras ends its connection to a structure, it must wait 24 hours before it can adopt a new domain.
Spells An aitvaras casts spells as a 3rd-level sorcerer.
Mischievous, honorless cousins of pseudodragons, aitvaras (singular and plural) thrive in the bustling chaos of the city, where their actions often go unnoticed. An aitvaras uses the form of a stray cat to find a residence or business which it can claim as its domain. Once it adopts a home, the aitvaras works tirelessly to bring prosperity to its inhabitants, using its magic to bless residents with luck while stealing from neighbors and sabotaging competitive businesses. The residents’ new fortune is short-lived, however, for if the aitvaras’ mischief is traced back to its home, the dragon abandons its former benefactors to face the consequences of its actions while it slinks away in search of a new domain.
An aitvaras typically follows some kind of pattern when choosing homes, though these predilections vary widely between individuals. Some favor certain races or professions, while others have more unusual preferences, such as a specific number of children or musicians who play a unique instrument. Their chaotic nature makes it difficult to attract an aitvaras to one residence or predict where it will go next. Even those who successfully win an aitvaras’ favor find its blessings fickle, for the dragon often has unspoken expectations when adopting a domain, and those who violate its “terms” risk drawing the beast’s ire. As a result, even the most amicable relationship with an aitvaras is typically brief and disastrous to the hosts.
Aitvaras are territorial and never share a domain. Mated pairs fight to decide which domain will hold their eggs, though the parents forget about their young once they move to a new domain, leaving the hatchlings to fend for themselves.
A chaotic neutral arcane spellcaster of at least 7th level who has the Improved Familiar feat may select an aitvaras as a familiar.
Branching, jagged antlers line this ink-black salamander’s back from head to tail. Acrid fumes pour from its mouth between rows of needle-like teeth.
Onyare CR 5
CE Large outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +6
AC 18, touch 11, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +7 natural, –1 size)
hp 51 (6d10+18)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +6
DR 5/cold iron or good; Immune electricity, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 16
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +10 (1d8+5), gore +10 (1d8+5 plus horn seeds)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (every 1d4 rounds, 15 ft. cone, 6d6 acid damage, Reflex half DC 15)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th, concentration +7)
At will—greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), scare (DC 13)
1/day—haunting mists (Ultimate Magic, DC 13), summon (level 3, 1d3 dretches at 40%)
Str 20, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 9, Cha 12
Base Atk +6; CMB +12; CMD 24 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Improved Initiative, Lunge, Power Attack
Skills Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +11, Survival +7, Swim +19; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth, +8 Swim
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ aquatic adaptation
Organization solitary or pair
Aquatic Adaptation (Ex) An onyare can breathe underwater indefinitely and can freely use its breath weapon and other abilities while underwater.
Horn Seeds (Ex) When an onyare hits a creature with its gore attack, tips of its antlers break off and begin growing in the target’s body as bony, antler-like nodules. Damage caused by the horn seeds cannot be magically or naturally healed until the bony growths are removed, which requires a DC 15 Heal check and deals 3d8 points of damage to the target. For every 5 by which the Heal check exceeds the DC, reduce the damage by 1d8 (minimum 0). Outsiders with the chaotic subtype are immune to this effect. This is a disease effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Horn Seeds (Ex) Gore—injury; save Fort DC 15, onset 1 day, frequency 1 day, effect 1d4 Dex and 1 Con damage, cure 2 consecutive saves.
Cunning and cruel, onyares are horned demons that lurk in the lakes and tarns of abyssal swamplands. Constantly adapting to the needs of their environment, Onyares grow and shed primitive, gaunt limbs in a matter of minutes – effective for overland travel between mires, but too weak for combat. Onyares instead rely on their needle-sharp teeth and corrosive breath, but their most infamous weapon is their antlers, which break off into victims and form horn-like growths that impede movement and drain vitality. Each antler is a fast-growing shard of primordial chaos that consumes normal flesh and sprouts new branches. An onyare constantly sheds damaged or dead antlers, using the broken points to decorate its lair and mark the edges of its territory.
An onyare is between 8 and 11 feet long, weigh roughly 400 pounds, and can possess up to 5 primitive limbs at any given time. They form from mortal souls who thrived in mass hysteria, exploiting panic and tragedy for entertainment or personal gain. They delight in using their spell-like abilities to frighten intruders, giving chase as they flee in terror. They are often summoned to the Material Plane to serve as guardians for hidden lairs and vaults within the marshes, though their restless, chaotic nature often leads them to abandon their posts and stalk the wilderness for mortals to torment.
Written by Nicholas Wasko
Artwork by Zul Fadhli Kamarrudin
Edited by William Ward
Before I purchased my first miniature, my concept of tabletop RPG “bling” was best evidenced by my collection of gaming accessories. With a total value of $4.62, this collection consisted of four items: an 80-page college bound spiral notebook, with several pages of unfinished homework in the front; a yellow #2 pencil, with a complete set of dental imprints; and a set of polyhedral dice, minus the d12. It was with this paltry arsenal that I marched– uphill both ways, to the best of my recollection – into my earliest gaming sessions.
Perhaps this is why the sudden acquisition of 162 unpainted miniatures came as such a shock.
Finding oneself buried in an avalanche of miniatures isn’t an overnight phenomenon. Having traded my collection of Magic the Gathering cards – their value today, I don’t care to think about – for a box full of tattered rule books and modules, the concept of using miniatures didn’t exist for me until 1991. That was the year I purchased the Dungeons & Dragons Black Box (my first store-bought RPG). Filled with a collection of stand up paper miniatures and a full-color map, it was somewhat of a short-lived revelation. While it provided some opportunities for tactical combat, it had limited use beyond a few short sessions.
While my first encounter with miniatures was lackluster, my second was awe-inspiring. Delivered into my subconscious through a full-page advertisement in Dragon magazine, this was the first time that I had heard of Dwarven Forge (Master Maze at the time). Fortunately for me at the time, painted resin terrain wasn’t something that I could purchase, even irresponsibly (despite a generous on-and-off allowance). The advertisement faded from my memory well before I had disposable income to waste (That’s a figure of speech. It isn’t a waste, it is awesome.).
Then Dwarven Forge had their first Kickstarter campaign.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to purchase two “Dream Toys” from my childhood. The first was a high-end Traxxis radio-controlled car. The second was Dwarven Forge terrain. Since I didn’t own any miniatures at the time, the second came with an (extremely) bourgeois, (embarrassingly) first-world problem… which brings me back to the sudden acquisition of 162 unpainted miniatures, and the fact that I’ll need to learn how to paint miniatures.
Since the Reaper Bones 2 Kickstarter is responsible for the sudden influx of of miniatures (that’s right, it is Reaper’s fault, not mine), I’ll be starting with advice from their website on supplies, and painting advice from someone who survived the first Bones Kickstarter. I’ll be compiling a collection of other resources, from tutorials to painting services, from the perspective of a complete beginner here as I attempt to paint, purchase, or otherwise procure a collection of miniatures for my Dwarven Forge terrain.
The cracks and fissures in the mottled brown hide of this bipedal, serpentine dragon weep seemingly endless streams of sand. The air around its spade-shaped head ripples with intense heat.
Linnorm, Dune CR 12
CE Gargantuan dragon
Init +4; Senses darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision, scent, true seeing; Perception +21
AC 27, touch 10, flat-footed 23 (+4 Dex, +17 natural, -4 size)
hp 161 (14d12+70); regeneration 10 (cold iron)
Fort +14, Ref +15, Will +13
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement; DR 15/cold iron; Immune curse effects, fire, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep; SR 23
Speed 40 ft., burrow 40 ft., fly 100 ft. (average)
Melee bite +21 (2d8+10/19-20 plus poison), 2 claws +20 (1d8+10), tail +15 (2d6+5 plus grab)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon, constrict (tail, 2d6+15), death curse
Str 30, Dex 19, Con 20, Int 5, Wis 18, Cha 21
Base Atk +14; CMB +28 (+32 grapple); CMD 42 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Flyby Attack, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Vital Strike, Lightning Reflexes, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Fly +15, Perception +21, Survival +21
Languages Aklo, Draconic, Sylvan
Environment warm deserts
Breath Weapon (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds, a dune linnorm can breathe a 120-foot line of superheated wind, dealing 14d8 points of fire damage to all creatures in the area (Reflex DC 22 halves). If the ground is covered in sand, the heat turns the sand in the area into long shards of glass pointed away from the linnorm. This area is affected as per the spike stones spell (Reflex DC 22, Perception DC 30 to notice), except that creatures damaged by the glass also take 1d8 points of fire damage. The glass turns brittle and collapses back into sand after 1 hour. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Death Curse (Su) When a creature slays a dune linnorm, the slayer is affected by the curse of the wastes. Curse of the Wastes: save Will DC 22; effect creature functions as being in severe heat (see the “Heat Dangers” section in Chapter 13 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook) at all times (unless the actual temperature is hotter), and cannot benefit from endure elements or other magical protection from heat. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Freedom of Movement (Ex) A dune linnorm is under the constant effect of freedom of movement, as per the spell of the same name. This effect cannot be dispelled.
Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 22; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 2d6 fire damage and 1d3 Con drain; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
True Seeing (Ex) A dune linnorm has constant true seeing, as per the spell of the same name.
While most linnorms inhabit the frigid mountains of the far north, the fearsome dune linnorms dwell in southern deserts, steppes, and other regions of intense heat. The massive dragons claim vast tracts of wasteland as their territories, devastating the already fragile ecosystems with their voracious appetites and aggressive dispositions. Their limited food supplies leave them smaller and weaker than their northern cousins, but many times more irritable thanks to their near-constant hunger.
While a dune linnorm’s presence frequently spells disaster for nearby tribes of humanoids, exceptionally resourceful or powerful individuals can salvage boons from the dragons’ lairs. Dune linnorms’ fey dispositions instinctively draw them to ley lines and other sites of potent natural magic hidden in the wastes, meaning their homes are often riddled with magical treasures and supernatural fonts of food and water, which allow the ravenous dragons to survive. Crafty desert-dwellers can capitalize on these resources, although they risk provoking the mighty liners, who swiftly and ruthlessly investigate any perceived violations of their privacy.
Written by Christoper Wasko
Artwork by Zul Fadhli Kamarrudin
Edited by William Ward
Experienced digital marketer, Susana Grilo joined Outland in 2014 as our Director of Marketing. She has been involved in a variety of really cool companies, such as Cartoon Saloon and Noble Beast, both of which have produced award winning material. She is also a talented project manager, film producer, and screenwriter. Like everybody at Outland, she wears many different hats, and we’re very lucky to have somebody of her experience working with us!
You’ve worked in production, marketing, and writing across a number of storytelling mediums. What got you interested in storytelling?
I guess I’ve been exposed to it since a very young age. First it was my Grandmother telling me all sorts of stories she invented on the spot. We then started reading to each other and that made me quite the story addict. Then I would reenact the favorite bits of the latest book or film with Playmobile. And when the plastic smiles wouldn’t do it for me anymore I started writing stories down: from fanfiction to original short stories.
Can you remember one of the first stories you wrote?
I believe it was a (supposedly) scary story for a Halloween party. I don’t think it was even two paragraphs long.
Your education is in cinema and audiovisual production. What made you choose film as a medium?
I’d loved TV and film for a long time, but here in Portugal it’s not something that is presented to you as a career choice. However I was lucky enough to run into a course brochure, in one of those work fairs, that was exactly that: Sound and Image. I still remember realizing in awe that “this is a profession. There are people who do this for a living.” Since then, being part of this world has been my focus.
You have worked on several projects as a producer. For those outside the theatre/film industry the duties of a producer can seem nebulous. Can you talk a little about what the duties of a producer entail?
What a producer does is always kind of a mystery. They say you’re supposed to be a kind of parent, a friend, and a boss. What you really do is take care of everything logistical and think about what anyone might come to need. Schedule and prepare your budget in detail.
When the time comes, you’ll be grateful that you had a plan that you could stick to, even if you (so many times) find yourself walking on the opposite direction. If you’re prepared, you can handle all those curve balls that always (yes, always!) come hurtling at you.
Do you prefer working as screenwriter or in production?
Production is a more active job: you’re out there, you have to solve problems quickly, deal with the demands and needs of a lot of people. Screenwriting is more quite: you can choose the pace you want to work at – unless the story gains life and propels you at full speed (which is also great).
I would have to say that producing something you’ve written is the most fulfilling of the options. You get the best (and worst, don’t get me wrong) of both worlds and a unique rush of adrenaline, because it’s your idea, it’s your story that is closest to become something tangible.
What film project in your career are you the most proud of?
I would have to say the short film “Entropia”. It was the final project of my MA, the team we assembled was working exactly on the roles they liked and on a sci-fi time traveling story—a genre we all loved. It still feels like a student film, but having it screened across more than 6 countries, in different capitals all over the world really makes me proud.
What projects outside of film are you most proud of?
I’d have to say promoting the Delicious the Event. I put it together by myself. There was a screening of the film “Delicious” directed by Tammy Riley-Smith, starring Louise Brealey (‘Sherlock’) and Nico Rogner (‘Séraphine’), followed by a Q&A with the director, the protagonist and the composer of the film score, Michael Price (‘Sherlock’ [BBC], ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Love Actually’). It finished with an instrumental concert by Michael Price, accompanied by cellist Peter Gregson.
It was really fun (yet stressful!) to make everything from scratch: from contacting managers to film producers, getting the right venue, and making sure everyone felt comfortable. But getting it all done, seeing how positively the audience reacted made it all worth it.
You also work in media marketing. How did that start?
I did an internship at the Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, having the pleasure of working on the recently Oscar nominated feature film “Song of The Sea” – their second Academy nomination following “The Secret of Kells”. I worked on several departments during my time there and one of my jobs was revitalizing the social media pages. There were hundreds of fans waiting for updates and just talking about the film, but they didn’t have a proper outlet. So I started focusing on that and I’m pleased to see that the work I began 3 years ago is not only active, but prospering.
I really enjoyed switching places between being a fan and working for a company, trying to find out what each of these sides want and what are the best ways to deliver that. Since then I got the social media bug and continue to work with theatre companies, award winning publishers (Noble Beast), and now here at Outland Entertainment.
You have been involved in most, if not all of the steps in the creative process. What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in taking a concept and delivering it to an audience?
I believe it depends on the project at hand. However, I think that the financial aspects of it have become an integral part of the actual creative process. Most of the time what I’ve found is that – in spite of all the new resourceful ways to be funded – getting your budget is the most difficult part. If this takes too long or becomes too overwhelming. It can suck out the fun of any project, no matter how much you love it.
Do you have a favorite screenwriter or director? What draws you to that person’s work?
David S. Goyer has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. I’m addicted to all things that deal with time travel or the many-worlds theory, so his series “Flash Forward” was one that I really enjoyed.
Steven Moffat is another one for the high ranks. “Jekyll” and “Sherlock”, not to mention his early days in “Doctor Who” have been a great inspiration. There’s an episode in “Jekyll” that’s brilliantly structured. It meddles with all your screenwriting preconceptions. When you think you got it, he throws you another clue and you find yourself craving for answers: he completely plays with the audience’s minds.
Their writing, themes, and the entangled way in which they deliver their stories is what makes these works stand out.
It kind of comes and goes, but there are those films that stick with you like “The fountain” by Darren Aronofsky and “Jump” by Kieron J. Walsh.
And definitely “Before Sunrise” by Richard Linklater. The easiness of the flowing dialogue, allied to the simplicity and current relevancy of what is discussed turn what could be easily seen as a romantic “talkie” into an essay about love, youth, and life in general.
The whole rise of superheroes movies has its pros & cons, but I do enjoy a good blockbuster such as “The Avengers” by Joss Whedon.
Oh! And I may or may not know the lines from the 1st Pirates of the Caribbean by heart…and watched Nolan’s “Inception” a tad too many times… So you might say I’d recommend them.
The animation short film “Thought of You” by Ryan Woodward: it has beautiful fluid movements that resemble Glen Keane’s latest short “The Duet”.
What about the future? What projects are you looking towards in the future.
I have some projects lined up, but right now, apart from all the exciting announcements here at Outland Entertainment, I’m really interested in giving shape to a personal cross media project: “Next Stop”. It’s a fantasy world that provides an entertaining non-religious view on reincarnation.
An iridescent carapace covers this tiny creature, with two bulbous, three-pupiled eyes in front and a spine-like tail protruding behind. Four pairs of pincer-tipped legs fidget incessantly beneath its shell. Its entire body shimmers, as if surrounded by unstable energy.
Illimulid CR 3
N Tiny magical beast
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +1
AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+3 Dex, +3 natural, +2 size)
hp 22 (3d10+6)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +2
Speed 10 ft.
Melee touch +8 (attach)
Ranged force bolt +8 (1d3)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks dweomer leap, parasitic casting
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd)
Str 3, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB +4 (+12 grapple when attached); CMD 10 (26 vs. trip)
Feats Skill Focus (Use Magic Device), Weapon Finesse
Skills Stealth +15, Use Magic Device +8
Environment any urban or underground
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (3-12)
Dweomer Leap (Su) An illimulid that is targeted by a spell or within a spell’s area of effect can teleport into the caster’s square as an immediate action, effectively appearing mid-leap and aimed toward the caster. This ability takes effect whether or not the spell overcomes the illimulid’s spell resistance. The illimulid can immediately make a touch attack against the spell’s caster. This ability does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Force Bolt (Sp) As a standard action an illimulid can fire a bolt of force at any foe within 30 ft. as a ranged attack. Each bolt deals 1d3 points of force damage. An illimulid’s force bolt can be blocked by a shield spell.
Parasitic Casting (Su) An illimulid that is attached to a spellcaster at the beginning of its turn can make a special Use Magic Device check against DC 11 + caster level. If successful, the illimulid activates one of the caster’s spells, as if she had cast the spell with the illimulid as the target or the center of the effect. The activated spell is chosen randomly from the caster’s prepared spells or spells known. Harmful spells activated by this effect always fail to overcome the illimulid’s spell resistance. Spells with a range of personal affect the illimulid instead of the caster. If the Use Magic Device check exceeds the caster’s Will save by 5 or more, an additional spell is activated.
The bane of all magic users, illimulids (colloquially called “magekiller crabs”) were named for their ability to hijack magical energies. Despite their meek appearance, these seemingly harmless creatures become dangerous when they latch onto a victim and start firing spells at point blank.
Terrestrial cousins of horseshoe crabs, illimulids eat mosses, fungi, and carrion, and shelter in cramped spaces to escape predators. Females lay hundreds of eggs at a time, but must siphon energy from magical discharges to prime them for fertilization. As a result, these typically docile creatures become active in the presence of spellcasters, scrolls, wands, and other magic items, triggering spell effects in order to quicken as many eggs as possible. Their preferred habitats and aggressive pursuit of spellcasters makes infestations a major problem in magical communities.
Armies opposed by mages sometimes outfit their platoons with caged illimulids, which can use their dweomer leap to ambush long-range spellcasters and wreak havoc behind enemy lines. Some soldiers tell tales of illimulids specially bred for war, immune to certain forms of magic and bearing pincers that can rip through armor.
Written by Nicholas Wasko
Artwork by Zul Fadhli Kamarrudin
Edited by William Ward
This sleek spider has a hide like a polished mirror, and eight pinpricks of light for eyes.
Solar Spider CR 4
N Medium magical beast
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +6
AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed14 (+3 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 42 (5d10+15)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3
Defensive Abilities reflective hide; Immune mind-affecting effects; Resist fire 20
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +7 (2d6+3 plus poison)
Special Attacks sun snare
Str 14, Dex 17, Con 16, Int –, Wis 15, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +7; CMD 20 (32 vs. trip)
Skills Climb +19, Perception +6; Racial Modifiers +16 Climb, +4 Perception
SQ light climbing
Environment warm desert or plains
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (3-8)
Light Climbing (Su) Solar spiders use their Dexterity modifiers for their Climb skill, rather than Strength. When in areas of bright light, solar spiders can climb on imperceptible strands of light, using their climb speed as a fly speed with perfect maneuverability. The solar spider uses its Climb skill rather than its Fly skill to determine its ability to execute flying maneuvers, with no additional bonuses for maneuverability.
Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Strength damage and 1 Constitution damage; cure 1 save.
Reflective Hide (Ex) A solar spider’s polished hide is highly reflective. When a solar spider is in normal light, all creatures within 30 feet of it are dazzled. When in bright light, a solar spider’s hide becomes so bright that creatures have difficulty looking directly at it, resulting in a 20% miss chance against all attacks by sight-dependent attackers. Solar spiders are immune to spells and effects that use sunlight as a weapon, such as searing light and sunburst, and they cannot be blinded or dazzled by bright light or patterns.
Sun Snare (Su) A solar spider can throw globs of burning sunlight the way normal spiders throw webs. This ability functions like the web ability (+8 ranged, DC 15, 5 hp), except that a creature struck by a sun snare must also make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be blinded for 1d4 rounds. A creature entangled in a sun snare sheds light like a sunrod, suffers a -40 penalty on Stealth checks, and takes 1d4 points of fire damage per round it is entangled. Solar spiders can only use this ability when they are in normal or bright light.
Found in deserts, wastelands, and other regions infamous for intense sunlight, solar spiders are fully adapted to survive in sun-seared environments. Their reflective hides not only protect them from ultraviolet rays, but also turn the blinding sunlight to their advantage when hunting prey or fending off predators. Their hypersensitive legs can also grasp strands of light unnoticeable to most creatures, allowing them to climb on sunbeams and spin light into adhesive projectiles that rapidly burn those they ensnare.
Despite the spiders’ dangerous abilities and territorial natures, many desert tribes harbor great respect for the radiant creatures. Tribe elders and soothsayers depict the arachnids as servants or manifestations of solar deities, graceful and beautiful from a distance but terrible if encountered up close. Chieftans and shamans commonly wear ceremonial armor or headdresses made from solar spider hide as a status symbol.
Written by Christoper Wasko
Artwork by Zul Fadhli Kamarrudin
Edited by William Ward
Press Release: Outland Entertainment Introduces Creatures of the Outlands Blog Series
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUMMARY: Outland Entertainment LLC introduces bi-monthly blog posts of creature-centric material for The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
TOPEKA, KS, NOVEMBER 15, 2015 — Outland Entertainment LLC, a digital publisher, producer and purveyor of fine artwork and fiction, is pleased to announce Creatures of the Outlands, a bimonthly website series of creature-centric material for The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
This bimonthly series, available through the Outland Entertainment’s blog, opens featuring design work from RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 finisher, Christopher Wasko; and, Here be Monsters design contest winner, Nicholas Wasko.
Each entry in the Creatures of the Outlands series features a complete creature, with artwork, for use at your gaming table. For more information visit outlandentertainment.com/blog.