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.