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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Outland Entertainment recently announced the release of The Barry Blair Library of comics and I was fortunate enough to get to design a logo for the launch.
You can read all about it here:
The main thing I needed to consider before I started was how the BBL logo would be incorporated with the current line of OE comic book properties and what that treatment would look like since we had already come up with a layout for the OE line.
Here’s a recent cover for MARS 2577 with the OE footer treatment.
We wanted the BBL logo to balance out with the Outland Entertainment logo, so I decided to go with circular layout. I chose a font similar to the font used in the OE logo to keep a consistent look across the brand, but I also needed to come up with something uniquely it‘s own to reflect the uniqueness of the books and wholly set the logo apart. The fonts I used are ITC Franklin Gothic Heavy and Acropolis. I liked the idea of the using the letter “B” back-to-back to represent the “Barry Blair” in the logo. I tried this with a bunch of dierent fonts and settled on Acropolis because I felt it formed a unique looking letter form. A sigil that lead me to think it represented a unique language all of it’s own, much like Barry and the catalog of comics he created.
Here are couple of the final looks I came up with.
I submitted these for approval and the final logo was approved.
Here‘s what the cover treatment looks like on the newly announced ELFLORD title.
Read all about ELFLORD here: http://outlandentertainment.com/project/elflord/
Until next time…keep on, keepin’ on.
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
So last October, I came across an ad looking for an art team for a new comic project called Dark & Day: Soldiers & Knights. Little did I know when I reached out just what a really cool project this was.
Here’s the basic premise –
A distant future Earth is now split into permanent Ends of night and day. The night/Dark is a culture of machines, technology, soldiers and logical science (science fiction style). The Day is a culture of magic, mythical creatures, knights and belief in wonder (fantasy style). Both sides fear the other and want to protect their people and their way of life.
Jake Grey, the creator, and I started talking and he began to share some of the concept art for the project he’d already developed and scope of the world started to come into focus. I was really floored. If I hadn’t been sold on the premise alone, seeing it brought to life and getting a sense of where Jake wanted to take the project really brought it all home. I knew that this had to be an Outland project.
You can read more about the project and see more art samples over on the project page.
Jake is also currently running a Kickstarter to help fund the next book of the project. You should go over and check it out and help fund the project!
Check out the project and help fund it!