Monday, December 28, 2015

Changes Coming in 2016

The new year is fast approaching, and bringing with it some changes for d20 Despot.  

First, starting in January I will be changing my Patreon from per-post donations to monthly donations.  This will make it easier for patrons to determine how much they want to give.  That means no more counting out the number of mondays in a month or fiddling with the maximum donation settings.  

I will also be changing the reward tiers and milestone goals to better reflect what d20 Despot has become and what it yet could be with your support.  Monster Monday will return to its original weekly format, at least for my patrons.  Once patronage reaches $15 per month, Monster Mondays will be available for all on this site, though patrons will still get early access.  

One of the other milestone goals will be a new website.  The blogger format has served fine over the years, but a purpose-built website will be easier to read, easier to navigate, and more engaging and eye-catching.  

The weekly update format which once served to motivate me has become something of a crutch.  Sometimes I had ideas that I held back for a later post, or I rushed a new idea out there because I needed some content for Monday.  In the coming year, expect more posts about worldbuilding as I make my campaign setting work public.  Expect shorter and more frequent gameplay updates from my ongoing campaigns (once they start up again - the last few months have been a bit of a dry spell).  Expect me to post random new bits of open game content that I've been working on.  Expect more updates on Guns of the Western Kings, my wild west campaign setting. Basically, I'm using the new year as a excuse to kick myself into gear and start producing more content.

Might 2016 even be the year we finally see d20 Despot pdfs go on sale?  I hope so, at least.  

See you next year!

-your annual d20 despot

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Chaining of Krampus - A Holiday Adventure

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, readers! Today I'm giving you an early present. This year's holiday adventure, The Chaining of Krampus, is now available to download for free right HERE on my patreon!

Long-time readers know that this is part two of a three-part Christmas-themed adventure sereis that began with Escape from the Lair of the Krampus. The Chaining of Krampus is a light-hearted and humerous adventure for 4-6 ninth level characters using the pfrpg system. Eight pre-made characters are provided, plus guidelines for creating your own custom characters for this adventure. It features my own monsters, including the ice cube and snegurochka, plus tons of ridiculous references to classic holiday mythology and TV Christmas specials. It was a real treat to make; I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Chaining of Krampus - TEASER

Cold winter winds whip through the candy cane forest.  The mighty red-and-white-striped trees creak and strain against the force.  The wind bites at your cheeks and nips at your nose, though it smells pleasantly of peppermint.  The only light is cast by a single lamp post around which you have all gathered, awaiting the arrival of your contact.  A sudden sound to your right startles you.  You look over, expecting the Big Man’s arrival, but it is only an arctic beaver, painfully overweight and probably diabetic, gnawing on a candycane stump. 

“Ho ho ho!” rumbles a deep voice behind you.  How did such a big man sneak up like that? You turn and see him, wrapped head to toe in a long red cloak trimmed with white fur.  His hood is pulled up, partially obscuring his face, though there is no mistaking that man for someone else.  That snow-white beard, that rotund belly, that rosy red nose.  He needs no introduction. 

"Santa is glad you all could make it!” he says.  “After the services you provided me last year, I knew I could count on you:

"Krampus has become a wild beast, and he needs to be chained."  


Later this week, I will be posting The Chaining of Krampus, part two of the adventure begun last year in Escape from the Lair of the Krampus.  The free adventure is designed for 4-6 ninth-level characters.  Pre-generated characters will be included.

I got some good feedback on last year's adventure that I have taken into account.  I'm trying to make this one shorter so that it can fit into one session, but I make no promises.  Personally, I'll probably be running this adventure with a group of six players after Christmas dinner, and hopefully again with a different group before the New Year.  If you are looking for a light-hearted holiday-themed adventure to run for your gaming group this Christmas season, keep an eye out later this week for The Chaining of Krampus!

-your jolly d20 despot

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monster Monday: Ice Cube - The Freezing Ooze

Today's Monster Monday is an ice cube, an arctic version of the gelatinous cube that will literally chill you to the bone and leave behind nothing more than an eerily lifelike ice sculpture.

Photo by Editor at Large, via Wikimedia
Ice cubes will be making an appearance in this winter's holiday adventure, The Chaining of Krampus, a continuation of last year's Escape from the Lair of the Krampus.  I'll be trying to get that adventure finished as soon as possible - hopefully earlier than last year's embarrassing release date of December 26th.  I'll also try to make it shorter than last year's installment, which tended to take two sessions to finish.  Stay tuned to d20 Despot for more news on this free Christmas-themed adventure!

The following text in gold is available as Open Game Content under the OGL. Open Game Content is ©2015 Jonah Bomgaars.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monster Monday: Snegurochka - Slavic Snow Maiden

Today's Monster Monday is Snegurochka, the snow maiden of 19th century Slavic mythology.  In the tales, snegurochka is a being of pure snow whose curiosity about humans leads her to tragically melt (either from jumping over a fire as part of a game, or from falling in love).  Later, she becomes the helper and granddaughter of Ded Moroz, the Russian Santa.

I have statted her up as a supernatural being with powerful snow magic, capable of turning into a flurry of snowflakes or passing on winter's chill with her touch.  Her natural curiosity attracts her to human settlements, but a bad run-in with fire or warmth can lead her to violent outbursts against those who inadvertently threaten her with melting.

Снегурочка by Boris Zvorykin, via Wikimedia
The following text in gold is available as Open Game Content under the OGL. Open Game Content is ©2015 Jonah Bomgaars.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Improved Armor Tables Part 6 - Partial and Piecemeal Armor

This is part 6 of my ongoing series on improving the armor tables.  Unlike my Fixing the Weapons Table posts, these changes should be considered entirely optional and a GM should carefully consider whether they want to use them in their game, because it might mean a lot of tweaking stat blocks behind the scenes.  These changes are designed for GMs who love history and want their fantasy worlds to be a little more grounded in it.

This week I'm dropping the rules for partial and piecemeal armor, followed by some examples that illustrate the versatility of this system.  Thus far, the armor I have presented has been full-body armor, protecting the wearer more-or-less head-to-toe.  The following rules will allow a character to lighten the load by wearing only torso armor, or mix-and-match different armors to customize their dungeon-delving ensemble.

Pathfinder already has some armors that I would consider 'partial armors' - the breastplate and chain shirt spring to mind - though their relationship to more complete armors is ill-defined.  There are also already rules for piecemeal armor, but I find them overly complicated and not particularly versatile.  By their system, piecemeal armor is divided into torso, arm, and leg armor, and the only way to determine the stats of any given piece of armor is to find it on their tables.  I have created a more versatile, consistent system of rules that lets you break down any suit of armor into two pieces (torso armor and limb protection), and mix and match them.  I developed it for my own improved armor tables, but these rules can also be easily applied to the base Pathfinder armors, armor created for the d20 system by a third party, or your own homebrewed armors.

The following items and rules in gold and their accompanying tables are available as Open Game Content under the OGL.  Open Game Content is ©2015 Jonah Bomgaars and d20 Despot.