Balancing the Scales

Hello everyone and welcome to d20diaries!

You may have seen our guest blog on the Know Direction network recently, but if you haven’t you can check it out here!

Big news around here today, as my first Pathfinder Society Scenario is released into the wild. Contributing to the organized play program was an absolute blast and I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Check out PFS #2-05: Balancing the Scales, available now from Paizo.

#2-05: Balancing the Scales
A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-4.

“The Sewer Dragons reach out to the Pathfinder Society, concerned about a missing contact. The Pathfinders discover that this is no mere meet and greet, however, as strange events and a mysterious cult become tangled together in a web of mystery.”

Enjoy!

Jessica

Art by Teresa Guido and courtesy of Paizo Inc.

Nanites, Mechs, and More!

And… it’s here! Mechs are finally entering Starfinder!

Yesterday, Paizo announced the launch of the Starfinder Tech Revolution Playtest, which allows players to try out and offer feedback on two upcoming features: the mech combat subsystem and the nanocyte class. Although, I expect the majority of fans are excited for the mech subsystem, I’m most excited to check out the nanocyte! I’m a sucker for new classes.

According to the official announcement:

“The nanocyte is a cunning combatant who houses a host of nanites in their body. Using their nanite array, they can confound foes, spontaneously create equipment, and reinforce their own bodies, and specialized nanocytes can even stitch wounds, dissolve into nanite swarms, and shred foes with a cloud of microscopic assailants!”

“Mechs are specialized vehicles operated by one or more pilots, each of which contributes to the giant robot’s actions. Much like building a starship, you create your own mech (or mechs), allowing you to customize your frame, limbs, armaments, and more! Mechs operate on the familiar square grid maps, so although they’re bigger and more powerful than PCs usually are, many of the rules for using them are familiar, and many of the same foes are appropriate challenges.”

The Starfinder Tech Revolution Playtest begins on July 27th, 2020, and runs until September 18th, 2020. You can download the playtest from Paizo here. Full details on the playtest are available here, while information on playing the nanocyte in the Starfinder Society is available here. Once you’ve participated in the playtest, you can fill out surveys on both the nanocyte and mechs here. Be sure to get those surveys in by September 18th! Finally, if you’d like to chat with other fans and players about the playtest, or offer other feedback to the Starfinder team, you can post in the playtest forums, here.

Enjoy!

Jessica

Pathfinder Second Edition Humble Bundle

Hello, and welcome to d20diaries.

Today we’re drawing attention to the Pathfinder Second Edition Humble Bundle!

Humble Bundle is a distribution platform that sells ebooks, games, software, and other digital content. Consumers pay what they want, and a portion of the proceeds goes to charity. In many cases the Humble Bundle has tiers, where different amounts of money can get you even more product. In any case, Humble Bundles provide a lot of value for your money, and contributes to a worthy cause. For more information on Humble and to see what other products they have up for offer, check out their website.

The Pathfinder Second Edition Humble Bundle contains digital copies of the Core Rulebook, Lost Omens World Guide, Lost Omens Character Guide, Bestiary, some awesome Pathfinder Society Scenarios, flip-mats to accompany them, and a bunch of fiction. The highest tier even includes a physical copy of the Core Rulebook. A portion of every bundle supports three worthy nonprofit organizations: The National Urban League, The Carl Brandon Society, and the NAACP Legal Defence Fund.

At the moment of writing this over 26,282 people have purchased bundles, and the numbers just keep on climbing. If you want to get your hands on the Pathfinder Second Edition Humble Bundle, you’ve only got twelve more days to do so.

Enjoy!

Freelance Work

Hello, and welcome to d20diaries!

Today we’re finally back after a long, long, long break. Last year I took a short time off from blogging to write my first freelance RPG assignment—Starfinder Society Scenario #2-03: The Withering World. As a quest pack, this adventure was split into five parts, each penned by a different author. Working alongside Arc Riley, Jennifer Povey, Rigby Bendele, and Shahreena Shahrani was a wonderful, exciting experience that I can honestly say has changed my life.

Shortly after the release of the Withering World, I contributed to three other amazing books that release next week: Starship Operations Manual, Lost Omens: Legends, and the Advanced Player’s Guide! I can’t wait to see these hit gaming tables!

In the time since, I’ve been writing and creating steadily. I’m thrilled to be the author of two further Starfinder Society Scenarios, #2-15: The Infernal Gallery and the newly released #3-02: The Subterranean Safari. I’ve written two Wondrous One-Shot adventures for Dungeon in a Box: The Missing and the Mist and the upcoming Clockwork Heist, which releases August 1st. I’ve contributed to ten additional projects with Paizo, Dungeon in a Box, and other companies, many of which aren’t yet announced. For a full list of my announced freelance RPG credits, check out the new Freelance Work page. It’s a list I’m unbelievably proud of, that I’m working to expand every day.

Earlier this year, right before the Covid-19 outbreak, I was interviewed by John Godek for Presenting… on the Know Direction Network. Those of you who know me personally, know I’m terrified of public speaking, so recording an interview for a podcast is well outside my comfort zone. Thankfully, John was a delight and I didn’t mess up horribly. Haha. You can listen to the interview here.

Despite quarantine, home-schooling, and freelancing, I’ve found equilibrium. I’m happily tackling my freelance projects ahead of schedule, while caring for my kids and the others I babysit during the week, with time to spare. Which has brought me back here.

I’m still here. I’m still gaming. I’m still creating.

I’m happy to be back.

We’ll talk again soon.

Our Favourite Things of 2019

To celebrate the New Year we’re taking one last look back at our favourite things of 2019! So what made the cut? Read on and see!

Favourite d20 Bestiary: Starfinder: Alien Archive 3

Favourite Dungeons and Dragons Book: The Young Adventurer’s Guides (Dungeons & Tombs , Monsters & Creatures, and Warriors & Weapons) by Jim Zub, Stacy King, and Andrew Wheeler
(I highly recommend this for the young gamers in your life!)

Favourite Pathfinder Book: Pathfinder Second Edition: Core Rulebook

Favourite Starfinder Book: Starfinder: Character Operations Manual

Favourite d20 Book/PDF (Other): Rusted Iron Games: Ancestries of Tombstone: Jackalope by Jacob W. Michaels
(My daughter adores this one!)

Favourite d20 Deal: 52-in-52 by Rogue Genius Games
(If you haven’t checked this out I highly recommend you do!)

Favourite Free d20 Book/PDF: Wayfinder #19: Destination Absalom Station

Favourite d20 Adventure: Starfinder: Skitter Crash

Favourite d20 Campaign: Starfinder Adventure Path: Dawn of Flame

Favourite Pathfinder Society Scenario: #1-07: The Flooded King’s Court by Brian Duckwitz

Favourite Starfinder Society Scenario: #2-01: Pact World Warriors by Jenny Jarzabski

Favourite Kid’s d20 Book: Tails of Equestria: Ogres & Oubliettes

Favourite Board Game: Everdell
(While not a new game, my family and I played it for the first time this month)

Favourite Crowdfunded Project: Immersive Battle Maps

Favourite Upcoming Crowdfunded Project: Grimmerspace and Hard Wired Island

I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

Jessica

November New Releases

November’s here and along with the chill it’s bringing a pile of delightful new d20 products for us to salivate over.


Dungeons & Dragons

Last month my daughter was beyond thrilled to see Battle for Baldur’s Gate hit shelves. This expansion for the D&D card game Dungeon Mayhem stars the shapeshifting druid Jaheira and the ranger Minsc alongside Boo, his miniature, giant space hamster.

This month Dungeons and Dragons is bringing a couple of great products to tabletops, including Dungeons & Tombs: A Young Adventurer’s Guide by Jim Zub, Stacy King, and Andrew Wheeler; Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty, a boxed set for up to five players; and the highly anticipated campaign sourcebook Eberron: Rising from the Last War ! For more information on the Young Adventurer’s Guide series, check out our review on the previous volumes here.


Pathfinder

Highlights from last month’s Pathfinder releases include Pathfinder Adventure Path 148: Fires of the Haunted City (Age of Ashes 4 of 6) and the Lost Omens Character Guide(which went right to the top of my wish list!). This month’s release schedule is slimmer, with Pathfinder Adventure Path 149: Against the Scarlet Triad (Age of Ashes 5 of 6) taking centre stage. You can also expect to find Pathfinder: Flip-Mat: The Rusty Dragon Inn, which has been a long time coming!

Pathfinder Society Scenarios for this month include PFS #1-08: Revolution on the Riverside by Kalervo Oikarinen and PFS #1-09: Star-Crossed Voyages, a Tier 3–6 scenario written by Lu Pellazar.

In other news, Paizo has a new Amazon storefront where you can pick up all kinds of Pathfinder, Starfinder, and Knights of Everflame apparel in men, women, and youth sizes. Although my kids adore the classic Ezren and Lini t-shirts, I’m in love with the monochrome Fumbus sketch! Super cool!


Starfinder

Highlights from last month’s Starfinder releases include Starfinder Adventure Path 21: Huskworld (Attack of the Swarm! 3 of 6) by Lyz Liddell and Starfinder Pawns: Dawn of Flame Pawn Collection. This month’s releases are super exciting. The long awaited Character Operations Manual brings a trio of new classes into the Starfinder RPG, along with a ton of content for the core classes, core races, and legacy races; feats, spells, equipment; and new rules for starship combat and downtime. I can’t wait to get my hands on COM! Other Starfinder releases include Starfinder Adventure Path 22: The Forever Reliquary (Attack of the Swarm! 4 of 6) by Kate Baker and Starfinder Flip-Mat: Undercity.

Starfinder Society Scenarios for this month include SFS #2-11: Descent into Verdant Shadow, a Tier 3–6 scenario by Larry Wilhelm that visits the Ice Wells of Aballon, and SFS #2-12: Colossus Heist, a Tier 7–10 scenario by Amanda Hamon that takes place on Daimalka.


Third Party Publishers

Everybody Games

Everybody Games continues their ‘Files for Everybody’ line of Pathfinder Second Edition compatible products with Issue 5: Evocation Spells by Thilo Graft, Issue 6: Yroometjis by Alexander Augunas, Issue 7: Medicine Feats by Dustin Knight, and the newly released Issue 8: Conjuration Spells by Thilo Graft.

Everybody Games also added some new products to their Starfinder compatible products including Occult Skill Guide: Botanification Corruption by Alexander Augunas, Star Log.EM-079: Shirren Knickknacks by Randal Meyer, and Occult Skill Guide: Soulless by Alexander Augunas.

Rogue Genius Games

Recent Pathfinder 2e releases from Rogue Genius Games include three new entries in their ‘Monster Omnicron’ line: Conductor Devil by James Case, Dy’etu by Ivis K. Flanagan, and Panoptant by Luis Loza; as well as The Ghosts of Sparwell Lodge, a 2e adventure intended for 4th level characters written by Ron Lundeen.


Tails of Equestria

My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria releases an exciting new boxed set this month: Ogres and Oubliettes includes 130 pawns, an assortment of plastic bases, a poster map of Equestria, and a brand new adventure ‘Dungeon of the Diabolical Draconequus,’ starring fan favourite villain: Discord! My kids are absolutely over the moon for this one!

Speaking of my kids, my daughter’s creation ‘Sky Bunnies’ was recently picked up by the Tails of Equestria RPG for their ‘Creature Feature.’ She’s beyond thrilled!

Sky-Bunnies


WizKids

And finally, WizKids launches another awesome set of miniatures with Pathfinder Battles: Legendary Adventures! This collection features art from the new Pathfinder Second Edition and is the first to include Huge sized miniatures in a very long time. The spoilers I’ve seen look fantastic!


And that’s what we’re touching on this month! Got a favourite release? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy shopping!

Jessica

The Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest

Hello, and welcome to d20diaires!

It’s been a busy few months around here. A new school year has started for my kids, my little sister is celebrating her 18th birthday, Thanksgiving and Halloween have come and gone, and winter’s beginning to set in. There’s not much snow outside right now, but this past week the wind has finally turned cold. We’ll get much, much colder weather over the next few weeks and months, but my kids are already bundling up in their winter layers for the walks to and from school.

I’ve spent most of my free time working on numerous freelance RPG assignments, which has been an absolute blast! But, today I’m taking a short break from the amazing projects I’m lucky to be a part of, to pop in, say hello, and chat about something I’m super excited for: the Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest!

That’s right! Starting today you can head on over to Paizo’s website and download playtest versions of the four new classes they’ll be bringing to Pathfinder Second Edition’s Advanced Player’s Guide: the investigator, oracle, swashbuckler, and witch! I’m a huge fan of oracles and witches, in particular, so I am absolutely thrilled to see some of my favourite classes rejoin the game so quickly!

The APG Playtest begins today and runs until December 2nd, 2019. Download the rules, build some characters, and take them for an adventure or two. After trying out the classes, head back to Paizo’s website to fill out a survey and offer your feedback on the forums. It’s time to help shape these classes into the best they can be!

The Advanced Player’s Guide releases in July 2020.

For more information, to download the playtest classes, and to offer feedback, check out Paizo’s recent blog post.

Enjoy!

Jessica

Pathfinder and Starfinder Web-fiction

Hello, and welcome to d20diairies!

Over the past few months Paizo has released a ton of short web-fiction on their blog.  These thoroughly entertaining short stories and vignettes focus on the Pact Worlds and Golarion, with the Iconic Encounters series showcasing each of the iconic characters in the Starfinder Core Rulebook and the Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook, and the Tales of Lost Omens series showcasing the many meta-regions of the Inner Sea Region. Each instalment has been an absolute delight and, if you haven’t stopped by Paizo’s site and given them a read yet, I highly recommend you do. They’re definitely worth it!

For sake of ease, we’ve compiled the links below.

Enjoy!

Jessica


UPDATE: Be sure to check out the new ‘The Windsong Testaments’ series, featuring tales of the gods of Golarion, linked to below!

UPDATE: Be sure to check out the new ‘Tales from the Drift’ series, exciting short stories that showcase the setting of the Starfinder RPG, linked to below!


Iconic Encounters: Pathfinder Second Edition

Tales of Lost Omens: Pathfinder Second Edition


The Winding Testaments: Pathfinder Second Edition


Iconic Encounters: Starfinder


Meet the Iconics: Starfinder


Tales from the Drift

Knights of Everflame to Return!

Pathfinder - Knights of Everflame

Paizo has partnered with Geek & Sundry to continue the popular Knights of Everflame live-play!

Pathfinder: Knights of Everflame is an eight episode series that premiered on July 30th and wrapped up on September 17th. Episodes air live on Geek & Sundry on Twitch with videos available on demand on the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel. The second season is set to film later this year.

Pathfinder: Knights of Everflame stars Jason Bulmahn, Game Designer for Paizo Inc., as Game Master. Jason is also the Game Master for Oblivion Oath, a Pathfinder Second Edition liveplay starring Paizo staff members that streams live every Thursday at noon Pacific on Paizo’s twitch stream. Joining Jason is an exciting cast of players, including Aki (@MxGiniInABottle), Erika Fermina (@astylepixie), Gina DeVivo (@PocketGina), Jeremy Steven Walker (@JWalkerScene), and Rachel Seeley (@sunnyseeley)! 

I can’t wait to tune in!

Jessica

September New Releases

Hello, and welcome back to d20diairies! Today we’re taking a look at September’s new d20 releases!


Dungeons & Dragons

September is a huge month for Dungeons & Dragons, with the release of a new adventure, associated accessories, two new children’s novels, and a board game expansion!

Up first? Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus ! Releasing September 17th, Descent into Avernus is an adventure that will take players from levels 1–13 as they travel from the infamous Baldur’s Gate into Avernus, the first layer of Hell! Releasing alongside it is Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus: Dice & Miscellany , which contains a dice tray, a really nice looking set of dice, map, and a variety of player and DM handouts.

Earlier this month the Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit finally hit game-store shelves. This collection includes quickstart rules, character sheets, a dice set, DM screen, maps, a new adventure, Dragon of Icespire Peak, and more.

Dungeon Mayhem Expansion: Battle for Baldur’s Gate is the first expansion for the easy to play card game, Dungeon Mayhem, which my kids absolutely adore. With art by Jake Parker, the expansion includes two new decks featuring the ranger Minsc (with his miniature giant space hamster, Boo), and the shapeshifting druid Jaheira. This expansion went right onto my kids’ wish list for Christmas. For more information on Dungeon Mayhem check out our review of the game here.

Finally, at the start of this month two new kids novels were added to the Endless Quest lineup. Written by Matt Forbeck, Endless Quest: Escape from Castle Ravenloft casts readers into the role of a cleric trapped in Count Strahd’s castle, and Endless Quest: The Mad Mage’s Academy casts readers in the role of a foolhardy thief set on stealing the spell book of the Mad Mage himself. What could go wrong?! For full details on the newest Endless Quest books check out our review on them here.


Pathfinder

Last month marked the launch of Pathfinder Second Edition, so there were a ton of new releases meant to welcome gamers into the new game system, include Pathfinder Core Rulebook (also available in a Deluxe Edition), Pathfinder Bestiary (also available in a Deluxe Edition), Lost Omens World GuideThe Fall of PlaguestonePathfinder Flip-Mat: The Fall of PlaguestonePathfinder Adventure Path 145: Hellknight HillPathfinder Adventure Path 146: Cult of Cinders, a whopping five new Pathfinder Society Scenarios, two GM Screens (landscape or portrait), Pathfinder Character Sheet PackPathfinder Combat Pad, and Condition Cards. That’s a TON of product!

This month may be slower, but there’s still plenty for fans to explore. The Age of Ashes Adventure Path continues with Pathfinder Adventure Path 147: Tomorrow Must Burn, written by Ron Lundeen and Stephanie Lundeen. There’s also the Pathfinder 2e Critical Hit Deck and three new Pathfinder Society Scenarios. Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-04: Bandits of Immenwood is a Tier 1–4 scenario written by a colleague and friend of mine, Scott D. Young, Pathfinder Society Scenario #1-05: Trailblazer’s Bounty is a Tier 1–4 scenario written by Tineke Bolleman, and Pathfinder Society Quest #2: Unforgiving Fire is a Tier 1–4 mini adventure written by Leo Glass.

Finally, Paizo has released a mini-adventure meant to be an introduction to Pathfinder Second Edition for new players and new GMs alike. Written by Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Torment and Legacy: A Pathfinder Second Edition Demo Adventure is available as a FREE download on their blog, here. I highly suggest you pick it up!

Pathfinder First Edition wraps up this month with the Tyrant’s Grasp Pawn Collection, and two new Pocket Editions: Bestiary 6 (Pocket Edition) and Villain Codex (Pocket Edition).

For maps this month check out Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Ambush Sites Multi-Pack, which looks really useful.


Starfinder

Last month’s Starfinder releases included Starfinder Adventure Path #18: Assault on the Crucible (finale to the Dawn of Flame Adventure Path!), Starfinder Adventure Path #19: Fate of the Fifth (beginning of the Attack of the Swarm! Adventure Path!), Starfinder RPG: Alien Archive 3, which contains over 100 new aliens, and over a dozen playable races, Starfinder Pawns: Tech TerrainStarfinder Flip-Mat: Ice World, and two delightful Starfinder Society Scenarios.

This month fans can get their hands on Starfinder Adventure Path #20: The Last Refuge (Attack of the Swarm! book 2 of 6), written by Mara Lynn Butler, Starfinder Flip-Mat: Starliner, and two new Starfinder Society Scenarios. Starfinder Society Scenario #2-07: Four for the First is a Tier 1–4 scenario written by Thurston Hillman that introduces four potential candidates for First Seeker, while Starfinder Society Scenario #2-08: The Stumbling Society, Part 2: Sangoro’s Gifts is a Tier 5–8 scenario written by Kendra Leigh Speedling.


Third Party Publishers

Everybody Games

Everybody Games also added another entry into their popular and always entertaining ‘Pop Culture Catalog’ line of products for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. Pop Culture Catalog: Infosphere Shows is written by George “Loki” Williams.

Monte Cook Games

Monte Cook Games released a free download that discusses how to include mature content in roleplaying games in a responsible manner, particularly in regards to content consent from your players. Consent in Gaming is written by Monte Cook and Shanna Germain.

Rogue Genius Games

Rogue Genius Games released the first of its Monster Omnicrons, a series of short one monster, two stat block, articles compatible with the second edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This month’s release is Monster Omnicron: Pyreborn, by Luis Loza!

Rusted Iron Games

Rusted Iron Games recently launched Tombstone, a gritty alternate history wild west setting compatible with Pathfinder Second Edition rules that pits PCs against monsters, magic, and The Blight, a terrifying infection from beyond the stars. A mixture of western, fantasy, and occult horror, it’s shaping up to be a fun and quirky twist on RPGs. This month adds another new ancestry to the line, with Ancestries of Tombstone: Centaur, by Andrew Mullen. Previous releases in this line include Ancestries of Tombstone: Chupacabra by Joshua Hennington, Ancestries of Tombstone: Jackalope by Jacob W. Michaels, and Ancestries of Tombstone: Rougarou by Dennis Muldoon, all of which are available on DriveThruRPG.


Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game


And that’s what we’re touching on this month! Got a favourite release? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy shopping!

Jessica